So You Think You Can Dance: Breaking world records & interviews with the dancers - VIDEOS
"We can dance if we want to. We can leave your friends behind. 'Cause if your friends don't dance and if they don't dance then they're no friends of mine." --Men Without Hats
Yep, "Safety Dance" blared through several speakers in the courtyard of the Nokia Theatre yesterday. I was there for So You Think You Can Dance's record-setting event. I also got to talk to some ex-cast members of the show. Read about the event and see what Lauren, Hok, Dominic, and Lacey had to say about their experience on SYTYCD (and their lives since then) after the jump.
Fox decided to kick off season four of its hit summer show by setting a world record. Yesterday, in the courtyard of the Nokia Theatre, So You Think You Can Dance set the world record for the largest simultaneous dance mat routine. They even got a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records for it! The event will be entered into the new Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition book.
Here's how it went down: About a hundred Dance Dance Revolution mats were set-up outside of the theatre, which is across from the famous Staples Center. In the front of the mats, a large screen was set-up and hooked up to an X-Box. SYTYCD also had a leader of dance to make sure everyone knew the moves. After 111 dancers played DDR for five minutes, Fox gave away a video game console, a copy of Dance Dance Revolution, and a 23" LCD flat-screen TV. (I know, I thought they only had 100 mats. Can I also point out that the mats were not hooked up to the game? Not that I know of a way to hook up 100 mats to an X-Box. It just seems like there's no way to know if everyone was really playing the game accurately and simultaneously. But whatever.)
I didn't see any of the ex-cast members participating in the record-breaking routine. But they looked like they were having fun on the sidelines, laughing and dancing along with the crowd. Before the big dance-off, I asked Lauren Gottlieb if she would participate. She wasn't sure if she'd be showing off her skills, "I might be. I didn't know what we were doing and I have heels on. So I don't want to hurt myself, but I'm a dare devil. I'll go for it."
After the crowd was done playing Dance Dance Revolution, I got to catch up with some of last season's favorites: Lauren Gottlieb, Dominic Sandoval, Hok Konishi, and finalist Lacey Schwimmer.
Interview with Lauren Gottlieb:
Kristin Sample: What have you been doing since So You Think You Can Dance?
Lauren Gottlieb: I'm actually on tour with Mariah Carey right now. It's the most exciting thing and I'm so happy I can be able to say that because it's my dream job. I'm stoked.
KS: Have you started the tour yet?
LG: We're doing spot dates right now. We're doing a show in Dubai coming up. And then we'll start putting together the tour. And I think we're doing a U.S. and a world tour.
KS: What was your favorite piece to perform last summer?
LG: Favorite one for me to do? I'll say "The Devil / Angel." Wade Robson did it. And it was a dream to work with him. And it was such a characterized number. We just had such a blast doing it. And we got to do it on tour. Every night it got better.
Here's that fabulous piece in case you forgot about it:
KS: How was the tour?
LG: The tour was so much more fun than the show. Less pressure, of course. Also, we got to go out there and just dance. And we didn't have anyone judging us. And you weren't staring off at the judges every two seconds. You could just be yourself.
KS: Was it hard to be judged on your dancing?
LG: It was so hard. I mean, no one in life tells you to you to your face what they think. I mean, everyone sugar coats it. And it's not on TV.
KS: Who was your favorite choreographer to work with?
LG: Wade. It was a dream. Like when everyone else had their crushes on N*SYNC and Backstreet Boys when they were young, my crush was on him. I showed him. I made a little collage of him. [laughs] and I shouldn't have showed him but, oh well.
Interview with Dominic Sandoval and Hok Konishi:
Hok Konish: Hi I'm Hok.
Dominic Sandoval: Hi, I'm Dominic.
DS: And together...
HK: We make sushi.
DS: That sounds awkward.
Kristin Sample: What have you two been doing since the show ended?
DS: Hok and I have been training with our dance crew called...
DS: And we're just getting ready for season three of...
HK: A big competition.
DS: Called America's Best Dance Crew.
HK: Yeah, we're just training as a crew to get better as a whole and make it big.
