Kida Burns Brings It to Howard High | Inside Dance

Kida Burns Brings It to Howard High | Inside Dance

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By Kristyn Burtt

If you’ve been following Kida Burns’ career, you already know that going viral was something that started for him early on. As a member of the crew The ART of Teknique, one of their early videos landed them on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. By the time he won “America’s Favorite Dancer” on the 13th season of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation, his path to stardom was firmly cemented in place. Now 19 years old, Burns is taking on new challenges with Tubi’s movie musical, Howard High. The film follows a high school musical group that enters a competition against their rival school to help save their performing arts program while also dealing with personal issues facing them as teens. 

Director Christopher B. Stokes, who helmed the 2004 dance drama, You Got Served, approached Burns about the project — not only to play rapper and dancer Treyvon Johnson in the film, but to help co-choreograph the numbers alongside legends Chuck Maldonado and Alfred “Black” Thomas II. In Hollywood, it’s a big deal to be able to skip the audition process, but Stokes knew that the dance star was going to thrive in this project.

“I’ve always been close with Chris and he’s always kept me a loop on a lot of things,” Burns told Inside Dance, “But this particular job, he knew that my role was going to definitely fit me. And working with so many dope people in the movie, it was an amazing feeling to be able to choreograph. I got to work with Chuck and Black, they’ve been in the industry for so long — we got to feed off each other’s vibes.”

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Burns found some considerable production differences from his beloved Instagram and TikTok videos — which have been filmed in everyday locations like his kitchen or a gas station — to choreographing for the big screen. “For those who know me, I make videos constantly and it’s usually three people, quick choreography and it requires 20 minutes to record the video. So [the movie] took more time than you thought,” he laughed. “There were times where we had to literally switch dancers the day of the shoot [due to COVID] and had to teach other dancers that didn’t know the routine. It was hard, but we all put our heads together and we all made it work.”

Working on Howard High also ignited a fire inside of the multi-talented artist because he has a bigger vision for his career in the future. Don’t worry, there is more acting, dancing and choreographing ahead for Burns, but he still has major goals on his entertainment industry bucket list. “I’ve always wanted to be a creative director. Even if I’m not choreographing, putting my vision out on the big screen, and making it come to life — I’ve always been that kind of person who wanted to do that,” Burns revealed. “So, I would say this is definitely jump-starting me to definitely see bigger things and see more opportunities that I can create for myself. This is a start for me to basically live out my dreams.”

Howard High is now available for streaming on Tubi.

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Photography courtesy of Tubi

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