Courtesy of blake mcgrath
Name: Blake McGrath
He made the Top 10 cut on So You Think You Can Dance as the token “bad boy” and now Blake McGrath is cutting it as a big dance pro in Dancelife, the new show executive produced by Jennifer Lopez that’s just hit the MTV airwaves.
Former Mississauga boy turned Hollywood dance maverick, McGrath plays veteran to five other dancers in the doco-style series that digs deep into the grind and glory of professional dancing.
“Dance is finally getting the respect it deserves. It’s amazing for dancers to be in the spotlight and not behind it,” says McGrath.
And what of JLo, you ask? “JLo is super talented, absolutely gorgeous and a diva who has every right to act the way she does,” says McGrath.
The show is but one of many feathers in the cap of the ambitious 23-year-old, who’s danced up a storm with the likes of Britney Spears, Madonna, Michael Jackson and soon sister Janet.
Born into a family blessed with fancy footwork, McGrath started dancing at age five. The day after graduating from high school, he loaded up his car and tore off to Los Angeles driving 41 hours straight with a mere $4,000 to his name.
“Blake was always a go-getter,” says his mother Dyanne, who in addition to dancing and running encoreoncemore.com, a dance costume company in Toronto, acts as McGrath’s unofficial press agent.
He was only six when a dance contest judge proclaimed he was “Broadway bound,” she shares.
He bounded his way into ads with Skechers, Gap and H&M, and into movies like Chicago and Rent. But his God-sent gig was Spears’ Onyx Hotel Tour. At 20, cash was petering out and dismal thoughts of returning home a failure swirled in his mind until his agent called to tell him he got the job -- sans audition.
He’s equally thrilled with his latest coup: being handpicked by Miss Jackson herself to share the stage in her upcoming world tour.
“(Janet) is the one artist out of all that I’ve worked with who treats her dancers the best. She’s beyond words,” says McGrath.
You might say the same of him. “I haven’t started thinking about when my bones and muscles give out on me. I’ll be dancing in a wheel chair, I guess,” says McGrath, who’s also making strides into acting and singing.