Channing Tatum and Adam Rodriguez’s highly anticipated Magic Mike may be a movie about male strippers… But there’s actually a Latina behind some of the men’s dance sequences… And, her name is Teresa Espinosa.
The 38-year-old Latina actress/dancer—a member of the all-female breaking dance crew Beat Freaks, which was the runner-up on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew—served as an assistant choreographer on the Steven Soderbergh-directed film, which is loosely based on star Tatum’s real-life experiences in the world of male stripping.
Filming on Magic Mike took less than a month, leaving rehearsals “very sporadic because everybody’s schedule was so mixed up,” said Espinosa, who, assisting fellow Beat Freaks member Alison Faulk, choreographed group numbers and solo routines. “We’d get one hour with one person, another hour the next person. For one of the group numbers, we didn’t have everybody rehearsing together until the day of that shoot. But they all worked very hard individually that when it came together for the shoot day, they created magic.”
After graduating from the California Institute of the Arts, Espinosa got her big break dancing with Janet Jackson on her The Velvet Rope World Tour, and she later received an Emmy nomination for contributing choreography for Jackson’s HBO special.
Since then Espinosa has danced and choreographed for several popular artists, including Britney Spears, Pink, Rihanna, Mariah Carey and Miley Cyrus.
“The reason why I feel like I have been so successful is because of my passion,” said Espinosa in an interview with Latination. “I live and die by it!”
Meanwhile, Espinosa is excited about sharing her work on Magic Mike with the world.
“I don’t think any of us, except for Channing Tatum, really understood what we were getting into.”
Magic Mike opens in theaters this Friday, June 29.