Emmy Award-winning Tessandra Chavez is an in-demand choreographer with her iconic work spanning across the entire entertainment industry. So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, World of Dance, America’s Got Talent, American Idol, and X-Factor USA/UK are just a few of the hit shows her work has been featured on!
On September 12, 2015, Tessandra, along with celebrity dancer-choreographers Derek and Julianne Hough, took home the Emmy for Outstanding Choreography for their Dancing with the Stars season-finale routine to Sia’s “Elastic Heart.” For anyone who has seen the routine, either on TV or YouTube, the award is no surprise. The routine captures Tessandra’s signature choreography, a progressive brand of Contemporary that is both athletic and intensely emotional. Performed by the Hough’s, the exciting brother and sister dance team, “Elastic Heart” became an instant classic.
In addition to her Emmy win and plethora of television work, Tessandra has created masterful work for the legendary band MUSE. The “Dead Inside” music video featuring Kathryn McCormick and William Wingfield all stars of SYTYCD has hit 33 million views on YouTube and has become a MUSE visual classic. She was also supervising choreographer for Dancing with the Stars in China, Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, D-Trix’s Dance Showdown, Disney’s Dance Crew and the film “Heartbeats” directed by the pioneer of dance films, Duane Adler.
Growing up in San Diego, Tessandra began dancing at the age of 5, choreographing at the age of 11, and even founded her own dance company, Unity Dance Ensemble, at the age of 15. The struggle of growing up in a low-income single-parent household helped drive Tessandra to dedicate her entirety to perfecting her craft. Tessandra gained extensive and versatile training in Jazz, Tap, Modern, Ballet, and Hip Hop. This mastery of multiple styles of dance has made her unparalleled in her field. In fact, many regard her as the pioneer of ‘Contemporary Hip Hop.’
Amongst her many accolades for her choreography, Tessandra is also well known across the globe as a master instructor who has trained an abundant amount of the most elite professional dancers in the entertainment industry. For 6 years she was head of Jazz dance at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy where she was blessed to work along side and learn from the legend herself, Debbie Allen. As one of the most sought after dance instructors in the business, Tessandra has found the perfect balance in pushing the limits of her students while inspiring them to be masters in their craft. With a firm, but loving hand, she continues to groom the next generation of masterful dancers. She believes in making dancers great people as well as phenomenal dancers.
“There was never another alternative to succeeding in this business. I don’t believe in plan B’s. Creating dance is my best voice and my truth.”