“If you can walk, you can dance.” That’s long been dance expert, John Cassese’s motto. The Santa Monica, California based dance instructor/choreographer, known as The Dance Doctor, believes everyone has the ability to dance, and he and his team can lead the way.
With a true appreciation for the arts, Cassese’s talents are diverse and varied. Not only is he a nationally recognized dance instructor who has trained such celebrities as Adam Sandler, U2’s The Edge, Elizabeth Hurley and Sir Ben Kingsley, he is an accomplished singer and entertainer. Involved in several facets of the arts including singing, entertaining, choreographing for film, stage, television, video and private parties, as well as producing and performing dance demonstrations, Cassese is a modern-day renaissance man.
A native New Yorker, Cassese began taking dance lessons at the age of 10. Enamored by the euphoria that comes with hearing music and moving to it, and inspired by Fred Astaire, Cassese became a professional ballroom dancer, performing and competing in prestigious competitions.
He later launched his teaching career, while also singing and dancing in off-Broadway productions and performing as a night club entertainer with his “John Cassese Band.” Then, several years ago, he relocated to Los Angeles, where his cousin, Hollywood publicist Maria LaMagra, reinvented him as “The Dance Doctor,” offering private in-home dance instruction. His business became so popular he opened a studio and hired additional instructors. Today, Cassese’s studio is home to several instructors who teach a variety of genres including ballet, hip-hop, salsa, tango, and much more. The Dance Doctor’s corporate clients include such powerhouses as Sony, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox.
Although Cassese’s clients vary in ages and experience levels, he may be best known for training couples who are preparing for their wedding. Whether it’s educating a couple about basic steps, helping the couple select the first dance song and accompanying dance, or choreographing an original dance for the individual couple, Cassese makes learning how to dance for a wedding simple and fun.
While dance may be Cassese’s original love, his passion for singing has also won him praise and attention. Cassese and his band have performed for the Jerry Lewis’ Muscular Dystrophy Pre Telethon Extravaganza. He has performed at industry wrap parties and premieres (Evita, Broken Arrow, True Lies, My Giant); nightclubs (Tavern on the Green, The Improv, The Comedy Store); hotels (The Plaza, The Four Seasons, The Ritz-Carlton, The Peninsula, The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Beverly Hilton) and birthday celebrations (Billy Crystal’s 50th, Wolfgang Puck’s 50th) to name a few.
Cassese has completed a series of swing dance instructional videos, as well as wedding videos which feature fox trot, waltz and salsa combinations.
Cassese is confident that the prescription for spiritual, mental, emotional and physical benefits is just steps away.