Kevin Stea

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Kevin Stea
Kevin Stea red head shot.jpg
Born (1969-10-17) October 17, 1969 (age 49)
Occupationdancer, choreographer, actor, singer, director, model

Kevin Alexander Stea (born October 17, 1969) is an American dancer, choreographer, actor, singer, director and model. He has worked as a dancer and choreographer with a number of high-profile artists, including Madonna, Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson, and has appeared in several movies and television shows.

Stea was an assistant choreographer and dance captain for Madonna's Blond Ambition Tour in 1990, and subsequently appeared in the 1991 documentary film Madonna: Truth or Dare.[1][2][3] In January 1992, along with fellow dancers Oliver Crumes and Gabriel Trupin, Stea filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court against Madonna's production company Boy Toy Inc, Miramax Films and Propaganda Films, alleging fraud and invasion of privacy as a result of the documentary.[4][5][6][7][8] Because of the international notoriety of Madonna, the suit became a pervasive media topic with Stea discussed in the news and appearing on talk shows such as Maury Povich.[9] After more than two years of litigation, the suit was withdrawn in October 1994 and an undisclosed settlement was reached.[10]

While the suit made its way through the courts, Stea went on to lay out a solid foundation for his professional career: appearing in the role of Swifty The Rake in the Disney musical Newsies, touring in the Glorious Revolution tour with Japanese pop-star Seiko Matsuda, and working with Michael Jackson by appearing in the iconic MTV 10th Anniversary live performance of Will You Be There 1991, and then going on to serve as the associate choreographer for the official videos Black or White and Blood on the Dance Floor.[11]

Early life[edit]

Kevin Stea was born in Hollywood, California, and is half-Caucasian and half-Chinese. His father owned a Chinese restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles.[12] He grew up in various places in the United States (California; Marlette, Michigan; Eugene, Oregon; Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Santa Fe, New Mexico), and then completed his high school education in Singapore on a scholarship at the United World College of South East Asia, as a boarder, where he received the International Baccalaureate Diploma.[12] Following that, he went on to the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television, which he left to pursue a dance career.


Dancing and choreography[edit]

A gymnast while in his youth, Stea began dancing seriously while he was at college. A year after his first dance job, he was hired by Madonna as a dance captain, dancer and assistant choreographer on her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour. Stea appeared several times in the documentary Truth or Dare, which was made about the tour.[5][6][7][13] Along with Oliver Crumes and Gabriel Trupin who appeared in the documentary, Stea sued Madonna in the Los Angeles Superior Court for fraud and invasion of privacy, claiming that she had lied about the film and that they were not paid for their appearance in it.[8][14][15] According to Stea, "Madonna told me she had a crush on me when we first started. And I thought she hated me.."[16] Leslie C. Dunn and Nancy A. Jones in their book Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture (1997) argue that Stea and the other two dancers viewed Madonna as a motherly figure, a "mommy dearest".[17]

Subsequently, Stea danced and assisted with choreography for Michael Jackson.[18][19] He has also worked with numerous other high-profile music acts including Prince, Ricky Martin, Janet Jackson, George Michael, David Bowie, Celine Dion, Herb Alpert, Macy Gray, Anastacia, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Tony Bennett,, Jane's Addiction, A. R. Rahman (India), Seiko Matsuda (Japan), and the Pussycat Dolls.[12][18] In 2009, he danced in "The Question", by J.T. Horenstein at the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre.[20][21]

In the mid-1990s, Stea worked in Italy, performing, singing and choreographing on a variety of television shows including Buona Domenica, Non Dimenticate Lo Spazzolino Da Denti and Carramba Che Sorpresa.[22][23][24][25]

Fashion modelling[edit]

Also in the '90s, Stea began working as a fashion model for such designers as Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein in Los Angeles; Exte, Fendi, Nicola Trussardi and Romeo Gigli in Milan; and Jean-Paul Gaultier and Jose Levy in Paris. He also choreographed runway shows for Thierry Mugler in Los Angeles and appeared on the runway as a dancer for Gucci presentation in Los Angeles. He has also appeared in fashion spreads in high end magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar (Italy), and on the cover of the Cosmopolitan (magazine) European Edition.[26] His modeling work has continued with a 2009 spread in Fantasticsmag and a runway stint for the Band of Outsiders line in Florence in June 2011.[27][28]

