Bob Boross is known internationally for his artistic excellence in jazz, tap, and musical theatre dance. Bob's career began as a musical theatre performer in productions of West Side Story, Godspell, Zorba, Funny Girl, The Boyfriend, and The Pirates of Penzance (Pirate King). He made his Broadway debut in the 1981 revival of Can-Can, staged by French ballet choreographer Roland Petit. Since then he has choreographed Equity and Non-Equity productions of Annie Get Your Gun, Guys and Dolls, Victor/Victoria, Blood Brothers, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
On the international concert stage, Bob's work has been commissioned by the 3rd International Jazz Dance Forum in Paris, France; Kannon Dance House and the Boris Eifman Dance Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia; Just Jazz Dance Company in Finland; Millennium Dance 2000 in London, England; Pro Danza Italia and La Bella Vita Arts in Italy; the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm, Sweden; and the First Congress on Dance in Mexico.
Bob's choreography has been commissioned in three major American cities; New York - Jazz Roots Dance Company, the NY Jazz Choreography Project, and the Choreographer's Canvas; Washington DC - VelocityDC Dance Festival; Los Angeles - Jazz Dance LA at the Japan-American Theatre, Spectrum Dance in LA at the Ivar Theatre in Hollywood, and the Gypsy Awards Dance Show held a the Beverly Hilton Hotel honoring Gregory Hines, Joel Gray, June Haver, and Rita Moreno. As a faculty member and Head of Jazz Dance at University of California, Irvine, Bob's choreography appeared in concerts alongside works by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Donald McKayle, Martha Graham, and Jose Limon.
Bob's most ambitious work is Empty Sky…The Rising, an evening length dance theatre piece that examined hardships endured as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Set to twelve songs by Bruce Springsteen (fully licensed and sanctioned by Springsteen), ESTR debuted in 2005 at the Two River Theatre in NJ. National dance critic Karyn Collins wrote in the Asbury Park Press (NJ):
"Empty Sky…The Rising is a work that deserves to be seen and savored…it is a fine creation that earns its place in the larger discussion on art inspired by the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001…the mix of character and movement is brought to an emotionally rich fruition. And we are left with an experience that is well worth the journey."
In August 2016 Bob was one of nine invited jazz dance professors to headline the National Dance Educator's Organization Roots of Jazz Dance conference held in Rhode Island. His work there was featured in Dance Studio Life magazine in December 2016, and Dance Teacher magazine featured Bob as a master teacher of the Matt Mattox freestyle jazz dance technique in their October 2016 issue. Bob was also interviewed as a noted jazz dance master for inclusion in the upcoming Transmissions Jazz Dance Documentary in March 2018.
Bob's dance approach is mainly influenced by the jazz dance pioneer Matt Mattox and his freestyle jazz dance method, and he is known as an expert in the precise, elegant Mattox technique and movement style. Over the years Bob's students have enjoyed great success - dancing on Broadway, in films, music videos, ballet companies, in Las Vegas, on the Academy Awards show, and as finalists in the shows So You Think You Can Dance and Step Up and Dance (Bravo network). Bob's recent teaching was as invited jazz dance specialist for the Boris Eifman Dance Academy and the new Phil LaDuca Broadway Dance Center, both in St Petersburg, Russia, in a trip sponsored by the US State Dept/Embassy. Most recently he was an invited faculty member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Summer Intensive in Rockville, Maryland, and a teacher/choreographer for National Dance Day held at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Nationally, Bob has given master classes at Northwestern University, Carnegie Mellon University, New York University, Hunter College, and Southern Methodist University; in New York at Broadway Dance Center, STEPS, Peridance, New Dance Group Arts Center, Dance New Amsterdam, DanceSpace, and Manhattan Movement and Arts Center; in Chicago for the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project; and in Los Angeles at the Lula Washington Dance Center and Hama's Dance Center.
Bob is also known as an author on jazz dance, and his writings have been published in Dance Chronicle, Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, Dancer, and in the anthology Jazz Dance - A History of its Roots and Branches. His book Image of Perfection: The Freestyle Dance of Matt Mattox is available at the iBookstore, while his compendium Comments on Jazz Dance 1996-2014 is available at the iBookstore and in paperback at Amazon.
Bob holds the M.A. in Individualized Study (Jazz Dance) from the Gallatin School of New York University. He has held professorships at Illinois State University, Western Kentucky University, Shenandoah University, Radford University, and the University of California, Irvine where he was appointed head of jazz dance. At Stephens College in Missouri, Bob served as Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Dance Department. Bob is currently an Adjunct Professor of Jazz Dance at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. Since 2003 he has been an invited member of the Advisory Board of Dance Teacher magazine.
- Mattox Class on Zoom
- Dance Company
- Bob Boross Blog
- Dance Teacher Summit Lectures