Ryan Heffington

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Ryan Heffington
Born (1973-06-07)June 7, 1973
Yuba City, California
Occupation Dancer, choreographer
Years active 1980 - present
Website http://www.sirheffington.com

Ryan Heffington (born June 7, 1973) is a dancer, choreographer and dance studio owner based in Los Angeles. He was nominated for two Grammy Awards for choreographing the music videos for Arcade Fire's "We Exist" (2013) and Sia's "Chandelier" (2014), winning a VMA Award for the latter.

Early life[edit]

Heffington was born in Yuba City, California. He has danced since he was young, but has never received any formal training. He moved from Yuba City to Los Angeles at the age of 18.[1]


In the mid-1990s, Heffington co-created the Psycho Dance Sho' with Bubba Carr, and in the late 2000s he was the artistic director for the experimental modern dance company Hysterica.[1] From 2006 to 2009 Heffington lead the dance troupe Fingered, which combined fast-paced Martha Graham-style choreography with genderbending costumes designed by Heffington.[2] He has performed at bars and clubs, as well as MOCA, LACMA, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Saturday Night Live, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the UCLA Hammer Museum and Coachella.[3]

Heffington is best known for choreographing the music videos for Arcade Fire's "We Exist" (2013) and Sia's "Chandelier" (2014),[4][5] both of which were nominated for Grammy Awards,[6] and the latter of which won him a VMA Award.[7] Other Sia videos that Heffington has choreographed include "Elastic Heart", "Big Girls Cry", "Cheap Thrills" and "The Greatest".[8] Sia and Heffington's collaborations have "done more to raise the standards of dance in pop music than nearly any current artist integrating the forms."[9] He has also worked with FKA Twigs and Britney Spears, and made several appearances on RuPaul's Drag Race.[10]

Heffington created the choreography for the science fiction series The OA, which debuted on Netflix in December 2016.[11] He was choreographer for the 2017 film Baby Driver, choreographing the actors' timing and movements in order to sync them with the music.[12][13]

Heffington is the owner of The Sweat Spot, a dance studio in Silver Lake, Los Angeles.[14] The space offers classes for both professional dancers and beginners in a casual atmosphere. Heffington decided to open the studio after he had hosted a roving event called Sweaty Sundays.[1]


Music Videos[edit]

Year Title Artist Notes
2012 "Fjögur píanó" Sigur Rós Choreographer
2014 "I Try to Talk to You" Hercules and Love Affair
"Chandelier" Sia
"We Exist" Arcade Fire
"Gold" Chet Faker
"Video Girl" FKA Twigs
"Gunshot" Lykke Li
2015 "Elastic Heart" Sia
"Big Girls Cry"
"What Kind of Man" Florence and the Machine
"Ship to Wreck
"St Jude"
"Queen of Peace"/"Long & Lost"
"Anna" Will Butler
"King" Years & Years
2016 "Worship"
"Cheap Thrills" Sia
"The Greatest"
2017 "Rainbow"
2018 "Thunderclouds" LSD - Labrinth, Diplo, Sia Choreographer


Year Commercial Notes
2014 FKA Twigs #throughglass Commercial for Google Glass Choreographer
2016 Kenzo World Commercial for Kenzo

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2014 MTV Video Music Awards Best Choreography "Chandelier" (Sia) Won [15]
2015 MTV Video Music Awards Best Choreography "Gold" (Chet Faker) Nominated [16]
2015 UK Music Video Awards Best Choreography in a Video "Elastic Heart" (Sia) Won [17]
2017 MTV Video Music Awards Best Choreography "The Greatest" (Sia) Nominated [18]
UK Music Video Awards Best Choreography in a Video Pending [19]


  1. ^ a b c "Dig Out the Spandex and Feel the Burn". The New York Times. 13 August 2009.
  2. ^ Vesilind, Emili (6 April 2008). "Real Trouper" – via LA Times.
  3. ^ Sasha Bronner Senior Reporter, The Huffington Post (28 July 2012). "Meet The Man Behind The Craziest Dance Studio In Town".
  4. ^ "2014 In Music Through The Eyes Of A Choreographer".
  5. ^ Heyman, Jessie. ""Chandelier" Choreographer Ryan Heffington on Dancing in Spring's Best Denim".
  6. ^ "Ryan Heffington on Choreographing Sia's 'Chandelier' and 'Elastic Heart' Videos". 16 January 2015.
  7. ^ "Here's Your Full List of 2014 VMA Winners". MTV News. 25 August 2014.
  8. ^ Adams, Char. "Sia Releases Haunting 'The Greatest' Music Video: Is It an Orlando Shooting Tribute?", People magazine, September 6, 2016
  9. ^ Kourlas, Gia. "For Sia, Dance Is Where the Human and the Weird Intersect", The New York Times, 19 July 2016, accessed 31 October 2016.
  10. ^ "Review: Movement Drives the Music at FKA twigs's 'Congregata'". The New York Times. 19 May 2015.
  11. ^ Renfro, Kim. "The genius behind Sia's music video choreography is the man who created the movements for 'The OA'", Business Insider Australia, December 23, 2016.
  12. ^ Murphy, Mekado (27 June 2017). "How They Pulled Off the Perfectly Timed Stunts in ‘Baby Driver’", The New York Times. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  13. ^ Fear, David (28 June 2017). "'Baby Driver': How Edgar Wright Staged the Crime Movie's Musical Action Scenes", Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  14. ^ "The Sweat Spot".
  15. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 2014: Winners". MTV.com. August 8, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  16. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards 2015: The Winners Are…". Billboard. August 30, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  17. ^ "UK Music video awards winners 2016". ukmva.com. 11 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry and the Weeknd Lead 2017 MTV VMAs Nominations as Gendered Categories Eliminated". People.com. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  19. ^ "UK MVA 2017 shortlist". ukmva.com. 23 September 2017.