Interview: Joshua Pelatzky of BETTY WHO WITH SHEA COULEE at First Avenue

This concert was on March 22nd but continues to tour through June 3rd

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Joshua Pelatzky photo by Zak Cassar

Joshua Pelatzky is an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher. His body of work spans 20 different countries, from theatre and concert dance to music videos, tours and television.

With a diverse training background, Joshua has worked with esteemed choreographers including Mandy Moore, Travis Wall, Debbie Allen, Joshua Bergasse, Michele Assaf and Dee Caspary; notable music artists such as Patti Labelle, Kelly Clarkson, FKA Twigs, Rachel Platten and Kesha; and, most recently, pop star Betty Who-for whom he currently serves as dance captain with choreography by Khasan Brailsford.

Currently, Joshua is touring with Betty Who and Shea Couleé.

We talk with Joshua about dance and his visit to Minnesota and performing at First Avenue in Minneapolis!

What inspired you to dance?

I've been moving my whole life. I started in gymnastics when I was young but had a growth spurt and switched over to cheer. That did not last long! From there I was on a double dutch team, I went to roller skating camp, played baseball and basketball. When I was about 12 I decided I wanted to be Michael Flatley. Finding Irish Step in Texas 25 years ago wasn't so easy. But I did!! That studio offered me a full year scholarship to take all styles of dance. From there it took off. I got my first professional contract at 15. I would work 9-4 with a contemporary ballet company and home school after. On weekends I would continue with the studio that offered me my scholarship, my career, my joy. I feel in love. I wanted to dance, choreograph and teach ... all day.

What is your favorite style of dance?

When I choreographer or teach I love contemporary. And more specific site specific work. Creating things around existing beauty that can't necessarily be done other places. When I perform, NOW I love commercial. I just wanna have fun. I wanna emote. I wanna connect with the audience/fans. Company work is amazing and I will always have a love for it. But nothing beats being on a stage with thousands of people screaming out their favorite lyrics.

Who were your influences and inspiration?

The list could go on and on but huge ones ... Bob Fosse, Jiri Kylian, Tina Landon, Michele Assaf, Michael Flatley (obvi) and then also other mediums, Banksy, Van Gouh, Ani DiFranco, Bjork

How is it touring with Betty Who and Shea Couleé?

Touring with Betty has never been a job. We've traveled the world together, played huge festivals, tiny stages and even made some tv appearances. After 7 years with her, she's my little sister. I would do anything for her. Before we go on stage we always talk about how we wanna bring so much joy, love and acceptance to the stage. And hopefully what we give people ripples out from each audience member into their lives and has an effect on their people. Shea has been a great addition. Especially with where we are having a majorly queer tour and people seeing that is really important.

What is your message for everyone right now?

Find comfort in being uncomfortable. I don't ever wanna be ok with where I am. Physically, mentally, spiritually, career wise. And the hardest part est really do show us who we are and what we can achieve.

Have you been to Minnesota before? Any favorite places here or places that you were able to check out?

I have been to Minnesota a few times actually. Mostly when there are blizzards. And sadly with tour life, the longest I'm in a city is about 24 hrs. So I haven't been able to see much, but I love First Ave and Prince!!!

Thank you Joshua for your time!

For more tour ticket and concert information, click the ticket link button below.

Visit joshua's website here

Instagram @Joshua.pelatzky

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