Q&A: Shaping Sound’s Teddy Forance

Rachel Davison, Assistant A&E Editor

The stars of Oxygen’s “All the Right Moves” have danced their way off the screen and back onto the stage. Shaping Sound, a primarily contemporary dance company, was founded in 2012 by Teddy Forance, Kyle Robinson and “So You Think You Can Dance” veterans Travis Wall and Nick Lazzarini. Now on their second national tour, Shaping Sound will be stopping at Skokie’s North Shore Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 3. The performance is an updated version of their first show, a dream love story based on a “Peter Pan” quote: “You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.” The show features Jaimie Goodwin from SYTYCD Season 2 as the main character. The Daily spoke to Forance, Shaping Sound choreographer and co-founder, about the company and its current tour.

The Daily: What is the story behind the show?

Teddy Forance: So it’s the idea of a re-occurring dream that you are falling in love in your dream with somebody and then you wake up in real life and you’re in this other whole relationship. It’s that place of being so alive in your dreams that you turn it into your reality, and, I don’t want to give away the show, but it comes full circle because I think in the last show, it kind of ended unknowing of what was going to happen. In this show you see Jaimie happy at the end of the show and going through the whole process of feeling insecure and scared and unhappy and really internal to this growth and this process of love and finding love.

The Daily: What is different about this tour from your first tour?

Forance: The first tour that we did, we were still developing the story, and the difference between the last show and this show is I feel like you get to know the characters a little bit deeper. We dive more into my role, the guy that Jaimie falls in love with, but really Jaimie’s role, the main character, the dreamer. You really get to know her story better and you get to see her in real life and then in the dream world. I feel like it’s much easier to understand and follow for dancers and non-dancers that come to the show. To be able to impact all different types of people with this kind of show is really a wonderful blessing for us. We’re so proud of the show. I think it’s really going to change a lot of people’s mindsets on more than just dance.

The Daily: How has Shaping Sound continued to grow and change as a company since the first tour?

Forance: I think we just understand each other. Every project, we keep growing and shifting and changing. You keep discovering what works and what doesn’t work. We have three new company members, Justine Lutz, Kate Harpootlian, and we have Amy Yakima (SYTYCD Season 10 winner). I think overall, our synergy onstage and understanding the more we dance, the more we’re interacting with our peers, the more were inspired, the more we push each other, the more we’re comfortable to make decisions on the spot together. We’re growing up together as choreographers, as artists and dancers, becoming the best we can possibly be.

The Daily: What do you think brands Shaping Sound as a company and distinguishes you guys in the dance world?

Forance: We grew up in the dance convention/competition world and we’re connected with thousands and thousands and thousands of teachers, studios, dancers. We’re trained in ballet and jazz, hip hop, contemporary, modern. All of our dancers come from all across the country. We’re very aware of what makes a tour happen is people who come, and we’re very connected with our fans and our marketing. I think what’s different about our show is, like I said, a father that doesn’t know dance that well, he’s just paying for his daughter’s ticket and showing up to the show and being shocked that he was emotionally connected to the show and feeling so much. We get the respect from those fans as well as the young dancers who want to see some of the contemporary stuff and more the physical movement. But really it’s a theatrical dance show, and it’s the type of music that gets you to dance. I think we are aware of the energy that we bring together and we just hope to continue to amplify that as we become stronger choreographers and dancers at the same time.

The Daily: What was it like to have the formation of Shaping Sound shown on TV in Oxygen’s “All the Right Moves”?

Forance: The dancing was fun. We had a blast choreographing for the show and dancing on the show. It was all the other stuff that was not us, making it over the top and dramatic. In the long run, we got what we wanted out of it. It was the hardest thing I think any of us have been through. You can’t even prepare yourself for what the show is going to be like. Instead of growing apart, we became closer, better friends. It just made us closer. We realized how much we do care about each other. The show got us to where we are now. We’re so thankful we’ve been through what we’ve been through. We’re just having a good time.

The Daily: What are you most excited about for this tour?

Forance: It’s an honor. Our company’s only three to four years old. We couldn’t be more excited to be together. Everybody’s on so many different directions when we’re not on Shaping Sound. We all created something that’s going to last for a long time. I can’t even imagine the potential of this company. I would never have even dreamed about it. It’s all been amazing surprises. It’s all come so fast and with such open arms from all of our fans and people that have seen us grow up through the dance world.

The Daily: What are you most excited about for coming to the Skokie/North Shore area?

Forance: When we were in Chicago, everyone ate so much good food. We went around the city, went to different museums. We all love to be together, be ourselves. We just have a blast being on tour together, being at all the places, see the cities. Every spot is unique.