Tanisha Scott’s resume is a whole lotta yasssssss. Since burning up the set for Sean Paul videos like “I’m Still In Love With You,” the choreographer to the stars has also helmed routines for the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna and Alicia Keys. She’s also contributed to commercials for Nike and Budweiser, and even on-screen greats like Netflix’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler film Sisters.
Her latest credits, though, is being Drake’s dancing partner in the unshakable video for “Hotline Bling,” which caused a ruckus on timelines upon its Apple debut on Monday night (Oct. 19). After running through soundcheck for Jay Z’s Tidal show and while shooting a new video in L.A. for CeeLo Green, the Toronto-bred dancer discussed the genius behind the GIF-ted Director X visual with us over e-mail. We also rolled down memory lane on #FlashbackFriday to that time she taught the ladies of VIBE to twerk.
VIBE: How did drake recruit you for “hotline bling”? Was it the Toronto connection?
Tanisha Scott: My manager contacted me about the opportunity to work with Drake and Director X on the video. And of course, I humbly accepted simply because I truly respect their work and what’s better than Toronto unifying on a major artistic level.
Were you aware of the treatment prior? What was your initial reaction when you saw the set?
I was excited to go back to the place where I started from, working on classic X productions. I came up in the golden era of music videos and it’s a true blessing to be in a position to be on a set with massive builds directed by the legend himself, X.
What was your first reaction when you found out you’d be dancing with Drake?
I was honored because Drake wanted to work with me. And, he wanted to explore something different that he hasn’t done before.
Online critics have said the “Hotline Bling” dance sequence reminds them of a Sean Paul video, which is how you got your start with choreo. How would you characterize your style of dancing? Do you also have a signature move?
My dance is fused with hip hop, dancehall, jazz, afro centric and many more styles. I don’t have a signature move, but my style of movement is a signature of its own.
Were Drake’s dance moves choreographed?
It was all freestyle. We just went up there and had fun.
When you saw the final version of the video, did you think that it would go viral instantly? Case in point: the #DrakeAlwaysOnBeat memes. How did you feel about all the Internet love?
I’m actually blown away. I knew it would be special, but not no one predicted the viral phenomenon it has now become. I’m just blessed to be a part of the experience.
How has working with Drake affected your daily itinerary since the video’s release? Is your inbox now filled to the brim?
I have most definitely received a lot of media attention, the work flow will most definitely spike up
What’s next for Tanisha Scott?
Well, I worked with actor/director, Jodie Foster on her new film project titled Money Monster. I did choreography work with the Sexiest Man Alive/actor, George Clooney so look out for that next year!