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Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010

Milwaukee Dancer Adds New Dimension With ‘Step Up 3D’

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Amid the fast-paced world of show business, native Milwaukeean Cedric Gardner took a moment to talk about finding a career path in the notoriously difficult field of professional dancing. You might have danced next to Gardner at UW-Milwaukee, sweated in one of his workshops, or rooted for him on the third season of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Now, with Black Eyed Peas and Hyper Crush videos under his belt, he’s taking it to another level with the film Step Up 3D on Aug. 6.

Tell us why we should go see Step Up 3D.How is it different from other dance movies?

It is the first 3-D dance movie ever made. It looks amazing, because the physical body is enhanced instead of being an inanimate object. The plot is deeper than typical dance movies and the choreography is top notch. It was great to be a part of dance film history.

The entertainment world can be tough. How do you maintain your sense of self in the midst of the chaos?

At first it’s like a new toy, then it becomes normal. As an artist, you are always looking for more, always searching for more motivation. In L.A., I take classes on a regular basis to continue learning as a student. I am not going to embrace a certain style because everyone is doing it. That’s not me.

What inspires you?

So much inspires me—different people, different scenarios, different emotions. Fred Astaire’s movement quality always fascinated me.

Is there anyone you want to thank for supporting your talent?

Really the list could go on forever. To name a few: friends and family, the UWM dance faculty, and Danceworks. “So You Think You Can Dance” helped me tremendously and opened so many doors.

Now that you live in Los Angeles, what do you miss about Milwaukee?

My friends and family, of course. I miss the little things, like Thursday night dollar bowling, cheap golf, and flying kites by the lake.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Nobody knows what the future will bring, but my goal is to be an artistic director. I want to choreograph for commercials, movies, stage, video games, TV shows and music videos.

If you could be in any music video ever, which would it be?

It’s a tossup between “Thriller” and “Smooth Criminal.”

Is there anything you want to say to aspiring professional dancers?

Take as many classes as you can, but try to maintain individualism. You have to be versatile to create new blends of movement. We need new and exciting dancers. We need another Bob Fosse or a Gene Kelly. We need people to set the tone for the next generation.

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