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Dancing with a star

She’s only been in L.A. for a few months, but Dani Wendel already has a high-profile job on her resume — being in a Beyoncé video

August 27, 2011
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - It's not every day when a young dancer from Marshall gets the chance to be in a Beyonce music video.

Dani Wendel appears in the video for Beyonce's single "Run the World," which was made a few months ago.

Ever since she moved to Los Angeles in February, Wendel said she has been constantly working in dance.

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Dani Wendel, a Marshall native, has started her professional dance career in the Los Angeles area.

"I've booked consistent jobs since I've got there," she said. She credits her core training with the Southwest School of Dance, learning all different styles of dance.

That's mainly in part to getting an agent. Wendel is represented by the Trio Talent Agency in Los Angeles.

"You can't work commercially in L.A. without an agent," Wendel said. Besides the video, Wendel said she was in a fashion show in L.A., danced with the Los Angeles Rock Opera and is part of the Joseph Allen Decker Dance Company. She's had auditions for dance jobs with Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and the Cirque du Soleil

It was through the Trio Talent Agency that Wendel got the job on the Beyonce video. The choreographer for "Run the World," Frank Gatson, who also choreographed "Single Ladies," has the same agent as Wendel.

In turn, choreographers support their agency by selecting artists from the same place to do a project, Wendel said.

"They just picked people from the agency to do the video," Wendel said. She got the video job in April.

Wendel said the video took three days to shoot and she was there for one of those days and a rehearsal day before the shoot. The concept of the video was explained on rehearsal day and dancers learned the movements.

Information about the video was kept heavily under wraps, Wendel said.

"They're obviously very strict," Wendel said about those making the video. "I signed a lot of privacy papers."

When Wendel saw an actual lion on the set of the video, she did wonder what it was being used for. The video also has hyenas.

The video was also made in an unusual venue.

"It was shot under the 405 freeway," Wendel said.

Extra money was budgeted to block the freeway, Wendel said, so no one could illegally obtain information about the video.

"They had to take extra precautions to block anything," she said.

But the job was fun, she said.

"It was cool because we got to work with the director of 'I Am Legend,'" Wendel said. Francis Lawrence, who directed the movie, was also the director of Beyonce's video for "Run the World." "It was almost surreal, to be there doing that."

But it's not as glamorous behind the scenes when shooting the video, Wendel said. The shot didn't get done until 4 a.m.

"Sand was blowing everywhere," Wendel said. And it was at night, by the ocean, so it was cold, she said.

Wendel said she's fortunate she got such a notable job in just a few short months in Los Angeles.

"I'm really lucky because there's people in L.A. who have been there for a lot of years and have never done anything like this," Wendel said. "I'm really blessed."



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