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, ballroom, smooth and rhythm dance styles.  While still in high school I was performing and choreographing professionally and accepted a position to dance with the Wealthy Contemporary Ballet.  My dance education continued at the Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in NYC, the University of Ghana (studying African dance) and Israel (folk and Israeli dance).  I have performed improvisational Children’s Theater in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia and have taught children’s theater in Turkey, the Philippines, Mexico and the Grand Rapids KROC Center.  Ballroom dance experience includes competitive ballroom dance and choreography.  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, just recently obtaining my master trainer certification.  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!