Barry Lather - Featured February 2008


Tremaine Faculty Member 1984-92

1. Where were you born? Albany, New York
2. Where did you grow up? Atlanta, Georgia
3. When & why did you start dancing? I started dancing at age 5 in Atlanta. My mom was a dance teacher and I would watch her classes. Eventually I got the nerve to jump up and get involved in her classes. I have been dancing ever since.
 PHOTOS - left to right:
Joan Lather teaching a convention class with a young Barry as her assistant, Barry taking a master class with Frank Hatchett.
4. When & why did you decide you wanted to be a professional dancer? I thought about it a lot as a teenager. I loved dancing and street dancing so much, it was a passion and something that made me happy. I decided to pursue it….the biggest choice was either to try New York or Los Angeles. I chose LA because of the music videos, MTV, film & television opportunities, and most importantly I had a scholarship at Joe Tremaine’s studio! I was looking forward so much to that training and exposure to the teachers in LA, I knew that would be a huge help to get started. Also, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was just released the year before I decided to move to LA. That video had a big impact on my decision and of course all the street dancing at that time in videos.
5. What projects did you work on as a professional dancer? “Captain EO” 3D film with Michael Jackson for Disney, Janet Jackson videos-“Nasty Boys” & “When I think of You”, several commercials, The Grammy Awards, The American Music Awards with Janet Jackson, Dick Clark TV Special, the film “Back to School”

PHOTOS - left to right:
Top: Barry with Michael Jackson on the set of "Captain Eo" - 1985, with Janet Jackson on the set of "Nasty Boys" video - 1986. Bottom: On "Dancin' To The Hit's" television show (center) - 1986, Grammy rehearsal 1987 with Janet Jackson (see performance video below).
6. What celebrity entertainers and/or choreographers have you worked with? Usher, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Sting, George Michael, Prince, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Ciara, Pussycat Dolls, P.Diddy, Ashlee Simpson, Sean Kingston. Choreographers- Joe Tremaine, Kenny Ortega, Jamie Rogers, Vince Patterson, Jeffrey Hornaday, Paula Abdul, Michael Peters, Arlene Phillips, Rick Atwell, Billy Goodson.
7. How did you meet Joe Tremaine? I took class from Joe at a convention in 1977. After that experience, I would try and take class wherever Joe taught as much as possible at conventions.
8. What was your favorite part of being with Tremaine Dance Conventions? Teaching and inspiring dancers. All the energy and excitement at every convention is always memorable.
9. What have you been doing since you stopped traveling with Tremaine? I have been choreographing and directing non-stop. I choreographed the films “Blues Brothers 2000”, “Death to Smoochy” working with Robin Williams & Danny DeVito, the Superbowl Halftime Special, The Academy Awards, The Grammy Awards, The American Music Awards, The MTV Awards and The Miss America Pageants for 10 years. I have directed theme park, cruise ship and ice skating shows working with Olympic Skaters. In recent years, I have directed world tours for Usher, Mariah Carey, Ciara, Pussycat Dolls, Rihanna, Ashlee Simpson and two “Dancing with the Stars – Live” tours. I have released three “FUNK & GROOVE” hip hop instructional videos featuring my choreography, which are all available on a DVD now. I have also been married for 15 years and have 2 wonderful children!

PHOTOS - left to right:
Top: Barry working on set. Bottom Row: Barry with Robin Williams on the set of "Death To Smoochy" -2002, The cast of "Dancing With The Stars - Live" - 2007  
10. Where do you currently live? Stillwater, Minnesota
Now, to borrow from "Inside The Actor's Studio," the Questionnaire:   
11. What is your favorite word? Energy
12. What is your least favorite word? Anything negative, “can’t”
13. What turns you on? I love being home with my family. Makes me very happy!
PHOTOS - left to right:
Barry backstage with his parents Joan & George Lather, Jr., The Lather Family (2008)- Barry, Taylor, Madison & Cari.
14. What turns you off? Dishonesty
15. What sound or noise do you love? Music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  
16. What sound or noise do you hate? Sirens
17. What is your favorite “curse” word? Crap!
18. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Professional hockey player
19. What profession would you not like to do? A desk job, same place everyday, in an office with no windows.
20. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome,….job well done….happy you are here.

Click here to watch
from Barry's 1990 album
"Turn Me Loose"
Janet Jackson's 1987 Grammy Awards performance
Barry was one of her dancers
Janet Jackson's "Pleasure Principal" video
won Barry the MTV Video Award for Choreography
Prince's "Bat Dance" video from the feature film "Batman"
Choreographer - Barry Lather
"The Miss America Telecast 2000" featuring Donny Osmond
Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Choreography - Barry Lather
Usher "The Truth Tour"
Artistic Director - Barry Lather
Ciara "Like A Boy" 2007 BET Awards performance
Artistic Director - Barry Lather