Interview: World Choreography Awards Producer Allen Walls at Avalon Hollywood

A unique evening whose purpose is to present, celebrate and honor the best Choreographed Dance pieces or segments of the year.

By: Nov. 06, 2022
Interview: World Choreography Awards Producer Allen Walls at Avalon Hollywood
Ballet Magique at the World Dance Awards 2014

The World Choreography Awards will be held on November 15, 2022 at the Avalon Hollywood.

Being its twelfth year in existence, I spoke with Allen Walls, Creator and Producer of the World Choreography Awards to catch up with this now-seasoned presentation and how it has been evolving through the years. I have reviewed the event in the past and it is a unique evening whose purpose is to present, celebrate and honor the best Choreographed Dance pieces or segments for the year, in a now myriad of categories. It has also built upon its live presentation and quality of live performances, special guests, and hosting of the highest caliber.

Here are the questions I posed to Allen:

Valerie-Jean: I would love to know a little bit about your dance career, that contributed to your becoming a producer of dance events... Interview: World Choreography Awards Producer Allen Walls at Avalon Hollywood

Allen: I started dancing in 1979, after I saw Saturday Night Fever. I wanted to learn how to disco dance, so I went to an Arthur Murray's training class and learned all the basic ballroom steps just so I could learn how to dance the disco hustle. I stayed in the ballroom world for about year, and after, went on to learn jazz and ballet at a dance studio in San Diego called Stage 7. After 2 years of training, I went on a tour in Europe with a Las Vegas style review show, met a Spanish singer while working on a TV show in Rome, Italy, and toured with her for 2 years around South America and Spain, finally settling in Los Angeles at the end of 1986.

I was lucky enough to sign with Julie McDonald at JHR, who introduced me to Miranda Garrison who I started to choreograph films with in 1987. I worked with Miranda for 5 years until the early '90s. Then met Joann Jansen and choreographed with her until 2012. I still dance and choreograph, just not at the same level I did for that 25 year span.

Valerie-Jean: Why did you create the WCAs?

Interview: World Choreography Awards Producer Allen Walls at Avalon Hollywood
Allen Walls @ The WGAs

Allen: When I began choreographing films in 1987, there was no organization giving recognition and acknowledgment to choreographers for their work but the Emmy Awards, and that was only for work done on television. In 1991 I teamed up with Grover Dale to create and produce a choreographer showcase for choreographers called, "If The Shoe Fits." That show later turned into the LA Dance Awards, which turned into the Fosse Awards and finally became the American Choreography Awards, which disbanded in 2003. I helped produce that show for 8 of the 10 years it was in existence.

In 2011, I created the World Dance Awards, with Carey Ysias, picking up the ball from the ACAs. But in 2015, after creative differences about the show's direction, I went on to found the World Choreography Awards.

I always felt and saw the choreographer as the unsung hero, on movie and television sets. No one was giving the choreographer the credit that they deserved for creating the art they created. I always felt it was important to let my colleagues and friends know that they are appreciated for their creativity and felt they should be honored in some fashion. And that is why I have helped produce and create shows to honor them for their outstanding choreography.

Interview: World Choreography Awards Producer Allen Walls at Avalon Hollywood
On stage w/ Nigel Lythgoe and stage manager
discussing Nigel's entrance.

Valerie-Jean: What were the initial challenges you faced when putting together the show for the first time?

Allen: The initial challenge that I faced was getting the word out to the choreographers to submit their work. So, I went to the dance agencies who represent choreographers and asked them if they would help getting the word out to their clients to let them know about the show. All of the dance agents have been extremely helpful over the years in getting the word out and now the show receives over 300 submissions a year.

Valerie-Jean: Tell me about the collaboration with Cheryl Baxter Ratliff, a dear friend to us both, to get this show up and running.

Allen: Cheryl Baxter-Ratliff has been a godsend helping to produce the show and keep it growing. She has been a dancer/choreographer for over 40 years and very well immersed in the dance world in LA and around the world. She gives the show a huge amount of credibility with everyone in the dance community. She has a huge heart; and amazing work ethic... she's been a perfect producing partner, I could not do the show without her.

Valerie-Jean: How did you decide the distinction between categories and how has that evolved over the years?

