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“Hey Coach”, I hear an excited student say as an outwardly shy Anthony Rodriquez walks through the door to the studio lobby. Wearing a tank top, long cargo shorts, socks and sporting one of his ‘signature’ hats and munching down on a Panda bowl, Anthony casually strolls by and I hear a nearby parent say “what coach”? His youthful smile gives away the heart inside; the same heart that is visible in every piece that he choreographs as his finishes his meal and begins to warm up to teach to his next class.
The first recipient to win the Jean Isaacs’’ San Diego Dance Theatre’s Young Choreographers prize in 2010 with his winning contemporary piece “First Kiss Fight”. One would not know by seeing an Anthony Rodriquez contemporary piece that the origin is from a man with little to no technical dance training, but instead through a carefully placed afterschool project and the inspiration of his self proclaimed mentor, Gina Angelique, co-founder and former director of Eveoke Dance Theater in San Diego.
While growing up in the Little Italy area of San Diego, Anthony lost his mother, father and grandmother in the course of one year at the age of 11. He and his older brother were taken in by family friends and left to raise each other. An afterschool program provided by the Young Audiences of San Diego provided Anthony with his first dance experience at the age of 13. His style of choice? Hip hop of course, inspired by the many MTV dance videos of the day. In 1999 those first dance classes provided Anthony the opportunity to vie for the Carrie Anne Fipps Memorial Scholarship, in memory of its founder Carrie Anne Fipps of City Moves! That lead Anthony to 10 years of where he continued to be inspired by modern and hip hop dance with Eveoke Dance Theater. A turning point for Anthony and what would become an integral part of his growth as a performer and a choreographer was the instruction in contemporary and modern dance he received while studying under Khamla Somphanh. For six of the years at Eveoke Dance Theater, Anthony served as a company dancer with Eveoke and through Eveoke’s Teacher Training Program, Anthony began teaching and choreographing hip hop, modern and his own unique style of contemporary here in Carmel Valley and throughout San Diego County. Anthony currently serves the Dance Coach for the Torrey Pines High School Dance Team.
Anthony continues to perform with and choreograph for various dance companies, such as Bollywood Dance Company, Divine Desi Dance and most recently The PGK Dance Project. Take time to watch Anthony in action; the love he puts into his performance and the way he inspires his dancers, sometimes to tears with his expressive and emotion filled style of contemporary dance is an intriguing look into the soul of one of San Diego’s best young choreographers.
Louis McKay is President of North County DanceArts, Inc. located in Carmel Valley and currently trains 400 students from ages 3 to 93 years of age. Louis has performed and taught Master dance and musical theater classes in 42 of our 50 states and Europe and South Africa. In 1980, Louis McKay opened Louis McKay Dance Studio, later to become North County DanceArts, Inc., which is a teaching facility that is best known for its professional teaching staff and quality dance training. Dancers from beginning level to professional are taught technique, terminology, and discipline in a nurturing and fun environment. Louis currently lives in Carmel Valley San Diego with his wife Tanya and is the proud father of four grown children and two grandchildren. Louis and Tanya McKay also own DanceHearts, a 501 (c) (3) Public Charity called Bells of Freedom Program, serves military men, women and their families by providing emergency care and support, back to school backpack program, vehicle donations and the annual “The Big Thank You” Military Holiday Event.