Australian choreographer John "Cha Cha" O'Connell
Australian choreographer John "Cha Cha" O'Connell has a huge body of work in film and theatre, including the 1992 break-through hit Strictly Ballroom; Moulin Rouge, Shall We Dance? and The Great Gatsby. He has also choreographed the Academy Awards. As a six year old, growing up in a small seaside town in New South Wales, John was inspired to dance when he saw a Mickey Rooney / Judy Garland film. He soon began dancing and went on to competitive ballroom dancing through his teens, joining a dance troupe in Sydney after university. Meeting film director Baz Luhrman was a career breakthrough. He choreographed Strictly Ballroom, a film credited with helping bring dance to the mainstream and spawning dance competitions and TV shows such as Dancing with the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing.