James “Combo” Marino’s multiple talents and interests led him down a unique path that one may not expect.
James was born and raised in East Hartford Connecticut. At a very young age he found his natural endowment for soccer. He pursued this passion all the way up to his college years where he attended Central Connecticut University and Fairfield University. He graduated with a 3.9 GPA from Fairfield University with a bachelors degree in Accounting.
As time progressed, his passion transformed and geared him on an entirely different journey; to pursue a career as a dancer. He began traveling to New York City to train with some of the industry’s best. It didn’t take long for James to be noticed.
Within the first two months of pursuing a career in dance, James found himself on stage dancing for well-known pop artist Wynter Gordon. Shortly after, he caught the eye of well-respected choreographer Rhapsody James. He then became apart of her intense and highly educational commercial dance program called, “Motivating Excellence.”
In the remainder of his time on the East Coast, James remained assiduously busy by: balancing performances, commercial work, and his career as a dance instructor in his hometown at Julie Lang Studio of Dance, as well as Anita Deprey School of Dance.
James’ inability to lay idle caused him to set yet another goal. He began a search to break down the competition between local studios who all had potential and great talent. He began holding open classes for all students no matter what studio they were associated with in an attempt to unite the dance community in Connecticut. This goal is very near and dear to his heart and is still a growing goal today.
It seems that James’ visions were always clear to him and once he knew what he wanted, tunnel vision became all he could see. Upon moving to Los Angeles California, he knew he would reach the big stage. Within a year, he appeared on his first television gig with Mariah Carey. He was able to work with one of his dance idols and legends, Eddie Morales.
James’ great success has not blinded him from reality. He continues to grow and push himself even further. He wishes that one day he will be able to give back everything he has learned to dancers who are just as hungry to perform as he is.
Credits: Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey, Wynter Gordon, A.D.I.D.A.S., Verizon Wireless, USA Today, Richboyz