Today we’d like to introduce you to Alvin de Castro.
Alvin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Being a professional Dancer & Choreographer was never something that I dreamed of becoming growing up. My dream was to be a Graphic Designer… and I checked that box by graduating in Graphic Design and working in a design studio for several years. I was always creative, but that outlet wasn’t enough because I hated being behind the desk 9 to 5 so I followed my other passion, which was my hip-hop dance crew “Beatphonik”.
I admit that dance didn’t even feel like a passion at the time because it’s something that I always did with my family and cousins when we got together. Long story short, I quit my job because I wanted to dance everyday, which was a big deal because I was leaving security and I felt like I was letting my parents down.
With all my free time, I poured all my creative energy into Beatphonik and we went on to win all the national championships and gig all around Australia with the crew! During this time, I learned a lot of things about myself such as I work better under extreme pressure and that I loved to choreograph. In more ways than one, I was still designing through movement! It was the ultimate release and form of expression.
Throughout all the gigs, I developed an understanding that I needed to broaden my skills in order to offer more as a choreographer so I threw myself into a dance performing arts course studying ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, musical theatre, etc… and I was lucky enough to gain a scholarship. It was intimidating as an adult because most of my classmates have been in studios since they could walk. Everyone was a lot younger and I was playing catchup, but I had the upper hand in Hip Hop so I guess it balanced out.
In 2009, my mother’s battle with cancer came to an end. This was the deepest and darkest moment of my life, but it was a turning point in my dance career. My mother’s passing made me stronger and I used this to push myself. I auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance Australia that same year. I didn’t make it into the top 20, but instead they gave me the role of Hip-Hop choreographer on the show seasons 3 and 4! This moment on national television marked the beginning of my success in the Australian dance industry.
In 2010, I moved to Sydney to follow the work, which meant that I had to leave my crew. I worked on X-Factor, toured with the Australian Idol Winner and the winner of Dancing with the Stars. I even choreographed for the Australia’s Got Talent Champions and danced on X-Factor but nothing beats creating for yourself so I kept up with my online content. In 2014, my dance film project “Euphoria” was curated by the Dance Camera West Film Festival and in 2015 “EXIT” was nominated for a World Choreography Award here in LA. The work was also picked up McDonald Selznick Agency (my dream agency). I will never forget the moment when I received a phone call direct from Hollywood because it changed my life…it was MSA and they helped me move to LA by sponsoring my visa as a dancer and choreographer. The rest is history!
Since moving to LA in 2017, I’ve worked for Daddy Yankee, Steve Aoki, G-Eazy, Dillon Francis, Dua Lipa, Miguel, Eminem, G.E.M., Deorro, Disney, Dance Boss and various other commercials, music videos and live performances!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Honestly, I’ve always been my own worse enemy and I know that so many of you reading this can relate. Moving to a city like LA is hard for people like us because of all the unrealistic expectations out there. It’s a very competitive environment because the whole world flocks to this city to live their dreams. For me, it’s a combination of “Am I good enough?” and “Do I look good enough?” One thing I’ve learned out here is that there is something for everybody. As much as stereotypes thrive here, individuality is also celebrated and this has helped ground me and stay true to myself. It’s also helped me spot vultures and people who have no positivity to contribute to my journey. That would be my biggest advice is to stay true to yourself. It’s a jungle out here but it doesn’t have to be!
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a choreographer & creative director that provides services for tv, film and live performances for artists, events, fashion, industrials, large-scale private functions and more. I’m known for my choreography on SYTYCD, but I’m most proud of the jobs that don’t get broadcast, such as music videos for independent artists or wedding performances because clients are usually blown away with what’s possible and I love bringing their vision to life!
I also have 17 years of teaching dance at all levels from casual drop-in classes to lecturing at college.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
The most important characteristic to my success is innovation. New ideas are important and in order to come up with those, I am constantly learning new movements from different cultures and disciplines. I love being original and setting the trend! It’s good to be one step ahead of everyone else!
- Address: 3575 Cahuenga Blvd W suite 390, Los Angeles, CA 90068
- Website: www.alvindecastro.com
- Phone: (323) 957-6680
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alvin_de_castro/