Picture 1: Cheri Golub (left) and Dave Scott (right). Picture 2: Naomi Pacheco (left), Cheri Golub (center), and Krystal Camosse-Dwyer (right). Photo credits: Tom Russo
The day’s festivities featured insight and inspiration from some of the most intuitive and sagacious folks in the dance industry like Dave Scott and Naomi Pachecho of So You Think You Can Dance, and the creative director of Brickhouse NYC, choreographer Kelly Peters.
"Today we’re talking about ‘manifesting’— and the reason we chose ‘manifesting’ right at the New Year is because ‘manifesting’ is how I got here in the first place,” Golub told Dance Network at the event. “I had this vision in my head for a long time; a dream, and I got to this stage in my life where I thought, ‘why am I dreaming this? I know how to do this’. I know so many incredible people, and I just wanted to bring everybody together. To learn from each other.”
For the executive producer of High Strung and the upcoming High Strung: Free Dance, both assembling people and event planning come naturally. Golub who, on top of producing the consistent ‘Cheri’s Tribe’ series of inspirational events that focus on topics like reflection, preparation, or wellness, also has a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Communications. There are two specific thematic points, however, to which every "Cheri's Tribe" event will inevitably circle back: dance and empowerment.
“I always have some kind of movement involved in these events, and that’s because my focus is always on the five pillars of health,” Golub said. “Breathing, movement, nutrition, sustainability, and the most important one, community. We don’t go it alone in this world. We’re much more powerful when we’re together.”
Dave Scott. Photo credit: BDC
Dave Scott, one of this particular event’s headliners and one of the most sought-after choreographers in the country, is not only an executive producer of both High Strung films and the choreographer of the first but also a personal friend of Golub. Scott, widely known for his 15 seasons of work on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, understands that sometimes movement speaks louder than words.
"When people speak— and I’m not taking anything away from that— sometimes it’s ‘easier said than done’. When you start moving and having a good time, and you start feeling yourself on that floor, it’s a different energy,” Scott said.
Naomi Pacheco, a well-versed artist who, among becoming one of the leader cycling and boxing instructors in the country, has also assisted Scott on SYTYCD. Pacheco spoke about what drives artists like Scott and herself to reach out to folks seeking empowerment.
Naomi Pacheco. Photo credit: NP
"For me, the inspiration comes from knowing that I’ve been in that deep dark place where I just wanted somebody to reach in and pull me out of it,” Pacheco said. “So, to be on the other side of it, I just want to make people feel good, and help people get back to the original version of themselves— who they were when they were born. You were already authentically you. The world puts on this mentality of “what do you want to be when you grow up? Who are you? What are you?' I want people to realize, ‘hey, I am already me’. I want to remind everyone you’re already perfect the way you are, let’s just remove those layers and dig down deep and be authentically you.”
“Whitney Houston said to me, you perform for four people like you perform for four million,” Scott continued. “So, whether it’s on So You Think or in a small studio somewhere, this is not small to us. We’re touching somebody. I never thought, ‘I want to empower’— I just want to dance and I just want them to learn.”
“Dave says all the time, ‘I’m a person of movement,’” Pacheco added. “Being able to assist him on So You Think and other commercial projects, and seeing the universal language of dance — I saw the overall theme of movement as communication. I don’t like to say I’m one thing— a cycling or boxing instructor, or a choreographer, I like to say I’m an inspirer.”
“It’s inspiring to just move— there are days when you don’t want to move, but the minute you walk into the room and you see the eyes, you just jump in,” Scott said. “The need to inspire comes from the students. We are what music looks like.”
Michael Mahany serves as the New York City Correspondent for Dance Network. He is also a professional actor, musician, dancer, and writer. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, or click here to find out more.