LEWIS Richards

Dance Teacher

At the age of 8 years old, I sat in the mezzanine at Civic Theater.  The curtains opened to a magical musical that would change the direction of my life.  A few years after that I began training in theater, ballet, hip hop, jazz and Ballroom smooth and rhythm dance styles.  By the time I was sixteen I was hired for my first professional dance gig.  Before graduating from high school I was hired to choreograph high school and community theater productions.  Not long after that I accepted a position to dance with the Wealthy Contemporary Ballet, and then would go on to continue dance education at the Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in New York City.  I also had the opportunity to go to the University of Ghana to study African dance, and Israel to learn folk and Israeli dance.  I performed improvisational Children’s Theater in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.  I’ve taught children’s theater at the Grand Rapids KROC Center, in Turkey, the Philippines and Mexico.   Ballroom dance experience includes Competitive Ballroom Dance, award winning Show Dance Choreographer, and Three Dance winner and Choreographer.  I danced professionally with HK Productions, a corporate Ballroom Production Company where I also sat as the artistic choreographer and technical director for productions. While I have an extensive dance background, the majority of my education is in exercise science, with my main focus being longevity in human performance.  Just shy of 20 years of experience, I have worked for multiple gyms as a certified group fitness instructor and certified personal trainer.  I am in the final process of completing the requirements to become a master trainer through an Austin based fitness academy by the end of 2019.   What I’ve enjoyed most about working and teaching with Civic Theater is it aligns with my life purpose of valuing the human experience; making sure people are in an environment where they feel loved, safe and welcome.

What inspires you? 
I am inspired when I am following my passion to inspire, educate and create opportunities for individuals to have healthier, happier minds and bodies.  A big part of that is to understand someone’s journey.  I’ve always looked at it as success is not the end goal. It is the steps, practice and consistency it takes; the thought processes or mind set that will have to change on the journey.    I am inspired as I see others progress on their journey.  

Who is your favorite fictional character? 
My three favorite characters:  Leroy from Fame, the scarecrow from the Wiz and Seaweed from Hairspray, these roles became valuable to me because they required you to be a true triple threat, with the main-focus being on the performers dance ability.

What was your favorite after school snack growing up?
Anything with sugar and butter in it!