May 1st, 2011, Liberty Grand, Toronto – Children’s Aid Foundation launches the new Ignite the Spark Fund, honoring Canadian Celebrities as “Sparks” – inspirational Canadians.
The dancer Tré Armstrong wass one of the Spark celebrities honored by Children’s Aid Foundation at the inaugural event of the Ignite the Spark Fund launch. Tré is actively involved in giving back to the community and passionate about helping youth to get active, and is honored by this recognition.
Tré Armstrong has channeled her passion for dance into a successful career. She will return this summer, as a judge on CTV's "So You Think You Can Dance Canada" show. A dancer, choreographer, actress and TV personality, Tré is a proven entity in the industry. Her love and understanding of urban dance and hip-hop has brought out the inner teacher in the artist. Tré has traveled the world sharing this knowledge through workshops, seminars and classes in hip-hop, urban and freestyle dance.
Tré's competence and work ethic has made her a "go to" choreographer for various artists, including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Kreesha Turner, Jason Derulo, “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” and MTV. Tre’ has also worked with Jay-Z, Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, Sean Paul, Neyo, Sarah Brightman, Phylicia Rashad, Missy Elliott, Jason Derulo, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Wyclef Jean, Rihanna, and most recently, she completed the choreography for Ludacris' new Breakaway music video, directed by Director X.
I had the great pleasure of interviewing Tré Armstrong at this exceptional event, and in the following she is going to talk to us about her inspirational work and the charitable projects she gets involved in.
Victoria West: Tell us more about your involvement in Children’s Aid Foundation projects.
Tré Armstrong: In 2010 I was asked by the event producer and the foundation to join their gala team as Creative Director and Choreographer. It was a blast and we were nominated for a few awards too, a great bonus. I think somewhere in between my name was pulled up for consideration for an honoree award as a luminary in entertainment. This was for the Children's Aid Foundation's newest fund, the Ignite the Spark Fund, created by Andrea Weissman-Daniels and Mark Daniels. I was more than thrilled to say the least.
VW: What does the Spark honor from Children’s Aid Foundation mean to you?
TA: It represents the notion that the path I am on is a positive one, a journey that includes giving back to the community through dance and performing arts. It makes me happy to know people are listening and watching as free dance programs are made available to youth in the community.
VW: You are known as a celebrity giving back to the community. What other similar projects have you been involved in?
TA: Currently, I host a free day of dance called the Give Back. It's back on this summer at the National Ballet School with over 20 classes to choose from. I also host a free dance program called D-Tour. This is a unique urban dance program for either all-girls or all-boys aged 14-19. Participants get to create their own dance moves while learning from professionals in the dance and entertainment industry, plus their dance is a showcase at the end of the program for close family and friends. This has all lead up to the creation of my new not-for-profit foundation called the Tré Armstrong Give Back Foundation.
VW: Why do celebrities choose to involve in Children’s Aid Foundation projects, as well as other projects alike?
TA: We understand that we are human, just like everyone else, and like other people we too have a past. Our past, at times, pushes us to reach out to family, friends and public organizations for help. Since we have a voice and a platform that others are willing to listen to we have a duty at times to support foundations that provided help for people in many forms of need. Some of those people may have been us.
VW: You are a judge for “So You Think You Can Dance” show – do you consider it to be a milestone in your dancing career? Has it impacted your career as a professional dancer in any way?
TA: Of course becoming a Choreographer and Judge on So You Think You Can Dance Canada was a milestone, a huge one at that! Coupled with my past work I now have a larger voice that more people listen to and I am thankful to be able to have opened up my not-for-profit foundation and pursue opening up a dance studio/community hub for youth in Brampton, Ontario.
VW: You are also known as being passionate about helping youth to get active. How do you think you impact the lives of the young talented who come to compete at “So You Think You Can Dance” show?
TA: All I know is how to be me: empathetic yet stern. I will always treat others with respect and only ask that others do the same in return by taking in how and what I say/do. I love to develop our future dance monsters. It's a pleasure to watch them grow and it's an honor to be a part of the process. How I impact their lives, is out of my hands.
|Tré Armstrong and her mother|
Photo credit: Victoria West