The Bothell boy was motivated to take classes because a close friend of his was a student at the studio and encouraged him to try it.
Before long, he was hooked and continued to pursue his newfound passion with dedication and zeal.
“He was a student here for five years,” says Beth Ith, co-director of Studio 1, which is owned by Ith’s mother, longtime local resident, Sue Warter.
“He took classes in tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop and ballet, and he was on our competition dance team for three years. Studio 1 was where he got his start in dance from teachers such as Christi McNeil (jazz and lyrical) Xavier Vandermay (jazz and lyrical) and Tesee George (ballet).”
Ith adds, “I was his tap teacher.”
It didn’t take long before Ith noticed that Monnie had talent, along with energy and dedication.
He also had very relaxed feet, which, according to Ith, is an asset in tap dance and highly unusual to find in young kids.
She also saw that he picked up steps and movements quickly and began to surpass the other, more veteran students, in terms of technique.
“He was a perfectionist,” adds Ith, “always wanting to do the steps right and working on them until he was fully satisfied. And he was very good at showmanship. When he went on stage, everyone looked at him. He had a gift. He was a born performer.”
Ith comments that Monnie amassed many awards at competitions and attracted the attention of numerous judges and dance professionals, who spotted him at master classes.
At age14, he left Studio 1 to study at another dance school and then after graduating from high school, he headed to Los Angeles on a full scholarship to EDGE Performing Arts Center.
Now a professional dancer and actor with several credits to his name, Monnie is living the dream.
His resume lists appearances in the movies “Fame,” “No Strings Attached” and “GLEE Live 3-D,” as well as performances on “Dancing with the Stars” and a reoccurring role on the T.V. show, “GLEE,” as a “Warbler.”
He has also been in various commercials and is on the faculty for West Coast Dance Explosion and Tremaine Dance.
Monnie’s roots are still here in Bothell and he plans on coming home for the holidays to see his family.
During his visit, he will conduct two master classes at Studio 1 for intermediate and advanced students.
“He is excited to come back and share his talent with local students,” explains Ith. “And it will be great to see him, as I haven’t seen him since he left the Seattle area.”
Ith adds, “I’m very proud of him and his success brings me joy. It’s rare when a student makes it as a professional dancer. He is the most successful of my students. The majority don’t pursue dance as a career. A few go on to study it in college and a few actually end up teaching it. And then there’s one or two that end up dancing in a professional dance company.”
Ith views her job as training and educating students about dance and passing on her love of the art form to others.
She is thrilled that she will be able to introduce her students to Monnie, as she feels the experience of taking a class with him will be very rewarding on several levels.
“It’s great for their technique, but it’s also important that they see a past student of Studio 1 who has made his dream come true.”
KC Monnie will offer two master classes on December 26 at Studio 1 in Woodinville:
Intermediate Jazz: 5 – 6:30 p.m. (ages 10 and older)
Advanced Lyrical/Contemporary: 6:30 -8:30 p.m. (ages 13 and older)
For more information and to register for one of the sessions, call 425-489-0861
Registration is limited.