Getting to Know Jonathan Lee

Often referred to as "Sunday Funday" by the staff, Sundays at Steps on Broadway are a little less busy and a lot more laid back than weekdays. One of the highlights of the day is Jonathan Lee's 2:00 Beginning Hip-Hop Class which is always overflowing with dancers and non-dancers alike, fun and cutting edge choreography and a contagious energy.
Danielle T
hibault, a student and hip-hop instructor at Impulse Dance Center in Natick, MA agreed to talk to Jonathan about his career as a performer, choreographer and teacher.

DT: What attracts you to hip hop more than styles such as ballet or modern?

What attracts me to hip hop is the music. I love all different styles of dance but hip hop gives me the freedom to express myself more freely.

DT: Out of all the things you've done, such as working with famous performers, being in commercials, theater productions, taking class, and teaching -- which is your favorite and why?
I love performing out of all the things that I do, whether it be in front of the camera or on stage. It's like breathing I can't live without it!!

DT: What was it like to work with people such as Britney Spears and Madonna? JL: I enjoyed working with Britney and Madonna. I was so blessed to work with such huge pop stars.

DT: Who has been your biggest inspiration in life and why?
JL: My biggest inspiration is my faith in God. Through good and bad, He has always kept me grounded.

DT: When did you start dancing?
I started dancing when I was able to walk but I started taking class when I was 8 years old. =-D

DT: When teaching a class, what is your goal for the students entering?
JL: When I teach, I want my students to have a good time. Even though they may not get every step the first time I want them to feel and know that they eventually will.

DT: Have you always known that you wanted to dance? If so, did you always see yourself doing hip hop?
I didn't know that I always wanted to dance but I knew I always wanted to entertain. I enjoyed being the ham. Hip hop and dance in general has really catapulted that into a reality.

DT: How did taking other styles of dance influence your choreography in your hip hop classes?
I feel other dance styles have made me a better and stronger dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Nowadays, there is so much fusion going on that you have to well versed in all disciplines.

DT: What do you find the hardest part of teaching? And what is the best part?
JL: The hardest part of teaching is being patient with myself and my students. I tell my students if they are patient with themselves I am patient with them as well. The best part is being able to share my craft with people and hoping that after taking class they walk away feeling inspired and better about themselves.

DT: Did you go to college for dance?
JL: I did not go to college for dance but I did go to school for music.

DT: Who are some of your favorite choreographers?
One choreographer that I have to give it up to is Mr.Wiggles, who is one of my mentors. I like Tabitha and Napoleon, Alvin Ailey, Bob Fosse, and Jerome Robbins. There are so many. People have so much to offer.

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