Theresa is 21 years old from Long Island, New York. She has received extensive training from Broadway Dance Center, Millenium Dance Complex, and multiple conventions across the country including Shock: The Intensive, WILD, Move and The Pulse On Tour. Theresa has worked with choreographers such as LaurieAnn Gibson, Kelly Peters, Derek Mitchell, Shirlene Quigley, Emily Shock, TOKYO, Blake McGrath and Neil Schwartz. We would be here all day if we went down the list of Theresa’s accomplishments. Its very rare that you find a young person who has achieved so much be humble and have a level head. They say in the dance industry attitude is everything and from our introduction and interview to Theresa it’s no surprise why she has been successful thus far. We hope her journey inspires you to start yours or get back on the horse and get to the finish line.
Dance Mogul: At what age did you discover the passion for dance?
Theresa Stone: I started dancing when I was 2, but I think I really discovered how much I loved dance when I was 17. At the time my parents weren’t fully on board with me choosing dance as a career. They wanted me to go to school, and I chose to follow their suggestion and I was going to St. John’s University in Queens. It hit me when I was at Pulse NYC and I had wanted to win protégé for so long and I thought it would never happen. If I didn’t win protégé at that convention, I wasn’t going to be able to go to Pulse anymore because my parents weren’t going to pay for me. I remember when they called my name for protégé and I flat out cried. At that moment, I knew I loved dance because just the thought of not being able to dance and be in a positive dance environment scared me and upset me so much.
Dance Mogul: Were your parents supportive of you?
Theresa Stone: Like I said before, they always loved watching me dance and being there for me when I was dancing, but when it came down to choosing my career, they weren’t going to let me skip school and be a dancer. They wanted me to get my education and if I wanted to dance on the side, I could. But then, once I won’t protege it kind of opened their eyes. They finally started to realize that hmmm, maybe she can do this! And that was the best feeling in the world. Then once I made it onto Born To Dance: Laurieann Gibson on BET, they were pushing for me to move to LA, while I was pushing to finish my degree at school. It’s just funny how the tables have turned over the past 4 years, but I’m honestly so thankful for having my degree and still being able to dance.
Dance Mogul: How were you able to break into the industry, what was your work ethic like to accomplish your goals.
Theresa Stone: I always wanted more for myself. I always pushed for what I wanted. It started with protégé, and then from there my next goal was to be on So You Think You Can Dance. I wanted so badly to be in the top 20. I would watch the show and hear about people training like crazy just to make it onto the show and I wanted that. So I worked my butt off. I was running everyday for an hour; I was taking classes all the time. I went and auditioned twice and didn’t make it. I was so bummed, but then I made it onto Laurieann’s show right after. I was working hard towards one goal, and received another instead. And trust me, doing Laurieann’s show was much more beneficial and rewarding then I think So You Think You Can Dance would have been. I’m an open book, I just want to learn and take in as much as I can. Born To Dance was definitely perfect for that goal.
Dance Mogul: You have worked with many talented choreographers to be so young, tell us some of your favorite experiences?
Theresa Stone: My favorite experience was definitely working with Laurieann during the reality show and the Jordy Towers music video following the show. I just seriously look up to her so much and appreciate all that she stands for, so being able to work so closely with her was such an honor and an amazing experience. I also really enjoy touring with The Pulse. This convention has been a part of my life since I was 13, and I’m now 21. I have been attending since the first year it started and I really feel as though the faculty at Pulse have molded me into the dancer I am today. I love assisting each and every one of them and getting to know them on a more personal level for sure.
Dance Mogul: You also have worked on some high profile projects, what is it like to produce on that level as a dancer. Is there alot of pressure?
Theresa Stone: I love choreographing and teaching, especially with my company AbstraKT BEINGS. I co-own the company with my partner, Kyle Preiser, and I really am amazed by the work we’ve been able to do over the past 2 years of running the company. For me, I never feel pressure, I sometimes feel nervous, but never pressure. Kyle and I really do a lot for each other and we support each other, so I never have to worry about pressure. I always just want the best for my kids and I want them to look their best in front of other, because that’s ultimately their best impression. If I can teach them the best ways to portray themselves as artists, and as people, I can ultimately make them successful and that’s my goal.
Dance Mogul: What keeps you motivated to keep pursing dance?
Theresa Stone: Seeing my friends around me grow. It gives me hope that motivation for my own growth. I see people who have morphed into amazing, working dancers and I know that if they can do it for themselves, well so can I!
Dance Mogul: What are your thoughts on the dance industry and its future?
Theresa Stone: I think that the dance industry is growing. There’s more demand for dancers in shows, behind artists, in movies. And now there’s more reality TV when it comes to dancing. People who are non-dancers are more interested in dance shows like Glee, and Smash and So You Think You Can Dance. I feel like the publicity is amazing because I feel the respect is gaining for dancers. I hope the future is full of more dance jobs because I would love to see opportunity grow for all dancers around the world.
Dance Mogul: Do you feel dancers need more press like Dance Mogul Magazine, so that their voice can be heard?
Theresa Stone: Yes! I definitely feel that all dancers should be heard. Everyone has different experiences and different opinions on their craft, and hearing those help broaden your horizons. One voice can change your outlook on your entire perspective. I love hearing about other dancers motivation and goals, it helps me and I’m sure it would help others.
Dance Mogul: What advice do you have for the youth that have an interest in dance?
Theresa Stone: Work your butts off! Don’t wait until you get older to realize that you have a passion for dance. If you have a passion for it, start fighting for it now! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. You control your future; it’s in your hands not anyone else’s.
Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you want to thank for helping you along your journey?
Theresa Stone: I really want to thank my parents for supporting me with my passion. Without them a lot of what I do couldn’t be possible. I also want to thank my partner, Kyle Preiser for always steering the wheel at the times when I can’t. And I want to thank my mentor and friend Robert Hoffman for always pushing my choreographic abilities and helping me think deeper as an artist and teacher. Lastly, I want to thank EVERYONE at The Pulse: On Tour for making me the dancer and the person I am today. I can thank each of the faculty for something different that they have taught me and helped me with. They really are my heroes, and I look up to each and every one of them.