Interview: World Choreography Awards Producer Allen Walls at Avalon Hollywood
Blake McGrath performance at the
8th annual WCA

Allen: The distinction between categories has changed a lot over the years with the development of new styles of TV shows that incorporate dance and that are built around dance; as well as the development of cable channels like Netflix and Amazon who now release feature films and episodic programming. Another factor is the development of YouTube, giving everyone a platform to display their work.

It used to be that feature films were only released in movie theaters; now they are also released on the cable networks, so we had to change the Feature Film category to Motion Picture to encompass the release of those movies that were not released in the movie theaters.

Another example is work that is released on YouTube or only for Internet. We created a category called Digital Content for work that was released on YouTube but then realized that there are two styles of work released on YouTube. One where the choreographer creates and pays for their project and one where the choreographer is hired to do a project. The one where the choreographer creates and pays for the work themselves we call Digital Content Independent. The category where the choreographer is hired to do the work, we call Digital Content.

Interview: World Choreography Awards Producer Allen Walls at Avalon Hollywood
Michael Dameski performs at 10th annual WGA

Valerie-Jean: How has each years' presentation evolved from the past one?

Allen: As the show has developed over the years, we are relying more and more on the nominees for the work that they created, for the concept of the show. We have the nominees do their nominated numbers during the live show and then I have the choreographer of that number present a category, so we get to know more about who the choreographers are as people and not just their creative artistry. This way the show circles back around on itself, and creates a bit of a thematic storyline.

Valerie-Jean: With Carmit Bachar, formerly of The Pussycat Dolls, hosting the show and holding the ceremony at the high-tech Hollywood spot "Avalon Hollywood" it seems this year will be the best yet. Explain.

Allen: As the show has grown over the last 12 years, it has become better known and more excepted throughout the choreography community as the one show to recognized by. It has become easier to get people involved, making for a better show on all levels, because of the name value of the presenters and the performers. The WCA show has become the one night of the year that the dance elite looks forward to... to reconnect, celebrate one another's achievements, and appreciate one another's artistic greatness.

Valerie-Jean: Can you compare your first WCA with this years' presentation from a learning and growing experience point of view, and why this is going to be a stepping stone in the years to come?

Interview: World Choreography Awards Producer Allen Walls at Avalon Hollywood
Kinjaz at the 7th Annual WCA

Allen: Since the first WCA show, we have streamlined the content in the show and the message we put out. We have created a format that stays focused on the nominees and their work, and not diverting away with other content that is not about or related to the nominees themselves. As we stay focused on that goal the message of the show becomes stronger and more succinct.

Valerie-Jean: What are some stand-out moments or performances over the years; which stand out in your mind?

Allen: All the photos I've provided for the article are stand out moments that happened during the course of the shows through the years. Moments... of when the thoughts of creating something and great artistry fused together producing amazing creative moments.

Valerie-Jean: Since the show is just a week away, could you give us a scoop, maybe some hints, or a teaser, as to what will be happening the night of the Presentation and Ceremony?

Allen: We have some just-confirmed news: Derek Hough, who is a nominee again this year, as well as many times in the past, and an award winner previously, will be attending the show this time and we are excited to have Derek's acknowledgment that the WCA is the quintessential choreography award show.

Interview: World Choreography Awards Producer Allen Walls at Avalon Hollywood
Tessandra Chavez's choreography of Derek Hough's winning music video, A Star Is Born

In addition, Daniella Karagach, winner of last season's "Dancing With The Stars," will be a presenter for one of the award categories; the talented Tessandra Chavez will be recreating one of her nominated works live on stage, and the always satisfying Scott Hislop has choreographed a special Jazz Dance Tribute using the top Edge Scholarship students from the past to honor the fabulous Bill Prudich!

Valerie-Jean: Your point of view on the subject of award shows, dance recognition, and the importance of the Arts in our society?

Allen: I feel Award shows are a fantastic way to put a year in review and remember all of the great achievements that otherwise might get lost in the moment. Where going back and giving recognition to what has happened is a great way to capsulizing that time in space, for the future Artists to come, years from now, to look back on iconic moments, and achievements of the past.

Interview: World Choreography Awards Producer Allen Walls at Avalon Hollywood
Karen Forcano & Ricardo Vega perform at the
9th annual WCA

It is a message in time and a footnote in the history of our society to think back and say, "I remember when I saw that dance in a movie, TV show, or music video for the first time. "

That is a legacy that deserves to live on in perpetuity.

