CHOREOGRAPHY, CREATIVE DIRECTION, MOVEMENT DIRECTION & ARTIST DEVELOPMENT
WHO IS TANISHA SCOTT?
For Tanisha Scott, what began as a childhood dream of dancing on big stages has evolved into much more. With almost two decades of culture-defining choreography under her belt, Scott has earned a stellar reputation as the “go-to girl” for the largest names and projects in the entertainment industry, working as a choreographer, creative director and artist development expert. Since her first choreography credit on Sean Paul’s “Gimme the Light” in 2002, she has built a thriving career creating and orchestrating dance and performance movement for the likes of Paul, as well as Rihanna, Drake and Cardi B to name a few. Often referred by trusted peers and clients, she has also lent her expertise to acts such as Coldplay, Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys , The Jonas Brothers, Will Smith, Pharrell, Katy Perry, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Lil Nas X, Jay-Z, J Balvin, Bruno Mars, Wizkid, Dua Lipa and Jennifer Lopez. Not to be contained, Scott’s movement mastery has expanded beyond the dance industry to the world of film and television, where she has worked with esteemed directors such as Spike Jonze, Jodie Foster, Noam Murro, Lance Acord, F Gary Gray and Jason Moore. From music videos and live stage performances to movies, TV shows and commercials, Scott continues to leave an indelible mark on the world as a storyteller and a vessel for artistic expression through movement.
Scott’s reverence for music and dance started early in life. She would spend hours on end dancing in the basement while her father spun records as a hobby on the weekends. Scott grew up with a special appreciation for reggae dancehall music thanks to her Jamaican heritage, but her father’s eclectic tastes exposed her to a wide array of genres. Scott forwent traditional dance training and instead honed her chosen craft on local basketball courts and in recreation centers.
Without mirrors and the structure of classes, Scott relied on pure feeling to learn and explore her body’s natural rhythms, a factor that has contributed massively to her unique style. As she got older, she threw herself deeper into dance, often freestyling and engaging in the dance battle culture at clubs and parties. While in college at the University of Windsor, Scott joined the “Do Dat” dance troupe and began performing at local clubs, dance competitions and televised entertainment events. Soon after, she auditioned and landed her first professional gig as a backup dancer for singer, Mýa.
Now making a living and touring the world as a dancer, Scott believed she had found her calling. She would soon learn, however, that she was destined for more. After being encouraged by Director X to choreograph Sean Paul’s “Gimme the Light” music video, Scott had immediate reservations. For years, she resisted the title of “choreographer,” insisting that she was a dancer at heart. Nevertheless, that first step out of her comfort zone ultimately catapulted Scott into a world of new opportunities as she was repeatedly solicited for fresh choreography by renowned directors like X, Hype Williams, Chris Robinson, Melina Matsoukas and Diane Martel. Coveted for her execution as much as her choreography, Scott has appeared in over 60 music videos as a featured solo dancer, perhaps most notably alongside Sean Paul in his videos, which inspired her collaboration with Drake in the rapper’s 2015 viral video sensation, “Hotline Bling.”
Like culture itself, Scott continues to evolve over time. She has remained not only relevant, but at the forefront of the industry, with recent clients including, H.E.R., Bryson Tiller, SZA, Khalid, Daniel Caesar, Da Baby and Juice WRLD. She has been named by Billboard Magazine and Italian Vogue as one of the top 30 under 30 artists in the entertainment industry and has earned multiple MTV and Billboard Music awards and nominations. Scott’s work has been featured in various award-winning videos, including Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” Cardi B.’s “Money” and Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” – which won the 2012 MTV Video Music Award for “Video of the Year,” the 2019 VMA for “Best Hip Hop Video” and the 2020 Grammy award for “Best Music Video,” respectively.
Her film and television credits include the films ‘Kin’ (starring Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Dennis Quaid), ‘Rough Night’ (starring Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz and Kate McKinnon), ‘Money Monster’ (starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts), ‘Sisters’ (starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler), HBO MAX’s ‘Legendary,’ Hulu’s ‘Utopia Falls,’ Netflix’s ‘Grand Army,’ ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,’ ‘Notorious,’ ‘Bride Wars’ and ‘Bring it On: All or Nothing.’ She has also worked on national commercials for AXE (Russel Westbrook), GMC (Lebron James/ SuperBowl), Pepsi (H.E.R./ SuperBowl), Doritos (Lil Nas X/ Sam Elliot/ SuperBowl), Vogue, Toyota, Coach, adidas, The Gap, Nike, Bose, Boost Mobile, Aquafina, American Express, Budweiser Select and Subway. As a special guest, she has made appearances on ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ ‘Bring It,’ ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ ‘America’s Next Best Dance Group,’ HBO Max’s ‘Legendary’ and as a regular host on MTV’s ‘LIT!’
Tanisha Scott has evolved from a dancer and choreographer to an innovation-leading and industry-crossing creative director, movement coach and artist developer. More than that, she is a conductor of creative expression. Scott acts as a movement medium, channeling the energy and emotional intent of a piece of art – be it music, lyrics or a script – in order to capture the truest essence of a moment in physical form. As a dancer, she has elevated some of the most iconic music videos of the 21st century. As a choreographer, she births the meme-inspiring movement behind our favorite pop culture moments. As a movement coach and creative director, she spearheads iconic performances and enhances the star quality of some of the world’s biggest celebrities in music and acting. As for what’s next, Scott aspires to take her talents to Broadway. Like her idol, Debbie Allen, Scott aims to leave a legacy of innovation and storytelling through the universal language of movement and dance.