Jazz Alumnus Andrew Wright is a Soloist with NTM National Theater Mannheim in Germany Alumni Profile
Meet Andrew Wright
- Job Title & Employer
- Soloist, NTM National Theater Mannheim
- Dance (jazz)
- April 2012
- Presidential, Artistic Achievement, Rising Star in Dance
- Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
- High School
- Robert Bateman High School
- Now Living In
- Mannheim, Germany
- Hobbies & Interests
- Reading, traveling, physiotherapy, buying plants and shopping at flea markets
"I thrived on the diversity of classes and made sure to continue my training in jazz, modern and ballet throughout my entire time at Point Park. This diversity really helped me to develop a versatility that benefits me to this day."
Why did you choose Point Park University’s dance program?
Pursuing dance was never something I considered growing up. My family is traditionally academic and I didn't realize it was possible to make a living as a dancer. However, I had a few friends at Point Park who boasted about the amazing dance program and overall atmosphere. I decided to audition for fun to see what it was like. Needless to say, things turned out much better than expected and I've been riding the wave ever since.
In what ways did your college experience prepare you for your career in dance?
Before attending Point Park, my experience as a dancer was extremely limited. The program taught me about dance history, expanded my vocabulary of movement, opened my eyes to new forms, trained and refined my body, and really drove me to discover who I was and what I wanted to express as an artist.
I thrived on the diversity of classes and made sure to continue my training in jazz, modern and ballet throughout my entire time at Point Park. This diversity really helped me to develop a versatility that benefits me to this day.
Tell us about your current job.
I am dancing at NTM National Theater Mannheim under the direction of Stephan Thoss. I met Stephan in 2014 when I was dancing for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. I immediately fell in love with his infectious energy and passion. The first rehearsal I had with him, I remember almost blacking out because I was pushing so hard to be on his level.
I proceeded to work with Stephan two more times during my five seasons at Les Grands, eventually dancing principal roles for him. When the direction changed in Montréal and I chose to leave, I reached out and he invited me to join his company.
In Mannheim we dance both Stephan’s work and the works of invited choreographers. This season we perform eight shows with about 50-75 performances in Mannheim and throughout Germany.
Who inspired you at Point Park?
Doug Bentz was probably one of the best teachers I've ever met. He was very direct and sometimes harsher than I could handle, but he could train a fantastic dancer. Plus I still quote some of his one-liners to this day! I also have to shout out Ahmad Simmons, a fellow alumnus, who inspired me while I was at Point Park. His dancing always seemed so effortless and easy. Plus, he balanced that with his charisma and kindness. Now he is a Broadway and television star ... totally cool!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Take advantage of every possibility to make connections. The dance world is so small, and the longer you work, the more people you’ll know. All of my opportunities have come from meeting people and saying yes!
Also, no one ever laughed at the dancer who is giving everything they have on the stage. So stop worrying what you look like — find your confidence and dance your tail off. It’s a lesson that took me a while to learn, but one that gave me so much back once I learned it.