Sam Picart, 25, works with his youngest hip hop students at The Dance School in Everett. Picant and his students perform Sunday afternoon at Xfinity Arena during the Harlem Globetrotters intermission.

See dance teacher’s prize-winning moves at Globetrotters game

  • By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016 2:09pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

EVERETT — See the winner dance.

At halftime during the Harlem Globetrotters game on Sunday at Xfinity Arena, the audience will see a performance by Sam Picart, the recent winner of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres’ national Dance Off competition.

Picart’s hip hop presentation will also feature 30 of his enthusiastic young students from The Dance School in Everett.

A 2013 graduate of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Picart, 25, is in his second year of teaching at the school.

Heidi Heimarck, executive director of The Dance School, couldn’t be more proud.

“There were thousands of dance video submissions to Ellen’s TV show, and Sam got the trophy,” Heimarck said. “We’re so grateful that he’s shared his expertise with the kids of Snohomish County. Sam is a good example of the school’s commitment to excellent education.”

Everett dance moms Melissa Stanley and Melana Bontrager say their sons, Hollis Bontrager, 9, and Tyler Stanley, 10, can’t get enough of hip hop and the time they spend with Picart.

“Hollis loves Sam and he can’t stop dancing, ever,” said his mother. “Hollis dances when he is walking down the street. He dances during his basketball games. Whenever Hollis and Tyler get together, they dance.”

Picart said he was much like Hollis and Tyler as a kid growing up in Kansas City, Missouri.

“I would watch YouTube videos and listen to songs by Missy Elliott,” he said. “After high school, I moved to Seattle to study dance. My aunt teaches ballet in Bremerton. She encouraged me to apply to Cornish.”

Along with The Dance School, Picart also teaches at eXit Space School of Dance in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle.

Friends and family members encouraged his entry into “Ellen’s Dance Off.”

Picart submitted a 30-second clip in which he danced to the song WTF (Where They From) by Missy Elliott, featuring Pharrell Williams. And then the same friends and family voted for his video, which subsequently landed on DeGeneres’ desk as a semi-finalist.

“I entered just for fun,” Picart said. “When they showed my clip on TV, that’s all I needed. At that point I didn’t need to win, I was good.”

Picart was invited a few weeks ago for a taping of the Ellen Show. He went to Los Angeles, expecting to sit in the audience with other Dance Off semi-finalists. Picart was surprised when DeGeneres named him the winner and presented him with a $10,000 prize.

“You don’t think these things will happen to you,” he said.

The show aired Jan. 21, the dance teacher’s phone buzzed constantly all day and the huge trophy was shipped to him last week.

What’s Picart going to do with the money?

“Pay off my college loans,” he said. “What else?”

The dance on Sunday is set to the music of Missy Elliott (“who else?”) and others.

“Oh, my gosh, the kids are so excited to dance at Xfinity,” Picart said. “It’s going to be high energy.”

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427;

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