Meet the Talented Cast of Laurieann Gibson’s New Show ‘The Dance Scene’ [VIDEO]

April 7, 2011 1:01 pm

(Screenshot: E! Entertainment)

This Sunday, E! and Ryan Seacrest Productions will premiere its latest reality show, ‘The Dance Scene.’ The show will feature Laurieann Gibson, the creative genius behind many of music’s top stars. This acclaimed choreographer and creative director has worked with the music industry’s top A-listers from Lady Gaga to Diddy to Alicia Keys, making her one of the most powerful women in music today.

Watch the blood, sweat, tears, and drama unfold as Gibson’s team of aspiring dancers prepare for various A-list performances around the world.

Want to get a little sneak peek into the lives of the dancers before the show premieres? Watch an exclusive scene and interviews with the cast below:

Laurieann Gibson | @BoomKack
To call her a dancer is to call a Ferrari simply a car. And to refer to her as purely a choreographer would be to call Bob Fosse just a song-and-dance man. Because Laurieann is both of these things but so much more. Add creative force, career guru and hip-hop visionary to the list and a fuller picture begins to emerge of the many-faceted Gibson.

At 17, she boarded a bus from Toronto to New York City with dreams of becoming a dancer. Classically trained, she studied at the prestigious Alvin Ailey Dance Company, but then sequed to hip-hop as a dancer with Mary J. Blige. From there, she leapt to director of choreography for Motown and Bad Boy Records, where she worked with such heavy hitters as Notorious B.I.G., P. Diddy and Faith Evans.

In addition to working with Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks, she choreographed the film Alfie starring Jude Law and Sienna Miller and Honey, starring Jessica Alba and L’il Romeo. You’ve seen her work on Making The Band, Starmaker, So You Think You Can Dance and on the touring concert productions of stars like the Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, Jordin Sparks and Jesse McCartney.

A master motivator and developer of artistic talent, Laurieann is the creative visionary behind international sensation Lady Gaga, working with her from her days as a club act in New York City, right on through to her current Born This Way incarnation. If she can do all that, imagine what you’ll see her pull off on The Dance Scene!

Kherington Payne | @kherington
This 21-year-old blonde-haired cutie from Orange County, California, may seem like the all-American sweetheart, but deep down, she’s a spitfire with a drive to succeed. One of five children from her parent’s three different marriages, Kherington has always worked hard to stand out. In high school, she worked her way into the top 10 finalists of So You Think You Can Dance, and with the heat from that show, she landed her big break as the role of dancer Alice Ellerton in the re-make of Fame.

She has since danced for P. Diddy, Daughtry and Katy Perry and has appeared on Dancing With the Stars, Glee, CSI, Leading Ladies and No Strings Attached. She coaches her high school dance team, and recently became a member of the band XOXO, put together by John Legend.


Richard Jackson | @RICHYSQUIRREL
Richy has strutted his stuff with the likes of Will Smith, Missy Elliott, Christina Milian, Lady Gaga and Usher, so it’s amazing to consider that his dance career almost never happened. The Cali born and raised brother of four (his mother tragically died in a car accident in 2002) was a Tuskegee College student with his nose in the books when he abruptly decided to leave school after seeing a friend dancing in an Aaliyah video. He escaped to New York to pursue his dreams–and hasn’t looked back since.

Laurieann’s assistant and eventually lead choreographer since she discovered him at a P. Diddy audition nine years ago, Jackson’s television and film appearances (Fat Albert, You Got Served and Marmaduke) and commercials (iPod and Coca-Cola) are too numerous to list them all. In addition to being a talented dancer, he has been in the studio writing and recording tracks to promote his solo career as an artist.


Sarah Mitchell | @SarahMitchell__
If the face rings a bell, Sarah’s dance steps sound a gong! After all, you’ve seen her in more than 25 film and television spots, including the Teen Choice Awards, Dance Your Ass Off, America’s Got Talent and Burlesque.

But like many successful artists, it was something of a struggle for Sarah to get to where she is. Born in Southwick, Massachusetts, her parents separated at an early age, and Sarah used dance to escape her sometimes tumultuous reality. That talent eventually became her vehicle out of small-town life and into a great big career. At 18, she landed a gig as a cheerleader for the New England Patriots (she received a Superbowl ring for her dance performance in the XXXVI Superbowl!), followed by a job with the New York Knicks City Dancers. Her connections to both teams remains strong–as does her work for top artists such as Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, P. Diddy and Christina Aguilera


Paula Van Oppen | @PAULAvanOPPEN
From Orange County California (she’s a longtime pal of Kherington Payne), Paula has been dancing–and winning competitions–since the age of three! Do we detect a little drive here? You bet! But there’s also a fierce independent streak, so when Paula graduated high school and opted to move to LA instead of attending prestigious Juilliard, you can bet her parents were peeved. But never mind–she quickly took the town by storm, becoming one of the most sought-after talents in the biz.

You may have seen her strut with the likes of Ne-Yo, Lady Gaga, Keri Hilson, Katy Perry and P. Diddy. And you’ve undoubtedly witnessed her on such shows as the Oscars, the AMA’s, the BET Awards, Divas Live, America’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance. And being one of Laurieann’s favorite hires for all her clients, you’ll be seeing plenty more of her, too.


Lacee Franks | @laceexo
Loyal to the core to her boss Laurieann, Lacee grew up in Minnesota where she was exposed to dance early on through her mother’s studio. Intending to pursue a dance career as a teen, those plans were sidetracked when she instead remained at home to care for her then-ailing mom. Once recovered, Lacee got an offer to come to L.A. for a gig as Lourieann’s assistant–a move that changed her life forever.

She’s now fully immersed in Laurieann’s hectic and demanding world–they even live together! But she also longs for a shot at a dance career herself, and hopes to one day land those glamorous gigs.