News: First Ever MOG Moment!

Here at DS, we move fast—even with our e-mails! Recently, I replied to a shocking message from Kate with one short word: MOG. I meant to write “OMG� (as in, Oh My God) but I typed too quickly and sent it without catching the mistake. Since then, anything wild or crazy that happens around here has garnered the simple reaction, “MOG.� Starting this month, we’ll share our MOG moments with you!

First- Ever MOG Moment:
Going backstage at the NYC auditions for “So You Think You Can Dance� in March and interviewing Nigel Lythgoe and Dan Karaty!

DS: How early on do you know whether someone will make it through to the next round?
Dan: Almost immediately. We can tell by the way they carry themselves, their opening position, by what they’re wearing.
Nigel: Then you give them the opportunity to change your mind. It’s inspirational when they manage to.

DS: What is the biggest mistake you see people make?
Nigel: Thinking that technique alone will get them through. Last year, Travis’ technique was superior to Benji’s, but Benji’s performance was superior. Dancers need to connect with the audience; when their eyes grab you—that’s magic. Simon Cowell calls it “the X factor.� It’s a popularity contest as well as a dance contest because people have to pick up the phone and vote for you. Another mistake: when dancers think they have two minutes to show you what they’ve got. They really only have that first 20 seconds!
Dan: Don’t do something someone else can do better. If you can’t turn like Nick Lazzarini, do something else.

DS: What’s the larger vision for what will happen to these dancers after “SYTYCD?�
Nigel: It’s not like “American Idol.� They have no album to sell, so fame and fortune is never going to happen with dancing. But they can use the show as a springboard. Of course, it’s a double-edged sword because they go into auditions and people expect them to be great. So there is no endgame, except working with incredible choreographers.
Dan: The show helps you get your foot in the door of the professional world, which would ordinarily take months in NYC or L.A.

DS: Why do you react so strongly when mediocre dancers say that they’re dance teachers?
Nigel: If you’re a bad dance teacher, you can seriously injure someone—blow out their knee, slip a disk in their neck. It really annoys me when someone says they’re a teacher and then they’re rubbish. Dance teachers should be certified in this country.

DS: What are you looking for this year?
Nigel: A Jamile, a Musa Cooper, an Ivan. I liked watching the journey these dancers went through. I’m annoyed when people have great technique but don’t use their heart. It’s like not using what God gave them.

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