Dancing man: Southampton’s Teddy Forance comes back to give back

Last modified: Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Earlier this summer, Southampton native Teddy Forance was selling out at venues from New York City to Los Angeles and 11 stops in between, with his contemporary dance company, Shaping Sound. This weekend, local audiences can see Forance perform, along with other dance-industry professionals, right here in the Pioneer Valley.

On Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Forance, the other professionals, and students who attended Generation IV Dance, a weeklong dance intensive at Smith College, will put on shows at the Academy of Music in Northampton.

Forance founded Gen IV, along with faculty from Hackworth School of Performing Arts in Easthampton, owned by Forance’s mother, Alison Forance, and an aunt, Lisa Anthony. The studio was founded 80 years ago by Forance’s great-grandfather, Gerard Geoffrey.

Nearly everywhere he goes to perform, Forance makes time to teach; workshops at every tour venue this summer were sold out. At this week’s dance camp, 300 students ages 8 and up, from across the country, and Canada, are taking classes from 22 professional dancers, many of them members of Shaping Sound, in contemporary, modern, ballet, hip-hop and tap dance.

It was at the Easthampton studio that Forance, 25, learned his trade. Since leaving the area as an 18-year-old, he’s performed around the world with such luminaries as Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, Florence and the Machine, and many others. Last year, Forance was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for his choreographic work on “Dancing With the Stars.” He also was featured on the Oxygen Network’s “All the Right Moves,” a reality show that followed Forance and Shaping Sound cofounders Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini and Kyle Robinson as they put together the troupe.

Wall, perhaps the best-known member of the company, will make a guest appearance at this weekend’s shows. He came in second on the second season of the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance,” on the Fox Network, and currently is a choreographer for the show. He’s been nominated for three Primetime Emmys for his work on SYTYCD, including this year.

A highlight of the show, Alison Forance says, will be a tribute to studio founder Geoffrey. “We want to take it from his generation right up to the new generation, Generation IV,” she said.


Tickets cost $25. To reserve, visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com/events/generation-iv-dance-3/.


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