If you'd like to purchase tickets for this dazzling, live Presentation and Awards Ceremony you can get them here:

To visit the website or apply to enter a submission:


Photo Credit: Suzy Miller and Sipa



Mandy Moore, Jillian Meyers, Associate Choreographer Jeffrey Mortensen - Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas
Ashley Wallen - Cinderella
Jamal Sims, Associate Choreographer, Kai Martinez- Encanto
Justin Peck - West Side Story
Chris Scott, Associate Choreographers, Ebony Williams, Emilio Dosal, Dana Wilson,
Associate Latin Choreographer, Eddie Torres Jr -
In The Heights


Tobias Ellehammer - Fabio D'Andrea, Arabesque II
Shannon Mather - Blake McGrath, Trust Me Again
Jemel McWilliams - Jon Batiste, I Need You
Tessandra Chavez - Derek Hough, Anyone
Phillip Chbeeb & Makenzie Dustman - Blake McGrath, Whisper


Rosero McCoy - BET Soul Train Awards

Daniel Ezralow, Tony Testa, Yasmine Lee, Barbarana Pons - Dubai Expo 2020
Tessandra Chavez and Derek Hough - Disney Queen Singalong
Calvit Hodge &a Sara Biv - MTV Video Music Awards - Camila Cabello
Jemel McWilliams - Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - Jon Batiste


Michael Dameski - In The Silence
Anthony Lee & Bailey Sok - Somebody That I Used To Know
Zoi Tatopoulos - We Will Find It
Tobias Ellehammer & EZtwins- Losing My Way
Nastya Yurasova - Jealousy


​Spencer Liff - B Positive
Fred Tallaksen - Goliath
Dondraico Johnson - Genius: Aretha Franklin
Mandy Moore & Luther Brown - Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
Chris Scott, Co-Choreographers, Comfort Fedoke, Danielle Sten-Guillermo, Lance
Guillermo -
The Big Leap


Tessandra Chavez - Dancing With The Stars, Finale Opening
Jason Gilkison - Strictly Come Dancing, A Lover and Love Story
Derek Hough - Dancing With The Stars, Tango Of The Dead
JA Collective - Jimmy Kimmel, Half•Alive
Kathryn Burns - Dancing With The Stars, Grease Night


JA Collective - Pull & Bear
Lo Cody - Blue Cross Of California
Ashley Wallen - Wren Kitchens
Brian Friedman - Samsung
Megan Lawson - Airpods Pro


​James Kinney - Lady Be Good
Wade Robson & Tony Testa - DisInteGrated
Victoria Brown - Boundless
Kellen Stancil - Red Room
Keone and Mari Madrid - Us Again


​Nastya Yurasova - Gluttony
Sergei Tumas -Tango The Musical
Cat Rendic - Becky G
Lyrik Cruz - All That Jazz
Nastya Yurasova - Envy


Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Karin Baker, and More Join Dancers Over 40s Legacy Awards Photo
Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Karin Baker, and More Join Dancers Over 40's Legacy Awards

The 15th Annual Dancers Over 40 Legacy Awards and holiday dinner will honor DO40 members Joe Ahumada, Jill Cook, Gene Foote, Jean Preece and Joanna Rush on Monday, December 4th, 2023, 6-9pm at Lips Restaurant, 227 East 56th Street, NYC.

Review: The Jungle Book Reimagined Takes a Dark Look at Humankind Photo
Review: 'The Jungle Book Reimagined' Takes a Dark Look at Humankind

The beloved children’s classic gets a beautifully bleak update that compels audiences to confront our climate disaster and our predatory nature.

Parts+Labour_Danse to Perform Bilingual Presentation of Dance-Theatre Piece À BOUT  Photo
Parts+Labour_Danse to Perform Bilingual Presentation of Dance-Theatre Piece À BOUT DE BRAS as Part of Parcours Danse

Acclaimed Montreal dance company Parts+Labour_Danse will present a bilingual presentation of their dance-theatre piece À bout de bras on November 29, 2023 as part of Parcours Danse.

Kayla Hamilton to Receive Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance & Choreography Photo
Kayla Hamilton to Receive Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance & Choreography

Disabled dancer/choreographer Kayla Hamilton, Artistic Director of K Hamilton Projects, receives the Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography.