Dance like Usher
First Posted: 11/12/2014
Get ready to strut your stuff with veteran dance choreographer, Eric Camperos, when he teaches classes in contemporary dance at Wilkes University. The class is presented by professor Lynn Mariani and the university’s division of performing arts.
“I teach at universities all over and since I normally work with kids, it is great to work with adults,” Camperos said. “They are more thoughtful with the choreography and I love seeing the emotion and what they can pull out of themselves.”
Mariani has been teaching at the university for a decade and said she is excited to welcome her colleague. Camperos and Mariani met in 2012 when they co-directed Dance Intensive at Hebei Professional Arts college and Shandong University of the Arts in China.
“It is always good for students to get a different perspective,” Mariani said. “Our staff at the university is amazing but it never hurts to get insight from a choreographer with different professional experience.”
“Everyone is welcome,” Mariani said. “Eric is very adapt at modifying the dance for everyone’s talent level. Those with little experience will feel accomplished and experienced dancers will feel challenged.”
Camperos will be teaching a contemporary dance. A style comparable to the dances on the TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance.” It is a fusion of modern ballet and jazz.
“As a teacher you teach to the highest level but you know everyone won’t be the same,” Camperos said. “I don’t want anyone to give up or get frustrated. Everyone is capable to dance as long as they don’t give up. I don’t care how high someone’s leg is lifted but if they walk out of the room saying they learned something.”
The New York based choreographer has performed alongside The Backstreet Boys and Usher to Lil’Kim and Aaliyah. Camperos appeared in the musical “Grease” on Broadway and the Bollywood movie musical “Jaaneman.” He is no stranger to being told he isn’t good enough. Camperos had a teacher tell him he would never dance with a company because he wasn’t flexible enough he recalled. That teacher was the first person he told when he booked his first Broadway show and of course she said “well that’s not really dancing.” He learned you couldn’t please everyone but never gave up and has been working as a professional dancer ever since.
Camperos has danced in commercials and industrial films for companies including Old Navy, Target, Nike, and Toyota just to name a few. He is currently choreographing shows for Carnival Entertainment and teaches at conventions throughout the U.S. and Canada. Camperos is also the Artistic Director of Youth Programming for the Brooklyn Dance Festival and teaches at Broadway Dance Center in New York City.