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.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

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