Even before his time on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” competition ended Sept. 4 with a seventh-place finish, Kalihi-raised breakdancer Mark Villaver was already thinking about coming back to Hawaii.
“I just can’t wait to go home and give back,” he told the Star-Advertiser during an interview in August. “That’s all I want to do.”
After spending the last two months on tour with other “SYTYCD” contestants, Villaver will serve as lead instructor during a two-day Unity Dance Workshop at the American Renaissance Academy in Kapolei on Friday and Saturday. He’ll be joined fellow Season 14 finalist Kaylee Mills, “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancer Mark Ballas and recording artist BJ Jean. Dancers of all skill levels, ages 7 and up, can sign up for the workshop, which runs 3 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, with a closing showcase performance at 2:45.
Villaver, 27, is a graduate of Farrington High School and was a member of 24/7 Danceforce before moving to Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue his professional career, landing gigs with pop artists such as Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift. This week’s workshop is his first opportunity to share what he’s learned from his “SYTYCD” experience with local dancers.
“Being on tour was amazing,” Villaver said Tuesday. “It’s different from dancing behind an artist and backing them up to dancing and the fans are all there to see you.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back what I’ve learned on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and in my career so far.”
The Unity Dance Workshop is part of Let There Be Light, a birthday fundraiser gala in honor of multiple Grammy Award-winning singer Dionne Warwick. She currently stars in a film with the same name and will celebrate her birthday Saturday with a dinner at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. Money raised from the workshop and dinner will support the American Renaissance Academy and music education nonprofit In Unison.
Cost for the two-day workshop is $150 plus fees; participants can attend a single day for $100. Those who sign up online by Thursday will pay $125 and $75, respectively. Tickets for the VIP dinner are $200 plus fees. Call 235-5141, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit eventbrite.com for more info.