Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Cherry.
Brittany, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a young girl, I always loved to dance. My dad would play the piano as I frolicked across our home. Being born hearing impaired, this was my outlet, the thing that made me feel most free. My parents nurtured that, putting me in dance classes, and by the age of five I was in competitive ballroom dancing and on a jazz team. Growing up in my small town Pleasant Grove, Utah I was fortunate enough to train with world champions and renowned dancers in all types of styles.
At 13, I began working in television. I appeared on Dancing With The Star’s first kids competition, and I fell in love. The rush of knowing that just behind that little lens sat millions of people was just the wildest concept to me. It was then that I knew I wanted a career in TV.
At 18, I packed up my things and moved out to the big city. Los Angeles. Little did I know that from there, I would go on to appear on hit tv shows like, So You Think You Can Dance (season 10), Dancing With The Stars (10 seasons), and star in Ed Sheeran’s music video Thinking Out Loud which would eventually have over 3 Billion views. That is still incomprehensible to me.
Being a dancer in Los Angeles is not easy. Needless to say, I was very fortunate to have all of these opportunities with such great exposure. Between the tours, the countless award shows, the scripted television appearances, and my career on competition shows, I am one of the lucky ones.
I think the hardest thing about being a dancer is the ability to check in with yourself both physically and mentally as much as possible. The hard hustle of constantly training and injury prevention, going to 8-hour auditions just to hear another “not this time”, always having to compete for that one spot that you just “might be too short” for can be defeating. It is more Noes than Yeses. This is something I have always kept in my mind at bay to remind me to be grateful. Grateful for my opportunities and my journey. I could have had a much different story.
In 2018 I felt that I needed a change. Not knowing what that change needed to be, I reached out to some choreographers I had worked for and collaborated with in the past. To my surprise, weeks later I started working on the other side of the camera as Supervising Choreographer for NBC’s World Of Dance. I have now been on the show for 3 seasons, and work as an associate for one of the industries leading creative duos NappyTabs.
As a Nappytabs Creative Associate, I have worked on World Of Dance, Paula Abdul’s Vegas Residency, and last winter I spent two months in Saudi Arabia working on the countries first-ever music festival, Riyad Season. All while still maintaining my dance career. It is so important for dancers and athletes alike to always keep in mind that we physically cannot do this forever. Being multifaceted makes you that much more valuable on and off camera and will help you tremendously when the time comes to hang up your dance shoes.
My career has had so many twists and turns, but one of my favorite things about it is that it has taken me to corners of the world I never even dreamed of visiting. I have gotten to explore places like the U.K., India, the Middle East, and all over Europe to name a few. Traveling, for me, is ultimately the biggest reward of the job. Getting to see the world, to learn about different cultures, and collaborate with artists with such different ideas is the best part of it all.
Has it been a smooth road?
A difficult challenge I think many artists face is managing the highs and lows. One day you could land the gig of a lifetime that lasts three months, and the next thing you know there isn’t a project in sight for months. It’s the nature of the beast. Some are luckier than others, but learning to not get down on yourself when those lulls come around is something that many, including myself, have struggled with.
In 2017, I tore my bicep tendon and labrum and had to receive shoulder surgery just days after finishing a season at DWTS. It was a gamble. Have the surgery and POSSIBLY get my full mobility back, or don’t get it, and maybe my bicep tendon snaps and my arm is permanently damaged. That was a very scary time for me. Luckily I had an amazing surgeon and rehab team over at MOTI PT that pushed me hard. So hard that my 6-month recovery turned into a 3-month recovery and I was back on DWTS that very next season.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
What I am most proud of is my ability to adapt. Contrary to what people see on social media, my journey has not been all sunshine and rhinestones. But I always find a lesson to learn, and try to be a sponge in any work environment to grow as much as possible, to be better the next time.
Something I have learned is kindness goes a long way. On every production I join, I make it a point to try to introduce myself to everyone on set. From the Director all the way down the PA’s (who do so much), the set crew, the craft services or whoever. The industry is very small, so you will most likely run into them again, and in this town, people do not forget kindness.
For a long time, I thought that asking for what I wanted made me look weak or like I was asking for a handout. The truth of the matter is… people are not mind readers. In recent years, I have learned to be more direct with what I want. That means reaching out to different people who I want to work with and learn from. There is so much happening in every single person’s individual life, you have to be the one to let them know you want to be at their table. That is a skill I have been reluctant to use in the past out of fear of rejection but really, the worst that could happen is they say no. So, why not? Maybe they’ll just say okay, and take you along for the ride.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Amidst a global pandemic, live events and productions are changing drastically. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they will be the last to fully come back. No more sweaty dance studio sessions without taking the utmost precautions. So who’s to say what these next few years will bring to the dance industry.
What I do know is that social media has changed the game. Allowed dancers, choreographers, and creatives to build a platform and showcase their work, and take matters into their own hands. Which is a really amazing thing if you think about it. The people who supported the Artists or were in the background for so long are now able to be at the forefront and create opportunities for themselves that weren’t even possible 5-10 years ago.
I think content creator platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok are where the younger generations look to for entertainment. So I think that is where many dancers and creators will find success in building their careers online.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itsbrittcherry/
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/c/brittanycherry
Jo Beth Photography, Riker Brothers Photography, Megan Lera