Podcast Episode 12: Cheryl Mann

On episode 12 of the Rogue Ballerina podcast, I chat with dancer-turned-photographer (and one of my favorite people) Cheryl Mann. We hear about her career with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, transition to photography, and the importance of never giving up on your dreams. 

Photo by Selena Moshell

Cheryl Mann began her professional career at the age of 17, dancing at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, and received her dance degree from Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA. She performed with the Civic Light Opera in South Pacific as “Liat” under the direction of Robby Marshall in Pittsburgh. Upon moving to Chicago, she danced with River North Dance Chicago before joining Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a Hubbard Street dancer in May of 1997, where she remained for over a decade, she has been fortunate in her career to travel to and perform in 17 countries, as well as countless cities in the U.S.

She served as the Artistic Associate of Visceral Dance Chicago until she moved to LA to with Ate9 under the directorship of Danielle Agami. LA credits include NBCUniversal’s Little Big Shots featuring Steve Harvey, Associate Choreographer of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Live at the Hollywood Bowl, and Axis Connect led by the Barton Sisters. She also had the pleasure of casting and choreographing Moby’s latest music video Motherless Child.

She is the owner of Cheryl Mann Productions, where she travels the world setting dance works for world-renowned choreographers, as well as photographing companies such as Ate9, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Thodos Dance Chicago, among many more.

Behind Barres: Special Offer

I am a dancer from the beginning. At two years old, I walk across our kitchen floor in Rock Island on my pointes. At ten, I read every ballet book I can get my hands on, and my ballet teacher is the most important person in my life besides my mom and dad. At thirteen, I spend every day after school at ballet class, picturing princesses, swans, and tutus. At sixteen, I am accepted to the School of Ballet New York, and by now I know I am going to be a professional.

That is the opening chapter of Girl In Motion, a ballet-based series by Miriam Wenger-Landis. Her book, as well as Codename: Dancer by Amanda Brice and The Queen Bee of Bridgeton by Leslie Dubois complete the new book bundle Behind Barres, a trio package of YA dance novels, now available online. All three books have been on the Amazon Best Seller list and the authors, who started up a friendship via email, were looking for ways to cross promote and thought bundling the first books in each series was a good way to do it.

I read Landis’ Girl In Motion, which follows young Anna to the School of Ballet New York (SAB anyone?) and the drama of getting her first professional job. Landis was a professional dancer and knows her stuff. The book is well-written and fun with little bits only ballerinas will truly appreciate. Brice’s book is the first in the Dani Spevak Mystery Series and follows its heroine to a performing arts boarding school where someone is trying to sabotage the reality t.v. show filming at the school. She and her friends set out to find out who and why. The novel brings together the authors love of Nancy Drew, dancing and her obsession with Dancing With the Stars. DuBois, who is also getting her PhD in Biochemistry, has written numerous books with Queen Bee focusing on interracial relationships as the first book in her Dancing Dream series.

These are a great gifts for a dance student, young dance lover or a fun fall read for a dancer, former dancer or teacher. Now through Sept. 28, you can get all three full-length novels in the bundle for $0.99. Ninety nine cents! On Sept. 29 the price goes up to $9.99. You can download for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords and from Amazon UK.