Anthony Burrell Is Using Dance to Break Barriers with New Dance Studio

Over the last decade, this man has traveled the world and created dance routines for some of the worlds biggest entertainers. Most of you know the name, but one thing is for sure, we all know the dances. Anthony Burrell is his name and dancing around the world is his claim to fame. Anthony recently opened up his new dance studio in the Atlanta area and we got the chance to ask him a few questions about his well-respected career.

When it comes to your passion for dance, when did you realize that was something you wanted to pursue?

I realized dance was my passion at the age of 14 when I realized Alvin Ailey was in existence. I’ve watched nearly every performance and I knew from that day that it was something that I was going to do. It was going to be that vehicle that transported and transmitted me out of the hood and catapult me to the next level of my life.

What steps did you take after realizing this is something you wanted to do? 

I started training in Philly. I would work with my grandma because my mom was a drug addict and I didn’t know my father so I had minimal resources and when I found dance, it was the outlet I needed. I got a scholarship through the Cigna Foundation and it was almost like dance kind of found me. Once I found dancing, things just started to happen. I never asked for certain situations. It just felt like things were just falling into my lap. I realized that I had a bit of talent and people started redirecting me to more serious institutions like the Pennsylvania Ballet, University of the Arts.

When do you feel like your big break came as far as your dancing and choreography?

My big break came when I was performing. I was at the University of the Arts and the dancers in the Philadelphia area were performing for Judith Jamison, who was the artistic director for Alvin Ailey at the time. She came to receive an award in Philly at my dance school where I was choreographing and teaching. Immediately after I did my solo, she stopped the event and took me outside to talk. I felt like that was the breaking moment in my life and my career where I was definitely walking in the path of my destiny; meeting her and having her talk to me and invited me to the company audition.

We have seen you with some of the world’s biggest and legendary celebrities. Tell us about those experiences when you first started working with the likes of Mariah Carey or Beyonce.

Just like everyone else, I grew up listening to Destiny’s Child and Beyonce and I grew up dancing to her. I would audition and then they would want me to be apart of their tour and team. I became a pivotal part of their team like rehearsal director, assistant choreographers, choreographers, creative director or wherever the need was. They saw