Here’s a snapshot on how big a name Napoleon D’umo is in the world of dance: He has choreographed and performed with the big guns of the entertainment world (read: Beyonce Knowles, Missy Elliott, Timbaland and Christina Aguilera, among many others), and choreographed some dances for So You Think You Can Dance as well as Cirque du Soleil. He also hosts his own TV show with his wife, Tabitha – also a prolific dancer and choreographer in her own right. Last year, Napoleon and Tabitha were in town to teach and choreograph a local dance event titled United We Boogie. That’s like asking Michael Jordan to coach a team from our neighbourhood community club. In other words, it was a huge deal.
Even luminaries like Napoleon and Tabitha have received their fair share of critics while choreographing So You Think You Can Dance, but they focus on what’s ahead. Life throws you curveballs, and you’ve got to handle them, no matter what.
Being proficient at what you do is definitely important, but you also need to be able to relate to your colleagues and boss. Just as the most technically proficient dancer doesn’t always win, the most hardworking guy at the job doesn’t always snag the promotion.
Dancing with the big names onstage can give you a high, but Napoleon always remembers that it’s about the star, not him. “Everything that’s been given to me can be taken away so quickly,” he says. Keep your head and remain humble regardless of your position.