Cheryl Todmann has shared her passion for dance, children, community building, and social justice with diverse audiences in New York City through The Stars of New York Dance.
Cheryl began her career marketing media for companies such Essence Magazine, The New York Times, and MTV Networks. But at age 30 with two bad knees, she felt the need to move, physically, to be fulfilled. So, she joined the dance ministry at St. Paul Community Baptist Church in East New York, and it changed her life. As Cheryl danced, she became more confident and creative, and started winning awards at work. She realized that if dance could do this for her, it could help children reach their full potential.
With a leap of faith, she resigned from her corporate job, and became a personal trainer to begin her calling of marketing movement, and healing herself and others. She founded the Jewel & Rock Fitness dance program at St. Paul, and in 1999, joined Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn as marketing director in exchange for professional dance lessons.
In 2001, she made her professional dance debut in Creative Outlet’s “Best of Seven” dance concert at BAM, performed with Tony Award-winning choreographer George Faison in his “Tribute to the Amistad” at Riverbank Park, danced for Isaac Hayes’ Birthday Bash at the Copacabana, and with her Jewel & Rock Fitness dancers, was a semifinalist in the McDonald’s Gospelfest.
In 2002, Cheryl experienced the unimaginable. Along with 20 dancers from Jewel & Rock Fitness, Cheryl performed for Michael Jackson’s 30 Years of Magic Fan Celebration at Webster Hall. Michael Jackson shared with the crowd, "I like the Jewels!”
In 2006, one chance viewing of Dancing with the Stars confirmed Cheryl’s calling. And in 2010, The Stars of New York Dance was born in Brooklyn. Rev. Al Sharpton, and then Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Chirlane McCray were special guests dancers. Cheryl’s mentors Susan L. Taylor, Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, and Terrie M. Williams joined hundreds of other guests who cheered on the inaugural dancing group of notable New Yorkers for this first-of-its-kind New York City dance-off.