What has So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 winner, Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, been up to since the show? Quite a bit. The dancer/choreographer/creative director, who has dabbled in anything from classical dance companies to Broadway to commercial work, has most recently launched his own company and brand, I Am Force (IAF), which places all of his creative talents and knowledge in one place.
With IAF, which had its official launch event on November 14 in North Hollywood, Wespi-Tschopp will offer exclusive creative services such as original choreography for both video and stage, photography, mentoring and guidance for young dancers, and even his own dance clothing line.
“IAF is different from any other brand out there because not only does it offer a wide range of mediums, but I also believe it to be true to its concept,” Wespi-Tschopp tells Dance Informa. “Through IAF, I try to give artists and young dancers a way to connect with each other, while feeling a part of the IAF brand and family. As a young dancer, I think it is important to be able to be inspired and connected to these dance forces.”
Wespi-Tschopp says he first came up with the concept of IAF shortly after SYTYCD, and that he has been inspired by numerous creative people throughout his career.
“I have been lucky to have worked with some of the greatest choreographers and directors of our time,” he shares. “Getting that experience has inspired me to find my own creative voice. I had the opportunity to work as the Assistant Creative Director on American Idol last season. That has opened up my eyes to even more creative possibilities. I hope to give myself and aspiring dancers an outlet to be seen and heard in a creative and artistic way.”
The first of many of IAF’s events, the IAF Experience, was held in November at West Coast Dance Theatre. There, dancers were able to take classes alongside some of LA’s top working professionals, in classes by leading choreographers, participate in exclusive photo sessions, and meet-and-greet with special guests from SYTYCD, Dancing with the Stars and Dance Moms. Wespi-Tschopp calls the IAF Experience “unlike a convention” and will host future events in LA.
In addition, IAF will partner with MSA Agency and Relativity Film School to offer scholarships and awards to dance conventions and local dance studios such as Millennium Dance Complex. Relativity School alone has donated a $1,000 scholarship.
Wespi-Tschopp plans to bring in numerous big names in the dance industry: SYTYCD alumni Mark Kanemura, Witney Carson, Lindsay Arnold and Jasmine Harper; choreographers Tyce Diorio, Kyle Hanagami, Nick DeMoura and Meghan Sanett; and IAF kids Kaylyn Slevin, Lucy Vallely, Ava Cota, Sophia Lucia and Ashleigh Ross.
As well as offering IAF Experience events, IAF will also release monthly YouTube videos, for which they will be casting dancers each month.
“I am most excited to expand in the dance community and begin launching and creating our monthly dance choreographic videos, featuring our IAF kids,” Wespi-Tschopp adds. “In the next five years, I would love for IAF to turn into a full production company, while still remaining a dance brand. I would like to think that dancers can identify themselves with this brand and aim to be a force that inspires others in this industry.”
To stay tuned with all of IAF’s services and events, head to iafstudios.com.
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.
Photo (top): Chehon Wespi-Tschopp’s I Am Force. Photo by IAF Studios.