Brendon Stimson, the US-based choreographer to the stars, is now available to coach Australians one-on-one, via online sessions using the coaching platform, SLOCOACH Arts.
Brendon is best known as Broadway royalty, having performed on stage in NYC in a number of hit shows including: West Side Story (‘09 revival), Something Rotten and was part of the original casts of Newsies, Honeymoon in Vegas, and the musical adaptation of Mean Girls. More recently, Brendon rubbed shoulders with Hollywood stars including Meryl Streep, James Corden and our beloved Nicole Kidman, providing them with one-on-one dance and choreography coaching for Netflix’s movie, The Prom.
Now, Brendon will be on-hand to help Australian dancers improve and become their best as he has joined the new SLOCOACH Arts online coaching platform, as a dance teacher – something which he is incredibly passionate about.
SLOCOACH Arts was developed in Australia and gives up-and-coming artists, comedians, singers, musicians, dancers and many other creatives the chance to digitally connect with the best in the business to receive personalised, one on one coaching.
Brendon is joined by a roster of top Australian artistic talent, including comedy genius Mark Trevorrow, who is best-known for his iconic character, Bob Downe, Tim Ferguson, member of wildly popular trio the Doug Anthony All Stars)and ARIA-award winning hitmaker and international femme fatale of comedy and cabaret, Max Sharam.
The platform is incredibly easy to use – all you have to do is head to the website, select your chosen coach, upload a video of yourself performing and you’ll receive one-on-one personalised feedback and tips on how to elevate your performance from your favourite stars.
The SLOCOACH platform also has a successful sports coaching arm that launched during the height of the COVID pandemic last year, featuring big names in sport such as Michael Hooper, Sally Pearson, Lauren Jackson, Dane Swan and many others.
We caught up with Brendon to find out more about what it was like teaching Hollywood mega stars to dance, as well as his new, exciting role as a SLOCOACH Arts coach in Australia…
You worked with Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman on The Prom for Netflix, what was it like teaching these stars how to dance?
- It was an amazing experience – they were really hungry to learn and work collaboratively with me. They just dove right in to the choreography and worked tirelessly to get it right. Nicole’s role in particular had a lot of complex choreography but she just nailed it and was a true professional.
What was it like working with actors as opposed to trained dancers?
- They were fantastic to work with – everyone has a different way of learning. I had to find out what teaching method worked best for them – whether it be repetition, listening to the music on repeat in order to grasp the rhythm, mimicking, and so on. Once we figured that out, everything just clicked and went really smoothly.
And now you’re using those teaching methods to coach Aussies online via the new platform, SLOCOACH Arts. Tell us, what drew you to become a SLOCOACH coach?
- I am inspired by the next generation of performers. I remember having such fantastic mentors when I was first starting out and I want to be a part of the process in “passing the torch.” I aim to teach every new Student with the same passion and integrity to help them achieve their dreams. From a coach’s perspective, the SLOCOACH platform enables me to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, meaning I get to share my wisdom and over 10 years of Broadway experience with as many people as possible. The technology behind the platform is also really unique as it provides us coaches with the next best thing to live, real-time viewing, as we can rewind, slow things down and speed things up. This means we can really see the finer details therefore we can give unique advice that’s tailored to each individual student.
What will you be teaching via SLOCOACH and what areas can you help your students with?
- I’ll of course be on hand as a dance coach and will be able to help my students with storytelling, teaching them basic steps of a combination, as well as helping my students with their broader technique, in order to help them perform at Broadway level. I’m also passionate about using the platform to help my students find their voice in dance and helping them realise what sets them apart from other dancers.
Which artistic fields can Aussies be coached in using SLOCOACH Arts?
- SLOCOACH Arts will allow students to improve in many different areas, with world-class coaches available to help students in comedy, cabaret, stand-up, dance, song writing, singing, jazz, musical theatre, directing and even audition preparation.
Are there any famous Aussies who have joined the platform as coaches?
- Yes, there’s a number of fabulous and diverse Aussie coaches on the platform including comedy genius Mark Trevorrow, who is best-known for his iconic character, Bob Downe (or the Prince of Polyester!), Tim Ferguson, member of the wildly popular trio the Doug Anthony All Stars, and ARIA-Award winning hitmaker and international femme fatale of comedy and cabaret, Max Sharam, with more exciting names to follow.
You’ve already been using SLOCOACH to coach dancers in the UK – how have your sessions gone so far and what are you hoping to achieve using the platform in Australia?
- My sessions to date have all been fantastic! I’ve coached people of all ages, background and abilities and I’ve seen a great calibre of dancers coming through. In terms of what I’m hoping to achieve in Australia, I’m really passionate about sharing my knowledge from my many years in the industry and passing on my tips to help inspire and improve the performance of others. I love teaching my craft and am looking forward to working with my students in Australia to help them take their dancing game up a gear.
Do you think SLOCOACH Arts will be a valuable tool for creatives/coaches in a COVID world?
- It’s been a really tough year for creatives worldwide, due to the impact of COVID. Lockdowns and restrictions have made it really tough for creatives to access top-quality coaching and as a result, for them to continue to grow and improve as performers. That’s where the SLOCOACH Arts comes into its own, as it’s helping people across the world continue to keep doing what they love and continuing to improve at it. Equally though, it’s also helping out us performers, by giving us the chance to become online coaches and get some of that much-needed interaction with our fans again!