KS: Did you combine dance crews?
DS: Actually, he was already in one.
KS: And you joined his?
DS: Yeah, I pretty much joined theirs.
KS: So what was your favorite dance to perform on the show?
DS: I have to say...Hok's favorite piece was definitely "The Flower and the Hummingbird." Cause that was flat out amazing. He'd probably have to agree. Right Hok?
HK: Yeah. Definitely. And I have to say...Dominic's favorite routine was definitely, definitely, by far, the hip-hop routine with Sabra. He said we worked with a choreographer, the best. And they were vibing off each other.
DS: So it worked really good.
KS: Was that with Shane Sparks?
DS: Yeah, that one was with Shane. Thank-you Hok.
KS: I like how you guys answer for each other.
DS: Yeah. Hok says 'thanks.'
KS: What was it like being judged on your dancing?
DS: It's tough because at times you get judged not for what you can do, but for what the choreographer had us do, or had us wear, like costumes. But it's always good to get critiqued on your actual dancing because it makes you better.
Here's Hok's Hummingbird / Flower dance he mentioned:
And here's Dominic's hip-hop dance to Ne-Yo's "Make It Work":
Interview with Lacey Schwimmer:
Kristin Sample: So, what have you been doing?
Lacey Schwimmer: Well, I had knee surgery directly after the tour.
KS: What happened?
LS: I tore my meniscus. Yeah, it was about half-way through the tour. I went home for two and a half weeks to have therapy. They basically told me 'Oh, you have to have surgery. You can't dance any longer.' And I go, 'No, I'm gonna dance. So fix it enough for me to dance on tour.' So I did that. Came back. Got the surgery. But it gave me the opportunity to work on other things than dance.
KS: Like what?
LS: So, I've been working on my acting a lot. I'm in a project right now with Adam Sandler and Adam Shankman who also choreographed on So You Think You Can Dance. He's such a great guy. I love him so much. And I just came out with my first line of dancewear.
KS: For ballroom?
LS: No, it's for everybody. Hip-hop, jazz, ballroom, whatever you want. It has the basic 'Lacey look.' Like lots of shorts, tank tops, and [laughs] tube socks, of course.
KS: What's your brother (Benji Schwimmer, winner of season 2) been doing?
LS: Both him and I are doing lots of shows together, touring, working together, teaching. He's also working with Heidi still. She's actually getting married, so they're all in Hawaii.
KS: What was your favorite piece to perform last season?
LS: I'd have to say the very first routine I ever did. The contemporary routine where my legs split like POP! The other reason why I would say that is because it was the first number. It's the first thing I remember being on that show. And you know, I would perform it any day, any time, whatever. I miss it a lot. It's one of my favorites. It's beautiful.
Here's that number with Kameron:
KS: Have you seen Kameron since the show?
LS: I haven't! You know he went on tour with us. But all of us have hardly seen each other. If we don't live in LA, then we really don't see each other. Plus, we're all working on so many different projects. But we're fortunate to have this group of LA dancers here. And we've been working a lot together on Idol.
KS: Can you tell us about Idol?
LS: We're gonna be on the Idol finale.
KS: Can you say anything about that?
LS: Umm, I can and I can't. For the most part, we're going to be doing the opening number with them.
KS: Who was your favorite choreographer to work with?
LS: Well, I've had previous experience with a few of them. So I think that Jean-Marque is one of my favorites. Just because my dad and him go back and he's crazy like I am. But my favorite that I didn't previously work with was Mia Michaels. And she and I are now really good friends.
KS: Why was she your favorite?
LS: I was frightened of her. Literally terrified. TERRIFIED! Like I was shaking when I found out that I got her. Mainly because I know that she's not too fond of ballroom dancers. And so I was freaking out. I think I peed my pants a little bit. And the second I walked into that rehearsal, the both of us really hit it off really well. The cameras didn't show what we actually did talk about in the rehearsal. She's a beautiful person.
The fourth season of So You Think You Can Dance premieres this Thursday May 22nd at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Talking to ex-cast members today has me psyched for this season. I'm so there. How about you?