Christopher Nolen
Dancer / Choreographer / Dance Instructor

Burbank Arts Newsletter April 22 – May 5

1) Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance and am a graduate of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. During my early years of training I was a dance competitor and won several awards. I’ve also trained at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Taipei National University of the Arts, and Springboard Danse Montreal.

Professionally I’ve toured both nationally and internationally with Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Abraham In Motion, August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, Enforced Arch, Princess Cruises, Holland America Cruise Line, Daniel Gwirtzman, Forces of Nature, been a back up dancer for “Peaches” in ‘Peaches Christ Superstar” and for the first ladies of Disco including Martha Wash and Evelyn Champagne King, as well as a guest artist with the Taipei Royal Ballet.

I’ve also performed in theme parks, including featured roles in Disney’s California Adventures’ “Aladdin A Musical Spectacular” and Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Grinchmas” as Dru Who. Music video features include Joe Taylor’s “Parade,” Paula Abdul’s “Check Yourself,” David Aude / Jessica Sutta’s “Gonna Be Mine” and I was a featured dancer in RuPaul’s Drag Race A Christmas Spectacular. I’ve also performed at several benefit shows including Dancers Responding to AIDS in NYC, Aids Assistance Program  and the AUDI TT Premiere (Beijing). I’ve performed the repertoire of Denise Faye, Lee Martino, Bill T. Jones, Paul Taylor, Alonzo King, Kyle Abraham, Christopher Huggins, Rennie Harris, Donald Mckayle, Liz Imperio and Danny Teeson among others. I also starred in the James Cameron film “Avatar” as a dancer/ Navi.

Currently I instruct dance at several Long Beach after school programs with the “Dancer In Me” program, am on the faculty of On The Edge dance studio in Culver City and am head of the children’s division at Rock Star Dance Fitness in Burbank where I also teach dance/fitness classes to adult students.

2) How did you first become interested in dance and choreography?
I first became interested in dance/choreography growing up watching the Mickey Mouse Club and Kids Incorporated. After I saw a commercial advertising Broadway’s “Bring in da noise Bring in da Funk” I begged my mother to take me to see the show and immediately enrolled in tap lessons and have been dancing every since.

3) How does art enrich a community, and what are some ways people can engage with art in the greater Los Angeles area?
Art enriches a community by passing cultural and historical traditions from generation to generation. Art also enables self determination, discipline, focus, creativity and self empowerment. When one truly immerses themselves into art they can also find a spiritual awakening. Dance art specifically is great for mental and physical health.

People can engage with art in the greater Los Angeles area by attending events put on by local artists, supporting small businesses, taking a class from professionals in the art field and welcoming art into their life as an experience that will touch their life in ways that are more profound than words can express.

4) If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?
Art can transcend life.