Increasingly when you think of dance in Canada, you think Kelly Konno. Bringing over twenty years of experience to the table, Konno has worked with industry heavyweights like Janet Jackson, Michael Buble, Prince and Justin Timberlake. Konno’s television performances include the Grammy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Oprah, The Tonight Show and many more. And she just happens to help with choreography on the competition reality series, Canada Sings.
Konno’s dance resume speaks for itself but this wonder-girl isn’t confined to just dancing and dance choreography, Konno is also a successful actress and business owner. Her acting stints include Continuum, Emily Owens M.D., Lean Meat, Motive, and Fringe. And as if all that wasn’t enough, Konno is also the Owner/Director of Triple Threat Dance Convention and Hello Kelly Entertainment.
I was lucky to catch up with a very busy Kelly Konno while she was working on a commercial shoot. Here’s media! News Magazine’s interview with Kelly Konno:
Actor, dancer, choreographer, business owner – when did you realize this is what you wanted to do in life? What was your inspiration?
I’d have to say I knew I wanted to be in this entertainment biz quite young. I just loved dance so much and knew I had to do it for a career, I don’t remember there ever being any other options in my eyes. I was inspired by other dancers I’d see dancing behind Michael, Janet or Madonna.
I was also inspired by dancers and choreographers I first met when I moved to LA at 17yrs old. Tina Landon, Anthony Thomas, Lavelle Smith, and Travis Payne just to name a few.
You left Vancouver for LA at a young age – how did you get through that time? What were the challenges you had to overcome? Would you do it any differently?
I was able to move to LA at 17 because I worked on a movie in Vancouver with John Ritter & Salt n Peppa, that gave me 10 grand in my pocket! Yeah, I had money to move down to LA!
That money went real fast though once I made it to LA and lived on my own for the first time. I definitely struggled. Though I never told my folks.
I always remember them telling me “once my money runs out, I have to come home to Surrey”. That was motivation enough for me to ‘make it’. My golden rule was – where there’s a will there’s a way! I wouldn’t of done anything differently.
Your biggest achievement thus far? Big goal still to reach?
My biggest achievement so far is a toss up between booking the Janet Jackson coveted back up dancer spot at 17yrs old and building my own dance convention called Triple Threat Dance Convention, which is the largest and most established dance convention in Canada.
Dancing on stage with and touring the world 3x with Janet was like a dream come true!
~ Kelly Konno
Getting to inspire and mentor the next generation of dancers through Triple Threat is the most rewarding thing to me though. My new goals and things I’m climbing the ladder towards is doing great work as an actor in theatre, film & television.
How do you balance your professional/work and your private lifetimes ? Have any tips for reducing stress?
Hmmm to be honest I’m not sure if I know the answer to that question. I think I’m definitely a career oriented person, maybe a little too much at times, hence why I was single until my late 30’s, lol. But I do surround myself with wonderful family and friends that put everything into perspective for me at those times when you need to be put in check with what’s really important in life! My biggest stress reliever is laughing and having a glass of wine with my folks, friends or my man. Or hanging with my nephew!
Triple Threat Dance Convention – please explain for those who have never heard.
Triple Threat Dance Convention is a weekend of amazing dance classes taught by an unparalleled, world renowned faculty. Dancers that attend Triple Threat walk away feeling motivated and inspired to be the best dancers they can be.
For my business partners and I, Triple Threat was the creation of our shared experiences as students and professionals in the entertainment industry.
The Triple Threat Dance Convention will be in Calgary and Winnipeg in October, and it will be in Saskatoon and Vancouver in November.
Have advice for those chasing their dreams?
Never listen to anyone that says you can’t achieve them! Sounds cliche, but NEVER give up no matter how many times you get knocked down.
Perseverance is key. Study and work on your craft daily. Nothing will happen without tons of hard work and an amazing work ethic.
If you could choreograph for just one singer/dancer from history who would it be?
I guess it would have to be the great Michael Jackson! One of his big epic short film videos like Thriller or Beat It!
Ever afraid to say you are from Surrey?
**Laughs with smirk on face. The answer is NO; NEVER would I be afraid to say I’m a Surrey Girl! I grew up in Surrey, I studied in Surrey and it’s always treated me so great! I’m proud to be from Surrey!
Social media – love it, hate it or probably could live without it?
I like it and dislike it over loving it or hating it. It’s not the be all end all for me. I mean, I remember the times I didn’t have a cell phone or email address, let alone any social media! I now use it as a vehicle to get me closer to my goals. It’s a great promotional tool! But, I do dislike when I find myself looking at some random profile for too long and I wonder how that happened, and ask myself why I’m wasting precious time. Then I could do without it.
Find more information including dates and event locations for the Triple Threat Dance Convention in the media! Events Calendar
View Kelly Konno’s IMDB profile – www.imdb.com/name/nm0465204/
Article written by Roy Whyte.