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Dancer VIP: Judith Jamison – Alvin Ailey former Artistic Director

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Kenny Wormald – Reality Hits Center Stage Too

Submitted by on 9 Nov 2008 – 1:58 PM Comments

Kenny Warmald

Feeling the swell of 15,000 cheering fans rush over you is something most people can only dream of. For Kenny Wormald, it’s reality. “There’s nothing like [dancing] on stage with the world’s biggest artist,” he confesses. After touring with Justin Timberlake, Wormald is riding high and it’s just the beginning.

Saying 2007 was a pretty good year for Kenny Wormald is an understatement. At the age of 23 he’s tackled enough to fill an entire career. He helped bring “SexyBack” around the globe, danced in videos for Nelly Furtado and Christina Aguilera, and made hearts throb on the MTV reality hit, DanceLife. Blessed with his charismatic Boston accent and All-American good looks, the big screen is the next logical step. This summer Wormald will make the leap to leading man status in Center Stage 2. For fans of the versatile dancer, best known for his hip-hop skills, seeing him in tights might be quite the departure. For Wormald, it’s just another side of his talent.

The movie pairs him up with original Center Stage stars and American Ballet Theatre principals Ethan Stiefel and Peter Gallagher, which he calls a “dream come true.” Years of training in all types of dance have left him equipped to handle anything thrown at him, even acting.

Anyone who watched DanceLife knows his movement has a softness around the edges. He glides and melts into one moment only to attack and harden the next. He’s as much at home pirouetting as he is popping and locking. Fortunately Center Stage 2 will allow him to show off his skills in “ballet, hip-hop and even a little tango.”

No matter what he’s doing, Wormald maintains a level head. For starters, he made it through reality TV alive. “I said I’d never do a reality show,” he admits, “and there I was booking one. I was concerned it would be the type of show that made me look stupid and I’d be stuck as ‘that kid from the reality show.’” Due to his staggering talent, Wormald is anything but stuck.

Even though he can be spotted in endless music videos, it was his stint on DanceLife that propelled him to celebrity status. “The good thing about DanceLife was that they weren’t following us around all the time. It was fun. I was so glad they didn’t just film drama, they captured a lot of amazing dance footage.” He had built a solid career before the show, but MTV brought him legions of new fans.

Whenever Wormald can find the time, he’s traveling around the globe teaching those admirers. “Now that I’ve had some success in the dance world I feel like by going around the world and connecting with students it shows them that if they put their mind and energy towards something, anything is possible!” That type of optimism has made Wormald a driving force in the dance world. His star is on the rise, and if the buzz is any indication, Center Stage 2 is sure to take him even higher. Who knows? Maybe by this time next year he’ll have 15,000 screaming fans of his own.

Matthew Murphy

This article was first published in movmnt magazine’s #6 – Keep it Real – Spring 2008.

Matthew MurphyMatthew Murphy has been dancing ever since he choreographed a Star Wars ballet in his basement as a kid. He has since moved on to dancing with American Ballet Theatre, but he still dreams of one day bringing a corps of dancing Stormtroopers to the stage. In the meantime, he’s got a camera glued to his face as he tries shooting everything around him. Between dancing, choreographing, writing and taking pictures, he’s got his hands full of artistic projects. Some may say his addiction to Peanut Butter Puffins is a problem, but Murphy claims the delicious cereal fuels his artistic life. How else could he explore so many ventures with so much success? His blog is read by hundreds, his dancing seen by thousands. He does it all with a sense of humor. Now if only he could get that Star Wars ballet off the ground. For movmnt, Matthew approached two different aspects of the dance world with his portraits of Kenny Wormald, soon to be seen in Center Stage 2, and a look at music composer Nico Muhly, who’s latest piece was featured by American Ballet Theatre. Matthew Murphy is a senior editor and movmnt magazine’s Copy Editor. Congratulation to Matthew for his published work as a photographer in The New York Times. Check out Matt’s work on his blog at