Here at DS, we move fastâ€”even with our e-mails! Recently, I replied to a shocking message from Kate with one short word: MOG. I meant to write â€œOMGâ€ (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, â€œMOG.â€ Starting this month, weâ€™ll share our MOG moments with you!
First- Ever MOG Moment:
Going backstage at the NYC auditions for â€œSo You Think You Can Danceâ€ 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 theyâ€™re wearing.
Nigel: Then you give them the opportunity to change your mind. Itâ€™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, Travisâ€™ technique was superior to Benjiâ€™s, but Benjiâ€™s performance was superior. Dancers need to connect with the audience; when their eyes grab youâ€”thatâ€™s magic. Simon Cowell calls it â€œthe X factor.â€ Itâ€™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 theyâ€™ve got. They really only have that first 20 seconds!
Dan: Donâ€™t do something someone else can do better. If you canâ€™t turn like Nick Lazzarini, do something else.
DS: Whatâ€™s the larger vision for what will happen to these dancers after â€œSYTYCD?â€
Nigel: Itâ€™s not like â€œAmerican Idol.â€ 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, itâ€™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 theyâ€™re dance teachers?
Nigel: If youâ€™re a bad dance teacher, you can seriously injure someoneâ€”blow out their knee, slip a disk in their neck. It really annoys me when someone says theyâ€™re a teacher and then theyâ€™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. Iâ€™m annoyed when people have great technique but donâ€™t use their heart. Itâ€™s like not using what God gave them.