Donora native dances with Beyonce, preparing new CD
While most eyes were focused on Beyonce as she delivered her electrifying stage performance at Super Bowl XLVII, Mon Valley spectators had reason to zone in on a New York gal with local ties.
Donora native Erynn Turkovich performed as a backup dancer at the Feb. 3 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show in New Orleans. The performance was another hit on the professional dancer's list of star-studded appearances that have graced her nearly 10-year career in New York and before.
“It was pretty exciting,” said the 2003 graduate of Ringgold High School. “The energy that generated from the crowd was just amazing.”
Turkovich said she started rehearsing for the event in early January before heading to New Orleans on the 20th.
“The workouts were very strenuous, very long, about 13 hours a day, but it was well worth it,” said the 27-year-old performer.
For contractual reasons, Turkovich said she is not permitted to publicly announce her performances before the event.
“We have a lot of restrictions about posting upcoming performances, so I wasn't able to tell everyone until it was over and done with,” said the dancer.
It's not the first time the local talent has backed up Beyonce. She first appeared with the singer in an MTV Video Music Awards show in 2009 and another video filmed in the Bahamas later that year.
“Beyonce's been a huge inspiration to me,” Turkovich said.
She is a client of Bloc Talent Agencies that represents choreographers, dancers and extreme athletes for films, videos, television commercials, live stage and theatre performances. She said her career has afforded her opportunities to experience tours and live shows, great networking and great pay.
“I've been dancing since I was in diapers. I've learned a lot of different techniques, and I think that has been a big advantage,” the dancer said.
A former student of Bonnie's Dance in Belle Vernon, Turkovich has studied hip-hop, ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, pointe, acrobatics and gymnastics.
At age 12, she performed at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. She also performed at the Walt Disney Parade in Orlando, Fla.
As her career in the Big Apple climbed new heights, she performed with such names as Ciara, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, P. Diddy, Aventura, Jason Foxx and the late Michael Jackson in his video “This Is It.” She entertained at Oprah's Farewell Show, the Latin Billboards, the Grammy Awards, NBA All-Stars, Star Search, Showtime at the Apollo and more.
Later this month, she will release a new vocal album, an upbeat mix of popular rhythm and blues sounds. She is still deciding between two titles for the album, a self-titled “E.Baby,” her stage name, or “Shirley Temple,” after a childhood idol.
“I'm taking vocal lessons and I have some pretty amazing coaches here,” said Turkovich. “One instructor is a Broadway singer and I've learned so much from her. I‘m also studying to play the piano.”
Turkovich said she's ready for the next level as an entertainer.
“I think I've reached the pinnacle of being just a dancer. I want to be the dancer with the microphone and to be the person singing. It's going to happen,” she said. “It's all about timing.”
While not studying or performing, Turkovich is busy operating her lingerie clothing line, E.Baby Custom Couture. “I sell a lot to celebrities, “video vixens,” the eye-candy behind the main artists, and styling girls.” she said.
The daughter of Stan and Marisa Turkovich of Donora, she said her family has been her strength.
“When I went to New York, I didn't know anyone. I didn't know how to launch my career. I didn't even know how to use the subway,“ said Turkovich. “My parents have given me a lot of support and encouragement.”
“A lot of people from Pennsylvania have been very supportive of me, too” Turkovich said. “I'm very thankful for that.”
Colleen Pollock is a freelance writer.