He also modeled in the works of fashion/artist photographers such as Peter Palladino, Herb Ritts, Robert Deutschman, Reggie Casagrande, Peggy Sirota, Dan Nix, Maurizio Montani, and Andrea Marino.[29] Of particular note is work on several projects with artist/photographer David LaChapelle. He modeled in LaChapelle’s homage to Bruce Lee and Chinese Pop Culture, part of the “Raft” exhibition which opened in Hong Kong in May 2011 at de Sarthe Fine Art.[30]

He also sings and performs under the name That Rogue Romeo and released the album entitled "Machine & Magic" on June 4, 2012, at the Ripples club in Long Beach, California.[31][32]

Acting and commercials[edit]

In 1995, he starred as Daryl in Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls, a film which was a major flop and often considered one of the worst films ever made but which began to develop a cult following in 2006.[33][34] Stea has appeared in numerous movies and television series, mainly in dancer roles, including Newsies, Melrose Place, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Showgirls, The Birdcage, Across the Universe, Fired Up,[35] Charlie's Angels, Friends, Austin Powers in Goldmember,[36]13 Going On 30,[37] Rent, Scrubs, Dancing with the Stars, Rumor Has It... and Naked Boys Singing. He has appeared in over 50 commercials, most notably for Gap, Old Navy and Pepsi.[38]

Mr. Stea is featured in the 2015 documentary Strike a Pose directed by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan. The film was partially financed by the International Documentary Film Festival Forum Award, Amsterdam, and was produced by CTM Docs and The Other Room in coproduction with Serendipity Films and NTR.[39][40] The documentary follows the lives of Madonna’s Blond Ambition dancers twenty-five years later; the dancers sharing their own stories about life during and after the famed 1990 tour.

The film premiered at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival where it received the second place Panorama audience award for a documentary.[41] The film went on to have its American premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, the Latin American premiere at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema BAFICI, and premiered April 28 at the largest documentary festival in the world: Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. The film has received favorable reviews in important journals worldwide, including: The New York Times, 4/14/2016,[42] The Independent (UK) 2/9/2016,[43] The Huffington Post (US) 2/17/2016,[44] Deutsche Welle (Germany) 2/19/2016,[45] The Village Voice, New York,[46] i-D Magazine (US/UK) 2/19/2016,[47] Toronto Star, 5/3/2016,[48] Arte TV (France/Belgium),[49] The Playlist ( 2/21/2016,[50] The Hollywood Reporter (Hollywood) 2/21/2016,[51] Die Welt (Berlin) 2/21/2016,[52] Rolling Stone (German edition) 2/19/2016,[53] Vibe (magazine), Hollywood, 5/2/3016,[54] GoWithTheVlo (Netherlands) 2/15/2016,[55] People (magazine), Hollywood 4/13/2016 [56] and again in People (magazine), Hollywood, 4/15/2016 [57] and El Mundo 2/17/2016.[58]


