Hip-Hop Dancer Featured in Step Up 3D and MTV’s MADE
While walking through the village, you very well might run into one of New York’s most well-known hip-hop dancers. A 15-year dance veteran, Floral Park resident Gerard Heintz has already made a name for himself as a nationally and internationally renowned choreographer, performer and teacher in the commercial dance world. Now, the acclaimed performer steps further into the spotlight with appearances in the recently released movie Step Up 3D and the upcoming MTV reality series, MADE.
A Glendale, Queens native, Heintz was first introduced to dancing when his sister enrolled in classes at a local studio. “I just started taking dance classes for fun, and before you know it, three years of training and I’m on the road as a professional dancer,” Heintz said. After going out on many auditions, he began to get noticed. “I worked really hard at honing my style and I got an agent at 16,” he said. It wasn’t long before he landed his first professional job as a dancer performing in front of 100,000 people with the pop band ‘N Sync at Meadowlands arena in New Jersey.
After his big break into the industry, Heintz has continued to make his mark in entertainment appearing in everything from movies and music videos to television programs. Currently, he is choregraphing Nickelodeon’s new TV show, Grachi, which has been picked up for five seasons and starts shooting this October. He has also appeared in other feature films such as When in Rome and Music and Lyrics, as well as on television shows America’s Got Talent and America’s Best Dance Crew. Throughout his career, Heintz has been influenced by many different artists. “Michael Jackson inspired me and working with different choreographers that I look up to and being able to work with them,” he said. One of the highlights of his career was when he auditioned for The King of Pop’s This Is It concert. Out of almost 5,000 dancers trying out, Heintz made it all the way to the final 30. “It was pretty amazing to be dancing in front of my idol,” he remarked.
With the continuing popularity of shows like Dancing With the Stars and So You think You Can Dance, Heintz is thrilled that professional dancers are finally getting recognized for their talents. “What’s important is that all these programs are showing that we’re athletes and artists and I think it’s really special. We were always moving props on stage and we were never really stars…it’s finally taking off where dancers are getting their respect and all those shows are responsible for it,” he said.
In the future, Heintz plans to devote more time to teaching dance so he can “pass forward the knowledge that he’s learned along the way.” Currently, he is instructing master’s classes in New York and across the country. This fall, he will be featured as a dance coach on the reality MTV reality series MADE, a self-improvement program that follows teenagers who have a goal and want to be “made” into professional singers, dancers and other professionals. “It’s pretty cool to help someone who has a dream to kind of be where I am at,” he said.
To contact Gerard, email GerardHeintz@aol.com or on facebook at Facebook.com/gerardheintz.