If you ask Garner native Josh Tate when he started dancing, he answers you by asking another question: “Do you mean in general, or when I got serious about it? Because I’ve been dancing as long as I can remember.”
Josh has actually been dancing since he was about six years old. Always a bundle of energy, Josh found that dancing provided him a way to channel that energy and do something productive with it. “Dancing is a form of singing with the body as your instrument,” Josh explains. “It has been my favorite form of self-expression for many, many years.”
Self-taught, Josh’s favorite style of dance is hip hop. It was the easiest to learn on his own, watching musicians and YouTube videos and teaching himself moves after school and on the weekends. “It’s hard to teach yourself ballet,” he jokes. “But hip hop was all over the music scene and it used the greatest amount of energy, which for me was very important.” It wasn’t until he started at Garner Magnet High School that he began to take his dancing more seriously and start to seek instruction. By his junior year, Josh had discovered the difference between simply dancing and choreographing dances. His passion for dance as an art form further developed when he began pursuing choreography as a natural extension of dance.
In February of 2011, halfway through his junior year, Josh was invited to join the Center Stage Senior Jazz Dance team. Although the dance team year was almost half over, Josh was recommended by a friend, auditioned, and was accepted on the basis of athleticism and work ethic. “He’s a natural dancer,” team director Wren Peele explains. “He approaches dancing much like an athlete trains for professional status in their chosen sport, and it shows on the stage, in the dressing room, and in training.” Josh has been an integral part of the team and dance program at Center Stage ever since.
Josh loves dancing because “it is who you are.” He explains that he literally eats, sleeps, and dreams dancing. “In order to choreograph, you first have to dream it,” he says. Dancing has become his life. A graduate of Garner Magnet, he hopes to audition for and attend the University of Art in Philadelphia in the very near future. His plans include teaching dance and one day opening his own studio specializing in dance, choreography, and photography.
Josh’s dancing influences include Michael Jackson, Larry Sanders, Deena Rizzo, and Johnny Wang.
He also has many interests outside of the dance studio, including playing video games, hanging with his best friend Benji Martin, and messing with the Chick-fil-A cow.
Josh’s brand of dancing is a combination of athletic strength and dance magic. His hip hop routines include classic and innovative dance moves and a healthy dose of tricks and tumbling routines. “One of my favorite quotes is ‘It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer’,” Josh shares. “That’s what I hope I’ve been able to share with my fellow dancers at Center Stage.”
Josh definitely sees himself as a teacher. “I love to inspire people, and to motivate people,” Josh explains. “I love being on stage, performing, and I hope I can help future dancers find that spark as well.” Josh has a soft spot for the younger dancers at Center Stage that will be following in his footsteps. “If I could share anything with them as our competition year ends, it would be ‘Keep dancing and never give up, because you are brave, smart, strong, courageous, and talented’.”
Center Stage Performing Arts Academy is headquartered in Garner, with a second studio located on Broad Street in Fuquay-Varina. Both locations offer a full complement of dance and performance classes. Registration for the 2012-2013 dance year begins in early September. Auditions for competitive teams will take place in late July and early August. For more information about the team program or their class offerings, call Wren Peele at the Garner studio at 779-5242.