Will VanSlander, formerly of St. Marys, was selected to dance in Ashley Marina’s music video. Marina, who also has roots in Pennsylvania, is known for appearing in the fifteenth season of “America’s Got Talent”. She used this recognition on a national stage and made a musical career out of it.
Will explained how his dance career began, including where his interest in dancing started, the work he regularly puts into dancing, and what it meant for him to dance in Marina’s music video.
Being featured in this music video means a lot to VanSlander as he realizes that hard work pays off.
“It means a lot of different things, but the most common element is that I can finally see all of my hard work paying off. After all these years of training, it’s almost hard to believe that there is finally something out there. of this caliber with my name attached.
This music video journey started for Will when he was approached by one of his college professors, and the professor put him in touch with the right people for this business.
“I was approached by one of my teachers. Basically she had a touch that the girl needed from a male dance partner and that was all she knew. Next thing I know, I’m heading to Pittsburgh to learn the choreography for the video.
He and his dance partner for the video spent hours practicing before the shoot.
“My partner and I spent two to three hours with the choreographer learning and creating the actual choreography, then another hour solidifying it on our own.”
Will’s interest in dancing began at a very young age when he attended one of his sister’s dance recitals.
“In grade two, I watched my sister perform in the April dance school recital. After seeing her perform a particular Hip Hop dance, I decided to give it a try.
When you participate in the sport of dancing, there is more than it seems in terms of just lacing up your shoes and getting out on the floor. According to Vanslader, you have to be the one who takes the initiative in multiple areas.
“I’m not going to lie, it takes a lot of investment. There are a lot of routes that people take growing up, and I was in the competitive dance world. It takes a lot of money and time overall, and you, as an individual, have to put in the hours and effort into the training.
Now a student at Slippery Rock University, Will has a keen interest in the performing arts world as he hopes to master every element of the industry for his future career.
“I have the chance to take an interest in the entire world of the performing arts. I am currently majoring in dance in college, but plan to add a major in theater in the next spring semester. Overall, I try to train as much as I can in all areas of performance so that when a door opens for me I have the skills to face it with strength.
VanSlander has listed several people and places that influenced his development as a dancer.
“All of my dance teachers have had an influence on my development, including Jennifer Mattocks and Chelle Blankenship to name a few. My sister, Gina VanSlander, is someone I have always admired. Plus, I couldn’t have become the performer and the person I am today without my family of dancers from the April School of Dance, the hundreds of competition participants who inspired me and my growing family. of dancers at Slippery Rock.
Finally, he wanted to shine a light on some of the people who worked with him during the process of creating and directing Ashley Marina’s music video.
“I would like to thank my dance partner, Lauren Mortimer, and her mother, Brandi. I couldn’t have found better people to work with. Also, I want to thank Miranda Maleski for giving me such amazing choreography, Ashley Marina for the beautiful song and Jamal Woodson for doing the logistics behind the scenes.
Kudos to Will for showing off his dancing skills in this clip on a big stage, and good luck for him moving forward. Through its history, we can all better appreciate those who dedicate themselves to a field of the performing arts at all levels.