Gentlemen’s Corner: Beyoncé’s Choreographer Chris Grant on Pepsi’s ‘Dance for a Chance’ and Why Bey Reminds him of Michael Jackson
Tell us about working with the kids on the “Dance for a Chance” video.
Working with the kids was really inspiring for me. These are some of her biggest fans and they were reacting and responding to the movement and they were just ecstatic. I’ve learned a lot working with them. Just seeing how humble they were and how happy—it just amazes me how Pepsi found a way to give back to her fans. That’s so important. I had a great time with them and I’m pretty sure they enjoyed themselves.
Was working with inexperienced dancers a hard adjustment?
The difference in working with Beyoncé is that she has more control and knows her body. She’s been doing this for years. Working with fans that are not professional dancers; they’re not really trained and they don’t really know so they have to learn on set. It’s like teaching raw talent and Beyoncé loves dancers from the street. She loves new and exciting things. So, it was just one of those moments where I was just teaching them the ‘proper’ way of doing things.
How did you get your start in dancing?
I started at a very young age watching Michael Jackson. Even when I was a kid, I was dancing and buying DVD’s and watching him. That’s what really got me into dancing. When I was 18, I auditioned for Making the Band 4 and I made it to the top 16 and then a year later, I met Frank Gatson. He noticed me from the reality show and wanted to work with me because of my dancing. So, we met up one time and a couple months later and I did my own version of “Single Ladies” and Frank loved it. He flew me out to show Beyoncé and she loved it. Next thing you know, I’m teaching and holding auditions with Frank as an assistant. That’s how it all started.
So it was all a whirlwind.
Everything happened really fast. It was a blessing because right after that, I got Michael Jackson’s “This is It” and I remember Beyoncé encouraging me saying “You should do this.”