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article imageEartha Robinson talks about The H.E.ART Arts and Vernée Watson Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 6, 2019 in Entertainment
Veteran choreographer and dance and movement instructor Eartha Robinson chatted with Digital Journal about The H.E.ART Arts, where she works with two-time Emmy winner Vernée Watson.
Throughout her career, Robinson has been a creative director and choreographer for such world-renowned recording artists as Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, Luther Vandross, Beyoncé, Jill Scott (including the 2014 Academy Awards GALA Concert), Kirk Franklin, and Karen White, among others.
She has worked with such actors as Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Cuba Gooding Jr., Gerard Depardieu, and Laurence Fishburne, to name a few. Robinson has worked as a dancer, actress and a dance double in over 100 films, television shows, commercials, specials, documentaries, and filmed stage shows.
Robinson described The HEART Arts as a "non-competitive program." "What I love about The H.E.ART is the community, the nurturing environment, the children and the young adults we teach. We manage to balance the discipline required whilst not forgetting the fun that quickens the learning process. I love that The H.E.ART is unique."
Speaking of uniqueness, The H.E.ART Arts is unique for a variety of reasons. "We welcome children from all walks of life, it doesn't matter where they are with regard to talent, academics, economics, social differences - whether our Kids are just starting to explore their creativity or are advanced, we meet the student where they are and take them to the next level," she said.
Dance and movement instructor and choreographer Eartha Robinson
Dance and movement instructor and choreographer Eartha Robinson
Glenn Campbell Photography
"Through an inclusive, loving and professional environment, we are channeling acting, voice, and movement from the H.E.ARTs of our students to organically create what we call 'TripleThreats', we support the difference in each student to create a vision and to find and share their voice," she elaborated.
Robinson continued, "We are not competitive, we are supportive, we are not of the 'rip them apart to build them up' team but rather we have a philosophy driven by the energy of desire and fueled by a passion to explore. We build strong and grateful human beings, students who can stand comfortably in their own shoes. There isn't another program like ours, there isn't another H.E.ART. It is just what it says: Heartfelt Education through the Arts.
Emmy award-winning actress Vernée Watson
Emmy award-winning actress Vernée Watson
ABC, Photo Courtesy of Craig Sjodin
Working with Vernée Watson
She is a part of The H.E.ART Arts with two-time Emmy winner Vernée Watson. "Vernée [Watson] is very special to me. I respect her craft tremendously, she's a hard-working professional and her talent is immeasurable, as her recent two consecutive Emmy Awards might attest," she said.
"The very first time Vernée and I worked together was a program I had called The Robinson Project," Robinson said. "I asked her to help me to make it what I've always wanted, more than just a dance school, I needed a program with Acting, Singing, and Dancing as part of its curriculum."
Robinson continued, "I approached Vernée again for the revamping of The Robinson Project and informed her that I had changed the name. She loved it and the rest is history. Vernée and I have great chemistry together, we believe in hard work and tough love and this is what we expect from our students, the ability to think quickly on your feet and to always be prepared is missing in most programs and we want to incorporate this aspect into our teaching, for those who are serious about this life, serious about their craft."
Digital transformation of the entertainment industry
On the impact of technology and streaming on the entertainment business, Robinson said, "I love that everything and anything is accessible. I love seeing art from all around the world in just 15 minutes online, including historic performance clips which we can show to our students."
"We are able to catch up on all we've missed so easily. I think it has made us much closer to each other, yet we do see our young ones struggling with traditional communication skills and our program ensures our students know how to talk to each other with confidence," she explained.
"Personal communication skills are still meaningful through life and we promote the importance of vocabulary, clarity, diction and body language: the three disciplines are a natural fit and definitely help build self-assurance," she added.
For young and aspiring entertainers, she said, "My advice would be to catch a vision, create the passion for it and then do the work to make it a reality. Nothing is given to you, you have to go and get it, you must be ready when it comes and you must be focused enough to stay the distance. Remember to always love what you do, that makes it all worthwhile."
On being an entertainer in this digital age, Robinson admitted that she has mixed feelings about it. "The pay scales have taken on a new meaning. Producers seem to be getting everything for free and artists are selling their work for a small margin of credit and/or a minute of fame," she said.
"Copyright regulations have never been more needed than now, people are being influenced by trend and missing the line of boundaries. I love that its easier to connect and the audience is so much broader than before but, at what price? I fear we are sacrificing quality for mediocrity in pursuit of popularity, where the number of 'likes' or 'followers' are being rewarded over artistic integrity," she elaborated.
Robinson concluded about The H.E.ART Arts, "If you are looking for a home to grow and hone in on your true talent, if you want an integrated, multi-discipline approach that's more than just a dance class, an acting lesson or a vocal session, for those who want an intense learning environment, with loving professionals who have more than 80 years in the industry as working artists The H.E.ART is the place you."
Emmy award-winning actress Vernée Watson in  General Hospital
Emmy award-winning actress Vernée Watson in 'General Hospital'
ABC, Craig Sjodin
To learn more about The H.E.ART Arts, check out their official website.
Read More: Digital Journal chatted with two-time Emmy winner Vernée Watson about The H.E.ART Arts and the digital transformation of the entertainment business.
More about Eartha Robinson, The HEART Arts, Verne Watson, Dance, Choreographer
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