A few years ago I met with Beau Fournier for an interview and photoshoot. Beau is a successful dancer (with Fanny Pak) and choreographer who has made many appearances from film to broadway and even his own very popular YouTube channel.
You may be wondering what brought us two unlikely people together? We are in completely different fields but because of parallels in our personalities, which also holds an importantance in our work, we are able to find connections through design, movement, music and fashion all together fuelled by our love for life and our dream pursuit.
I like to be real so here's a (mostly) unedited look at our conversation:
Reese: So everyone that I work with, they do something in the creative field whether it’s dancer, singer, artist or whatever. So I just wanted to know a little bit more of how you got to where you are. I’m writing content for the site and I’m trying to inspire people to like live out their dreams and do what makes us happy.
Reese: We’re good, we’re recording? Ok I’m just looking at the questions. What inspires you to do what you are doing?
Beau: I think the thing that most…well. Wow, that’s a general hard question. I think the thing that makes me inspired most is something that is out of the box for sure. And I know that this is cliché, but something that I wasn’t looking for. So if I’m searching for something, I probably won’t get inspired. It’s usually by happenstance. And in my field, which is dance and movement, I’m really inspired by people just committing to whatever they want to do and being original in their own way. With that being said, I don’t like it when people are just very carbon copies of other people. You know what I mean? If they’re good at their field, that’s great. But something that their so committed to and then they just sell it confidence, then that’s probably what I’m most inspired by. But for me, for creativity, for me to spark that fire, music has a lot to play. I’ve always had music in my blood since I was little. My parents, well my family, is big into music. I didn’t start dancing until I was 19. So I started really, really late. But I think the thing that inspired me the most was how to fuse music into movement. And I always knew that I had rhythm but I didn’t know what 8 counts were or I didn’t what like dance moves were. And when I found out that that was possible, to put movement to music that I understood, yeah that was really cool.
Reese: Was there someone or something that like led to, like you said you started dancing only at 19, was there someone or something that made you realize that this was it, this was something that you wanted to do?
Beau: Well, this is kind of a funny story. Throughout high school, I knew I had rhythm. During pep rallies and stuff, we used to make fun of N’sync and stuff and copy all of their music videos. And then when my friend went to the same college as me, I’m a year older, he’s like ‘Yo, we should just audition for this hip hop team as a joke’ I said, ‘ok’. So we went to this audition and we ended up making it. And we were like ‘ok, let’s just go. It’s a club and org and it will look good on our resume’. And then we fell in love with it. I met a bunch of people on the team and since it was so close to the industry here, we’d kinda took classes here every now and then and it just completely clicked. We have like our core group of people and a lot of people from Fanny Pak came from this hip hop team from Cal State Northridge. So we just kind of like fused a bunch of movement that we were learning but then also being weird and imaginative and innovative a little bit. And we just didn’t care what people thought. I think that’s why I get inspired by things like that.
Reese: That’s a good answer like not to always wonder about what other people are going to think about what you are doing and just do it because it’s coming from your heart or our whatever, you know?
Beau: I mean there’s like, you know, there’s always those people ‘ugh I do what I want and I don’t care what people think’. Like that’s a lie. People always know like they always care what people think for sure. But it’s the “going forward” and making the slight adjustments to inspire people. I think that’s the most important thing. You can get all of the haters that you want. But if you just inspire just a few people, then that’s what matters most.
Reese: It’s worth it. Is there someone in the industry that you look up to? Like, you know, that’s where you want to be?
Beau: Yeah, well Matt Cady. He’s the one who actually brainstormed Fanny Pak, I guess. And we all like took this leap of faith. But he’s been my best friend for, shoot, 12 years. I think? And he inspires me the most because we were on the same road and he’s just doing a lot of things that he really like to do as well. I’m doing the same things but he fuels my fire. But in the direction that I want to go, which is like creative director and just very direction of choreography, I guess you could say. Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo, Nappytabs, they are my biggest inspiration mentors right now. I work with them a lot. I assist them a lot on a lot of gigs and a lot of jobs. And just the way they work pretty much molds my mindset onto what I really want to go towards.
Reese: I know you mentioned music being important to you. So is that like when your ideas come to you? Like when you are listening to some of the good music?
Beau: Yeah I think everybody has like different ideas when it comes to their brain like ‘Oh, I want to do this for this and this’. And then I’ve always had those ideas or I’ll have these little seeds that I’ve kind of planted. But a song will flourish that. The song will be the water, the song will be like the fertilizer to whatever seed I’m planting into my row, you know what I mean? Whatever song comes into play, it kind of like blossoms into whatever I want it to.
Reese: And the music, is that what also motivates you?
Beau: For sure. That totally motivates me because I’ll play a song and then I’ll get people’s reactions to it. And then it will be either a bad one or a good one. But the good ones will be like ‘ ok. Let’s dance, let’s do it’. I love having people around me in like a creative workshop area. I love creating on people. I have the worst short-term memory in the world. I’ll like choreograph something and ‘ugh what did I just do?’ So I love having…
Reese: people that remember it around you?
Beau: Kinda. But I love seeing it.
Beau: Because I can care less about what I look like in the mirror or like what I feel. But if I can feel it on them and on what they’re feeling, then that really solidifies it for me too. I love creating on people and molding.
Reese: It’s funny how similar it is to design. It’s the same thing because I’ll like design something, although I’d love to wear it. But when I’m putting it on Daniel and it looks good on him I’m just like (gasp) or seeing it on other people like you, I’m just like ‘oh wow! Like it looks good on so many people.’ It’s great to see your artwork on other people.
Beau: I think that’s the icing on the cake. For sure. Because it’s like ‘oh, I’m jammin’ and then you get footage and you’re like ‘oh God, what the hell am I doing?’ You know what I mean? But then you see it like on other people and you’re like ‘ok, cool. They can do that’.
Reese: That’s cool! We got it? Those are all of the question. I want to get a selfie with you
Beau: Ok, let’s do it.
I couldn't find that selfie but here are some behind the scenes videos from Youtube: