Named by Billboard Magazine and Italian Vogue as one of the “Top 30 Under 30” artists in the entertainment industry, Tanisha Scott was born and raised in Toronto to Jamaican parents. As a child, she frequently traveled to Jamaica with her family. As a result, despite being born and raised in Canada, she feels a deep connection to her nationality. Jamaica runs through her blood. Visiting her native country and living amongst her extended family, Tanisha had the chance to develop a deep appreciation for her culture. This might not just be a result of habitat, but also of her firm belief in using every opportunity that comes her way and constantly educating herself. She’s renowned in the world of pop music as a dancer with a style all her own — but she never even considered dancing professionally until college.
When she went away to start university, she joined a dance crew called Do That and “fell in love with the professional aspect of dance”. Do That showed Tanisha that not only could she build a career in dance, but that this was her calling. Today, she is one of the most popular choreographers in the music industry. Scott has worked behind the scenes with world-famous artists like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Sean Paul and Drake, and collaborated with industry legends such as Pharrell, Whitney Houston, Sia, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Shakira, CeeLo Green, Timbaland, Neyo and J-Lo. “Luther Brown is the first choreographer I ever had, the first mentor. He was the one who actually said that I have a gift; I never saw it as that. He made me believe in myself, and forced me to see something greater that just a club-circuit dancer.”
Although Tanisha never attended any type of formal dance classes (nor did she train in ballet, tap, or jazz) she had an innate appreciation for it all and danced every day at home, in hopes of one day fulfilling her dream. “Then, one day I got a call from a friend who offered me the chance to be in a video by Sean Paul – I knew who that was! I first thought that he wanted me to dance in the video, but it turns out that he wanted me to choreograph it. I had never done that before. But I’ve also never backed down from an opportunity – I love dance and I thought ‘I’ll be able to figure it out.’ I just know I am the best at being myself!” And this confidence served her well. Her mantra of always doing everything to the best of her ability is really her secret weapon.
Scott eventually enrolled at the NY Film Academy for 6 months for music- video directing, but not because she wanted to be a director. The truth was, Tanisha wanted to gain an understanding of how the camera works, of the differences between lenses, the nuances of lighting, and professional jargon. “I also took an acting job in a movie, not because I wanted to be an actress, but because I wanted to see and understand what the director means when he is talking to me, when he wants to pull something out for me, the techniques that he uses to get the best out of me…” Scott is well-known for her work on film and television, including Rock That Body (starring Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz and Kate Mckinnon), Money Monster (starring George Clooney & Julia Roberts), Sisters (starring Tina Fey & Amy Poehler), and Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (among others).
Tanisha’s extraordinary work has led to multiple MTV awards and nominations for Best Choreographer. Beyond working with acclaimed artists, her work has also been featured in national commercials for clients such as Nike, Bose, Boost Mobile, Aquafina, American Express, and Budweiser Select. As a special guest, she has made appearances on America’s Next Top Model, Bring it, So You think You Can Dance and America’s Next Best Dance Group. She also specializes in developing the stars of tomorrow. Her most prominent clients include Bryson Tiller, SZA, Kiiara, Majid Jordan, DVSN and Daniel Caesar. “It means so much to me when somebody who has no personal ties to me can tell me that they love what I do… that is what gets me through challenges.” Dance is universal. It brings people together and is constantly evolving (Scott’s track record is living proof of that). From ballet to twerking, there are dance moves for everyone these days. The inspiration doesn’t just come from the choreography, it’s all around us. Dancing is a form of art that takes a lot of hard work and dedication, yet is so much fun every step of the way. So who knows where the next success story like Tanisha’s could be hiding?
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