The Pulse of Esperanza High School

The Aztlán

The Pulse of Esperanza High School

The Aztlán

The Pulse of Esperanza High School

The Aztlán

An Interview with Scott Myrick, Pro Dancer and Esperanza Alumnus!


What do La La Land, Katy Perry’s 2011 Super Bowl halftime show and the “Barbie World” music video all have in common? Why, Esperanza alumnus Scott Myrick of course! 

This world-renowned dancer and choreographer has certainly left his mark not only on our campus’s history, but in the realm of stage, film, and more. He’s danced his way across our screens and stages as one of the most impactful parts of any great performance.

Scott, a class of 2010 graduate, had his start in the dance world while still in early elementary school. His hard-won work ethic and commitment to his craft have earned him a place in pop culture history, whether it be as the right-hand counterpart to the viral “Left Shark” or as a backup dancer on Taylor Swift’s Red Tour. I recently had the honor of interviewing Scott, who offered not only details on the rigorous demands of the dance world but on his time at Esperanza too.

Fans of this summer’s smash-hit film Barbie will be excited to learn that Scott was the assistant choreographer for Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s “Barbie World” music video. In terms of his experience dancing on sets, Scott claims it’s often much more grueling than live performances. “When you’re on stage in front of a crowd of tens of thousands,” he elaborates, “you almost feel like a vessel for the performance vibes. Exchanging energy with the crowd is like a call-and-response.” But this exchange is lacking when you only have directors and a filming crew for an audience. Filming hours are also demanding. “For ‘Barbie World’ specifically, our dancers had a call time of 8 a.m. but weren’t even able to perform until 11 p.m. They ended up shooting take after take until a little after 7 the next morning.” It’s not just music videos that have this arduous schedule, but movies too. Scott says that while working on 2022’s Spirited (an Apple TV original starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell), “it was a similar experience in terms of repetition. Those jobs where you’re doing the same couple of minutes of routine over and over for hours are very strenuous.”

Not only is their schedule intense, but professional dancers are almost always completely in charge of managing themselves. “I’m basically my own CEO, PR manager, stylist, trainer, et cetera,” Scott says. “In all honesty, most of my job is just networking myself.” Though professional dancers are members of SAG-AFTRA (the screen actors’ group that ended its months-long strike in November), the union applies only to film gigs, not live ones. However, Scott says that they’ve “definitely made some good moves forward thanks to the negotiations which ended the strike.” 

Besides the stress of marketing and finding jobs, he says non-dancers are often surprised by how physically demanding the job is. “People really tend to underestimate the amount of work it takes to keep your body in shape, especially the shape necessary to keep up with the rigorous demands of dancing.” These demands are, in large part, why he’s decided to channel his skills from dancing to choreography as years pass.

But besides the exhausting schedule and exercise, Scott remains more than thankful for the opportunities the dance world has brought him. “I’d really say the best part of my career is being able to travel the world,” he says. “The chance to experience so many different continents, countries, cities, and cultures at such a young age has been life-changing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” He’s also loved being a part of massive pop culture moments. One such moment came while partying with none other than Katy Perry and Rihanna after performing at a Rio de Janeiro music festival. “We’re dancing, we have a DJ, we’re having the best time on this yacht when Rihanna goes, ‘Can I play a song for everyone?’” The song, “We Found Love,” had yet to be released and would go on to become a chart-topping phenomenon.

Though he never danced for any Esperanza groups, Scott’s experiences in high school were formative in growing his courage. “I was always a little scared to let people know I danced, especially because stigmas were a lot stronger thirteen years ago,” he says. This stigma discouraged him from joining the dance team despite his talent and capability. However, at a Prom pep rally his senior year, Scott danced in front of the school for the first time. “My duet partner and I gave a performance and received a standing ovation from all the kids in the bleachers,” he reminisces. Scott then returned to his third period, Mrs. Owens’ AP Literature class, and received yet another round of applause from her and his classmates. “It was a huge confidence booster and really encouraged me to embrace who I am and what I do.”

To current student performers who wish to go pro, Scott says to work on getting as much exposure to their activity of choice as they can. “Whether it’s watching TikToks and documentaries or going to live shows,” he expands, “it’s important to be exposed so that you can have even more tools to pull from your tool belt.” Not only that, but professional performers need to have an incredible work ethic rarely found in other careers. “You have to be prepared to practice until something’s perfect and stay motivated even on those toughest days.” He also believes that “it’s important to really understand what it is exactly you want.” To Scott, the only way to accomplish a dream is to refine it. “You have to first recognize what you want,” he says, “and then tackle how you’re going to get it.” His journey following his own dreams has taught him that none are truly impossible. “I definitely faced adversity along the way, but not once did I have doubt of what it was I wanted to do.”

As Scott continues to live out his dreams, he serves as an inspiration for Esperanza students. One thing’s for certain: this dancer and choreographer extraordinaire have left his mark on the entertainment industry, and there’s no stopping in sight!

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