A self-taught dancer, Fatima Robinson, 35, has been music videos’ most-coveted stepmaster for more than a decade. Now that she’s given the Dreams all the right moves for the big-screen musical, the former L.A. club kid dishes on some of the stars who’ve followed her lead.
Beyoncé had to tone it down. Since the Dreams’ choreography harks back to 1960s R&B groups like the Supremes, Robinson needed the singer to check her trademark frenetic prancing at the door. ”Women back then weren’t moving as much as they do now,” she says. ”They weren’t moving their hips as much. It was all about the shoulders and slight arm movements.”
Jamie Foxx ”has a lot of rhythm.” Though the Dreamgirls star only attended Juilliard ”for a minute,” says Robinson, ”he can dance! We were shooting this scene and I’m looking at the camera, and I’m like, ‘Is [Jamie] doing Michael Jackson?’ He forgot the step and went into his own thing!”
Fergie was easy… ”She’s a natural dancer,” Robinson says. ”She’s like a ball of clay and you can just mold her.” For the Black Eyed Peas’ ”My Humps,” Robinson says the singer, not surprisingly, wanted a video ”about a girl and her butt, but not being so over-the-top that it feels like ‘Baby Got Back.”’
…but Nelly Furtado wasn’t. Working with the ”Promiscuous” singer on the set of that video ”was a little unnatural because it was the first song she hadn’t written [all the lyrics to] herself. So we just got in front of the mirror and played the song over and over to find out what felt comfortable for her.”
Jessica Simpson’s ”not the dancer type.” On the set of ”These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” Robinson worked around Simpson’s self-admitted lack of coordination (remember Newlyweds?) by ”surrounding all the action around [her], so it looks good without having [her] do too much.”