This summer’s smash television hit, So You Think You Can Dance, features choreography by Wade Robson, a young man with an ever-rising media profile. Robson is much more than just the creator of electrifying dance routines: he’s also an actor, a director, a songwriter/producer, the creator of the MTV show, The Wade Robson Project. Add to this his own line of footwear (Power Shoes), a three-picture deal with Disney as a director/choreographer, and his original dance music series made for aspiring dancers, and it all adds up to a full slate of projects for this accomplished multi-disciplinary artist.
Robson is able to expand his profile by using his choreography on So You Think You Can Dance to produce, direct, and write original music for the show. Choreography is the natural segue to music, if you have the talent, as Robson surely does. On June 14, 2007, contestant Cedric performed a solo to Robson’s original music, "Dream Within A Dream," from his album "Wade Robson's Project-Dance Beats, Vol. 1," and Robson created the full opening number, including choreography, costume design, and camera movement. On June 21, 2007, the dancers performed the show’s opening number to Robson’s song, “It Was All In Your Mind.” And on June 28, 2007, Robson was the creative director for all aspects of that night’s winning routine, performed by contestants Jaimie and Hok.
Robson’s attorney, leading Los Angeles entertainment attorney Helen Yu, of Yu Leseberg, negotiated and strategized each of Robson’s deals. She states: "Normally, a dancer’s career is done by their late twenties, but Robson has continued to expand his career by strategically planning his future beyond just dancing and choreography. All forms of media and entertainment are converging these days. Whether it is choreography, film, music, television, art, or commercials, choreographers need to expand their repertoire outside of choreography into other media. For Wade, I've been able to meld his choreography with a successful career in music and video directing, and also license his brand for a shoe line."
Most people who are new to the entertainment industry do not understand how much attorneys are involved in seeking out, setting up, and structuring the deals of their clients. When an artist, such as choreographer Wade Robson, reaches a level of visibility in the choreography world, Helen Yu recommends they do the following:
1) Understand the vital steps that you need to make to move your career beyond choreography.
2) Maximize your profile using digital media, the internet, and other outlets. Each form of media needs a separate
licensing agreement and most attorneys are only trained to negotiate only music, television, film, or digital media. Very few have experience in all four major areas.
3) Expand to music. Music is natural segue for choreography, as music and dance are so intertwined.
4) Most importantly, find a good entertainment lawyer that can take you to the next level. Choreographers and other talent often are not aware of the importance of a good entertainment lawyer. They can help make or break you.