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December 04, 2013

From the Chairman

Hayma Washington, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Whether you were seated in our Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, California, or watching later online, you were surely tapping your feet to the Television Academy’s February 16 event celebrating our new choreographers’ peer group.

“Whose Dance Is It Anyway?” showcased many of the industry’s top dance creators, who discussed their craft, reprised some memorable pieces and premiered original works.

Hosting the evening was Mandy Moore, a four-time Emmy nominee for her choreography on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and also a producer-choreographer on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Her choreography for the multi-Oscar-winning film La La Land is receiving much well-deserved attention (the Motion Picture Academy does not award Oscars for choreography; otherwise she would surely have been nominated).

I am thrilled that Mandy is also one of the two governors of our newest branch, having been elected by her peers along with the distinguished Kathryn Burns, who naturally was part of our exciting evening. Kat won her first Emmy last year, for her work on the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, where she infuses plenty of humor into some very impressive productions.

Prior to establishing their own peer group (bringing the Academy total to 30), our choreographer-members belonged to our directors’ branch. Several Academy members were instrumental in assisting the choreographers to secure their own Academy home; they include Gail Mancuso, a directors’ governor and a two-time Emmy winner for ABC’s Modern Family; producer Nigel Lythgoe, a 12-time Emmy nominee for SYTYCD and Fox’s American Idol; husband-and-wife choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo (you may know them as Nappytabs), Emmy winners for SYTYCD; as well as choreographers Michael Rooney and Christian Perry.

As word spreads in the dance community about the new group, we expect to see choreographers, co-choreographers, creative directors, associate and assistant choreographers as well as dancers (who are all eligible to apply) joining the ranks. Academy membership is already on the upswing: we now have well over 22,000 members, a nearly double-digit percentage increase over last year.

Our members not only enjoy a range of benefits — like our many events, the opportunity to vote in the Emmys and a subscription to emmy magazine — they have the chance to lend a hand to the next generation of industry professionals, via the Television Academy Foundation.

By the time you read this message, hundreds of our members will have volunteered to judge the College Television Awards, widely regarded as the nation’s leading competition for student productions. This year’s awards ceremony will be held May 24, and for the young content creators honored that night — for work recognized by the same group that votes for the Emmys — a win is thrilling. In many cases, the experience marks the beginning of a long career and further confirms the role of the Foundation as the premier incubator of industry talent.

Another Foundation initiative, its internship program, offers more than 50 students from across the country an eight-week paid summer position in one of more than 30 television disciplines. This is a wonderful way for students to gain experience and develop industry contacts. If you would like to help us identify the strongest candidates, please contact the Foundation at

There are many ways to participate in the Academy. As the year moves forward, please consider joining us in one or more of our efforts to promote excellence and inclusiveness in our industry.

Hayma Washington
Chairman and CEO Television Academy

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