"I realized I had to stop being a dancer in order to choreograph. In Hollywood, it's always about perception. If people see you as a dancer, that's what you are, so I had to walk away."
He did, going to his agency and showing them a tape he'd made of choreography he'd created. They liked what they saw and submitted him for work on an Usher project: the video for the R&B superstar's single "You Make Me Wanna ..." off his breakout album "My Way."
Of all the formats he's worked in, Sims prefers film simply because it has the most prep time. Working on "Footloose" was especially exciting for him.
"'Footloose' was a lot of fun because I grew up in the '80s, so I knew the music, knew what the movie represented to me. To translate it and make it current was a huge thrill for me."
Now Sims is finding thrills in yet another new aspect of entertainment: directing.
"That's where my passion is right now," he said. "I'm currently putting together some projects that I'll be directing in the future."
They're all dance related, he said, but he hopes to branch out. "Eventually I'd like to do nondance stuff, but right now it's a natural fit for me."
Hall of fame induction events and schedule
The West Virginia All Black Schools Sports and Academic Hall of Fame 2012 induction weekend runs Aug. 9-11 at the Charleston Marriott Town Center. The event will honor 91 distinguished alumni of West Virginia black high schools and colleges as well as 23 vanguards, who are distinguished relatives of alumni.
The traveling Hall of Fame Museum is open in the grand ballroom from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 10 at no charge. The black-tie induction ceremony at 1 p.m. Aug. 11 also is free.
Ticketed events include a soul-food feast at 6 p.m. Aug. 9 for $10; a 7 p.m. dinner Aug. 10 with appearances by inductees Rodney D. Boyden, Ethel Caffie-Austin and Sims for $40; and a black-tie banquet and concert with Boyden and Caffie-Austin at 5 p.m. Aug. 11 for $50.
Tickets must be reserved by Aug. 7 by calling Helen Jackson-Gillison at 304-748-7116. They can be paid for and picked up at the door.
Reach Amy Robinson at flips...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4881.