Chosen as background dancers for Whitney Houston biopic
Two Phunk Phenomenon dancers will have an interesting time when they watch the movie premiere that they star in. Peabody resident Maya Sutton, 13, and Lynn resident Devin Woolridge, 37, are background dancers in the movie “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” produced by Clive Davis. The movie centers around the late R & B singer Whitney Houston and her husband, Bobby Brown of Boston’s New Edition fame.
Wooldridge, whose dance is five minutes long (with 50 takes), said it was an amazing opportunity, getting the gig out of thousands of male dancers nationwide. “My mother, Robyn, grew up listening to [Houston],” Wooldridge said in the Everett studio on Tuesday. He has been dancing and teaching with Phunk Phenomenon for 14 years. His 1984 old-school hip-hop piece was filmed at the Wang Theatre in Boston’s theater district.
Sutton also grew up listening to Houston. “It was an unexpected, exciting opportunity,” Sutton said. “My piece is jazz incorporated with hip-hop.”
She filmed her five-minute dance, also with 50 takes, at the House of Blues near Fenway Park. Sutton has been dancing with Phunk Phenomenon for six years.
Her mother, Kathy Sutton, said they’re super excited for the opportunity and to see both dancers on the big screen. “I thank Reia for allowing her to be considered,” Kathy Sutton said. “I went to the House of Blues for the filming, and it was a cool experience to watch.”
Phunk Phenomenon Director and Co-Founder Reia Connor submitted an application last November, and these two dancers were chosen for the part. “I feel very blessed and proud to have some of our dancers represent themselves and our company in a major movie for this beautiful icon,” Connor said.