Our exclusive interview with talented The Connection group & America’s favorite dancers from “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”
The Connection, an all-star LA based dance group taking movement to the next level by fusing contemporary, ballroom, hip hop, salsa and partnering power tricks that landed them on TV’s most popular Emmy nominated dance series.
Making an impact around the world on tour, The Connection have quickly emerged as one of the hottest dance groups, connecting and stimulating hearts through their one of kind live show.
On stage, you will find a combination of five different individuals moving as one, and it’s the individual strengths that each member brings that makes them such an unstoppable phenom like no one has ever seen.
The Connection members are: Randi Strong, Legacy Perez, Patricia Kaniowski, Tony Pututau and CJ Bair.
Hi guys, please tell us a little about The Connection?
We are a group of best friends who have found a way to ‘work’ while doing what we love. A group of best friends that were brought together by dance (members were featured on “So You Think You Can Dance”) and different tours. Together, we have created a business where we travel the world creating custom shows, performing and connecting with all different types of audiences, spreading encouragement, and inspiring people to follow their dreams.
Describe The Connection in 3 words?
It’s so hard to narrow it down to just three! If we had to choose we would say we are captivating, exciting, unique, dynamic, & passionate.
Name one of your strengths?
We would say our ability to take a routine and music, and beautifully tell a story through different genres of dance.
When did you started dancing together?
We started another dancing tour about 7 years ago and have been friends ever since.
Do you still take dance classes?
We train in different ways now. Taking yoga, eating clean, always being active ensures that we stay sharp and in shape. We train really hard together and really push things to the limit as we approach showtime.
How did you get involved and what was your experience with DWTS and So You Think You Can Dance?
Randi and Legacy have totally different stories how they got involved with SYTYCD, both showcase how people can do things that are against the odds by persistence and drive
What do you feel just before hitting the stage?
We always get nervous and excited no matter how big or small the performance/audition is. It’s just something that naturally happens and as long as that is channeled correctly, we always consider it a good thing.
What type of dance do you like best?
Ballroom, hip hop and contemporary
Any advice for aspiring dancers?
Perseverance. It’s always the number one thing I advise. If you have a dream, don’t ever give up on it. No matter how long it’s going to take (or you think it’s going to take) just keep going. The time will pass anyways. There will also always be a need for dancers, so don’t ever be intimidated by others, instead, find the quality you have and capitalize on that quality.
What is the feeling of the great success you guys have?
We feel proud. Proud of what we have built and proud of what we still aspire to do today. It feels like we have been working hard for years and finally seeing the fruits from the tree we planted decades ago.
Where can we see you guys next?
A few of us just recently performed in the Keys and are looking forward to some great new shows coming in the New Year including the new local Los Angeles show we will be creating. Details coming soon!
Best advice ever given?
Worry about yourself, and not what anyone else is doing. Comparison is the fastest way to steal away your own joy, and to not spend your time worrying about the things you can’t control.
What do you do in your free time?
Photography, yoga, cooking, planning parties to get all of us together in one place, and Real Estate is also a passion of some of the Connection members as well.
Where do you see The Connection in 5 years?
I think the sky is the limit. We hope to influence kids that would love to pursue a career in dance and performing everywhere as the Connection. We are such a diverse group of people with a lot of dreams. We can’t wait to see where passion and drive will take us all!
What music do you like?
Any type of music that makes us feel!
What is your favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
Garth Brooks, I Got Friends in Low Places or Adele – Set Fire to the Rain
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Fred Astaire – to ask his perspective on the Movement. For fun, probably Jennifer Aniston. Super big fans over here!
Besides dancing what do you do to stay fit?
Some of us train with a personal trainer or do Core Power Yoga and hiking. I love to be outdoors, and always make sure to eat healthy and clean!
Any message for the fans?
Thank you thank you thank you. Your support means more than you’ll probably ever know. Hope to keep you inspired and entertained for many years to come, and always remember that you are the only you.
What’s your favorite quote
We have a couple!
i. “Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising, just be true to who you are”… Jessie J and “In the absence of clarity, take action”
Do you support any charities?
Nothing specific, however we love contributing to different opportunities out there. We are a firm believer in what you put out is what you get back. We have been blessed with a lot and feel like it’s our responsibility to give back as much as possible.
Where we can follow The Connection?
Any future plans you want to share with us?
We have great things are in the works, and can’t wait to share the details with you soon!
Movie/Tv Series: Friends, Coco, Stranger Things
Book: The Alchemist, Compound Effect
Travel Destination: Island of Capri, Hawaii
Festival: Country Thunder
Drink: Moscow Mule
Restaurant: Vivoli or anything Mexican 🙂
Sports Team: La Dodgers or the Seattle Seahawks
Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard