A longtime dance company based in the Bronx was recently invited to participate in filming for a popular TV show.
Last month, Fancy Feet collaborated with television show Dance Moms to film for what is expected to be the eighth season of the series.
The filming took place during the weekend of Friday, March 10, where Fancy Feet owner Susan Mendogni and five of her students traveled to Las Vegas to perform against a select team of girl dancers from the show.
The Dance Mom’s production team also held a Skype session with the students a week prior to the filming – where they were able to submit a demo performance. Fancy Feet’s fantastic five filmed with choreographer Loriann Gibson, who also worked on the former MTV show Making The Band.
The boys who were chosen to participate were Tajohn Curtis, Brandon Trent, Bryce Harding, Chad Santiago and Jaylynn Jackson – a roster that ended up defeating the Dance Mom’s select team in a hip hop dance competition.
“I think it was an interesting and exciting experience for these boys who worked very hard to get to that point – and I am so proud of them for continuously pushing themselves to meet their goals,” said Mendogni, who founded the company in 1980. She also attended Queens College and majored in Dance and Theater while she opened her dance studio. “This experience was also a big highlight and a major accomplishment for Fancy Feet as a company.”
“I started this company because of my love for dance, children and teaching,” she added. “This dance studio affects children in a positive way and gives them a safe, loving environment where they are free to express themselves with amazing instructors through all professional avenues – Broadway, ballet, hip hop, etc.”
Susan’s husband, Lino, also traveled to Las Vegas to see Fancy Feet in action. Susan added that the boys who participated in the filming have also appeared in music videos for Wyclef Jean.
Fancy Feet’s segment is expected to be included in Dance Mom’s eighth season, which has yet to be officially confirmed.
Susan has two daughters, Brittany and Caitlyn, who both participated in Fancy Feet for many years. In 2015, Mendogni was recognized as one of the Bronx Times’ 25 Most Influential Women.
Dance Moms is a reality television show that covers the lives of children who chose a career in dance while they are guided and trained by dance instructor and choreographer Abby Lee Miller. Premiering in 2011, the Lifetime show recently completed its seventh season in February.