James “Combo” Marino was born and raised in East Hartford, CT. After playing in Italy, this soccer player turned dancer at 20 years old started his hand in dancing by teaching himself Justin Timberlake’s Justified tour choreography in his father’s office when he came home from school. While attending college for accounting, after he graduated he realized he wanted to pursue dance as a career soon after This led him to commute 2 1/2 hours (each way) 4 to 5 days a week in order to train and work in New York City with some of the industries finest choreographers, including one of his mentors Rhapsody James.
After two years of that lifestyle and being signed to Bloc Talent Agency, he felt ready enough to make his way out west to Los Angeles and within six months booked his first major gig. It was the NFL Kickoff Television performance with Mariah Carey in Rockefeller Center, where he met and worked closely with his biggest inspiration, Eddie Morales. This was the moment that truly kick-started his whole career. Since then James has toured and worked with artists such as Missy Elliott, Gwen Stefani, The Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, Fergie, Rick Ross, Victoria, Monèt, Illuminate, Nike, Target, A.D.I.D.A.S., Verizon Wireless, and many more.
James’ most memorable moment came in February of 2017. After years of dreaming, training, and endlessly remaining disciplined towards his major career goal; he accomplished the primary reason he packed his bags and moved to Los Angeles for. Choreographer Marty Kudelka reached out and booked him to perform with Justin Timberlake on the biggest night in Hollywood, The Academy Awards.
Now with new goals and aspirations, James continuously pushes himself and his mentality to new limits. Currently mentoring the youth as much as he can in his downtime, he also teaches at Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in LA and teaches dance class both domestically and internationally, in order to share the hunger, work ethic, and experience he is constantly accumulating.
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