  1. ^ Talent Portfolio: Kevin Stea, Retrieved August 24, 2008
  2. ^ Bio Kevin Stea Biography: associate choreographer, dance captain and dancer on Madonna's Blonde Ambition World Tour
  3. ^ Professional Directory associate choreographer, dance captain and dancer for Blond Ambition tour
  4. ^ Hartford Courant Dancers Settle Suit Against Madonna, October 2, 1994
  5. ^ a b Negrón-Muntaner, Frances (May 2004). Boricua pop: Puerto Ricans and the latinization of American culture. NYU Press. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-8147-5818-2. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Sussex Publishers, LLC (May 1992). Spy. Sussex Publishers, LLC. p. 16. ISSN 0890-1759. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Taraborrelli, J. Randy (February 1, 2002). Madonna: An Intimate Biography. Simon and Schuster. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-7432-2880-0. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  8. ^ a b O'Brien, Lucy (August 27, 2007). Madonna: like an icon. Bantam Press. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-593-05547-2. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  9. ^ Collection Index Maury Povich, Maury Povich shows pertaining to lawsuit part of a DVD collection about Madonna
  10. ^ Courant Dancers Settle Suit Against Madonna, October 2, 1994
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c "Dancer Kevin Stea". Asiance April 15, 2009. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  13. ^ The Film journal. Pubsun Corp. January 1, 1991. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  14. ^ "Madonna: It;s my Movie and I'll Lie If I Want To". Spy. May 1992.
  15. ^ J. Randy Taraborrelli (2002). Madonna: An Intimate Biography. Simon and Schuster. pp. 219–220. ISBN 978-0-7432-2880-0.
  16. ^ Madonna, the Rolling stone files: the ultimate compendium of interviews, articles, facts, and opinions from the files of Rolling stone. Hyperion. May 8, 1997. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-7868-8154-3. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  17. ^ Dunn, Leslie C.; Jones, Nancy A. (January 13, 1997). Embodied Voices: Representing Female Vocality in Western Culture. Cambridge University Press. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-521-58583-5. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  18. ^ a b "I love Indian moves: Kevin Stea". The Times of India. April 19, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  19. ^ Southern California Public Radio Transcript-Kevin Stea Remembrance of Michael Jackson. Retrieved June 11, 2011
  20. ^ Victoria Looseleaf (March 10, 2009). "Review: 'The Question' makes dance out of ... a murder trial". Los Angeles Times.
  21. ^
  22. ^ Spazzolino da Denti, Ambra Angiolini Bio, choreographer Kevin Stea
  23. ^ Buona Domenica, Carramba che Sorpressa, August 15, 2010 article, Tiramo section, Kevin Stea
  24. ^ Savona News: Made for Sport collabora con Donnavventura 2007, M4S Magazine, Kevin Stea guest attribution
  25. ^ M4S Magazine Rimini Wellness article, M4S Magazine, May 18, 2008 article on Rimini Wellness with Kevin Stea
  26. ^ Cosmopolitan (Italy), Cosmopolitan cover and other fashion spreads. Kevin Stea
  27. ^ Dance Dance Evolution, photo spread and article - Kevin Stea - Fashion Section, Sept. 2009 – FantasticsMag, Dance Dance Evolution, Interview by James N, Editor Derric Lowe
  28. ^ Band of Outsiders line, show Pitti Palace, Florence, Italy, June 16, 2011 Westside Story Extravaganza for band of Outsiders line - i-D magazine
  29. ^ Male Model, 1980 - 1995, a retrospective of photography November 27, 2009, listing of commercial work by fashion photographer Herb Ritts: Kevin Stea (Madonna Dancer)
  30. ^ On-the-set work with photographer David LaChapelle 2010, Composition tribute to Chinese Pop Culture and Bruce Lee... Kevin Stea, model
  31. ^ Music Connections Magazine - July Issue O7 - Mixed Notes Section, Page 35 Kevin Stea Releases Machine & Magic
  32. ^ California Official City News: That Rogue Romeo That Rogue Romeo performance at California News, Official City, Long Beach – City of Glass at Long Beach Gay Pride April 14, 2011
  33. ^ Parish, James Robert (January 11, 2006). Fiasco: a history of Hollywood's iconic flops. Wiley. p. 324. ISBN 978-0-471-69159-4. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  34. ^
  35. ^ Willis, John (May 29, 1998). Screen World 1997. Applause. ISBN 978-1-55783-321-1. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  36. ^ Willis, John A. (2003). Screen world. Crown Publishers. p. 86. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  37. ^ Willis, John A. (2006). Screen world. Crown Publishers. p. 66. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  38. ^ "Kevin Stea". Retrieved August 24, 2008.
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  41. ^
  42. ^ [1] The New York Times - April 14, 2016 - Dancer’s in Madonna’s Truth or Dare Had Truths or Their Own
  43. ^
  44. ^ [2] The Huffington Post - March 25, 2016 - Strike a Pose: Thanking Madonna, 25 Years Later, for Releasing the Truth
  45. ^
  46. ^ [3] The Village Voice- April 12, 2016 - The Best of Tribeca: The Movies Not to Miss at a Fest Coming Into Its Own
  47. ^
  48. ^ [4] Toronto Star - May 3, 2016 - Strike a Pose: Madonna’s dancers remember touring with Madge
  49. ^
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  53. ^
  54. ^ [5] Vibe Magazine - May 2, 2016 - By Richy Roasario - Strike A Pose: Madonna’s “Vogue” Dancers Recall Blond Ambition Tour & Gay Life in the ‘90s
  55. ^
  56. ^ [6] People Magazine - April 13, 2016 - The Crazy True Story of Madonna's Truth or Dare Back Up Dancers (and Where They Are Now)
  57. ^ [7] People Magazine - April 15, 2016 - Madonna's Dancers Look Back on That Iconic Same-Sex Kiss in Truth or Dare
  58. ^

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