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.

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search