Interview with Melanie Moore of "So You Think You Can Dance" on FOX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Melanie Moore

Interview with Melanie Moore of "So You Think You Can Dance" on FOX 8/12/11.

FBC PUBLICITY: So You Think You Can Dance
August 12, 2011/10:00 a.m. PDT

Kalyn Seymour
Melanie Moore


Moderator Welcome to the So You Think You Can Dance Conference call. At this time, all telephone participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, there will be an opportunity for your questions. As a reminder, the conference is being recorded.

Iíll now turn the conference over to our host Ms. Kalyn Seymour.

K. Seymour Thank you, everyone, for joining our So You Think You Can Dance Conference call. Today, you will be speaking with the season eight champion Melanie Moore, 19 years old, contemporary dancer from Marietta, Georgia. Please limit your questions to one question per outlet, and we will begin our call.

Moderator We go to Mike Hughes with TV America.

M. Hughes Hey, Melanie, youíve always made the point that youíre a lot more outgoing than the shy kid that we saw on TV, and I thought one of the interesting things I read was that you were actually homecoming queen in high school, so tell us a little bit about that. Were you homecoming queen, and if we knew you would you really be kind of a much more outgoing kind of a social person?

M. Moore Yes, I was homecoming queen in high school, which was really exciting for me. I donít know I feel like on TV Iím definitely that bubbly person that you guys see but I am a lot more talkative and chatty. I feel like throughout the competition Iíve just been so focused that you havenít completely gotten to see how outgoing I am but as the competition progressed I definitely think that people got to know me more.

Moderator Our next question is from the line of Rodney Ho with the Atlanta Journal.

R. Ho I was at Lassiter High School last night with 1,500 of your closest friends. I got to meet some of your teachers over the years; Amanda and Miss Paula came up to me, she was so proud and Katie was crying. Katie Ö.

M. Moore So was I, itís okay.

R. Ho Well, I was wondering after all the press is done I here youíre going to get a little bit of time off. What do you plan to do when you come back down to Marietta?

M. Moore I have ten days off and I was planning on definitely being at my studio and taking classes because thatís one thing about me I can never sit still for that long, ever. Yes, so Iíll probably sleep for about a day then Iíll be ready to go again, and I donít knowómy boyfriend, Mitchell, is moving back up to Athens to go back to the University of Georgia. Heís been out here this whole time so I was definitely going to go out there and help him get all of his stuff together because heís been out here and not prepared to go back to school. I was going to make stuff about him instead of me for a little bit.

R. Ho Iím sure that will be a nice change for you because it has been all about you a while.

M. Moore Yes, Iím ready to step out of the spotlight for just a couple of minutes at least.

Moderator And a question from the line of Lindsey Dreyer with Wetpaint.

L. Dreyer So you got some pretty interesting offers while you were on the show. Lady Gaga said she would love to have you on tour. Kenny Ortega said that you would make a great addition to Dirty Dancing while Nigel said that you could probably join any company that you wanted, which three of those options appeal to you most, joining a company, going on tour or maybe getting into movies?

M. Moore I donít know. I feel like my dream has always been to be in a company, and I feel like as far as my movement I would be more suited for a company atmosphere, and alsoóI donít even know though because I would love to do tour work. Iíve always said that I want to do dancing and I didnít care what I was doing, whether I was in the back of a commercial or whether I was dancing, I didnít really care. I want to be able to sustain a living dancing and thatís really what Iím hoping to do, so I donít know. If any of those offers come through I will let you guys know.

Moderator We go next to Jennifer Still with Digital Spy.

J. Still It was really great watching you on the show and you got so many compliments from the guest judges and the regular panel sort of every week. And everyone just loved the emotion that you put into your dancing and stuff like that, and you were sort of in a way kind of being told from the beginning that you could win this thing. Was that something that was in your head? Did you go into the finale last night knowing that everyone really believed in you and that you had a real chance? Were you unsure? Did you think it could go any way? What were your feelings going into it?

M. Moore Well, going into the finale I definitely thought I had a chance but sitting there on stage next to Sasha, Marko and Tadd really I couldnít pick a favorite because all of us are so great at the things that we do and I donít know how America picked. I was this is going to be such a hard decision. And I definitely felt confident with what I did on Thursday and what I had done in the course of the competition because I just tried to do what I could every week and really focus on the dances that were given to me and not look backwardónot look forward but really focus on what was going on and keep my head in the game sort of. I mean I donít know. I didnít want to put any extra pressure on myself by thinking that I was like a favorite or I really had this amazing shot at it but I always kept in my head that there was definitely a shot and it was worth going for.

Moderator Weíll go to JD Montgomery with

J. Montgomery We actually have a question from one of your fans on our Website. And she was wonderingóIím sure you were expecting a question about this, the big leapóworking with somebody in such a sort time span how do you gain so much trust in somebody like that to make a leap into somebodies arms not expecting to fall?

M. Moore I donít know. Neil and I sort of just clicked from the very beginning. Heís so funny and he made me feel so comfortable, so when Mandy told me that I was going to be sprinting across the stage jumping into his arms I wasnít too nervous because Neilís got a lot of muscle. I knew he could handle it but we started out just a couple of steps away and within three tries I was across the room just because we were both like okay, that was fine, letís keep going. Letís keep moving back. Letís keep moving back, so we both were sort of daredevils about it but I feel like whoever Iím partnering with I usually have complete trust in them because I want them to have total trust in me because what you give is sort of what you receive in that relationship. I donít know. We were sort of fearless together in that respect.

Moderator Weíll go to Jackie Strause with Life & Style.

J. Strause You touched on this a little bit before but would Lady Gaga be someone you would go on tour with and what other offers have come in, if any, so far?

M. Moore Well, I would definitely be interested in going on tour with Lady Gaga. I think sheís an amazing artist and Iíve seen a lot of her stuff. I never got to go to her tour but my best friend is literally obsessed with her. She loves her so much, so Iíve seen it and Iíve seen the ACO Specials and just everything she does is so amazing so I would be more than happy and overjoyed to work with her. As far as offers, I havenít really been scouted for anything like that besides what Kenny Ortega said about Dirty Dancing. I donít know. Iím just really excited about the tour. Thatís what Iím looking forward to right now and trying to keep my head in that and trying to remember all those routines that theyíre going to make us do. Itís kind of like a throwback to the finale.

Moderator Weíll go next to Debra Seirle with Dance Informa.

D. Seirle My question was what do you attribute your success to? Is it your hard work or the support of you mom or your great dance teachers? Why do you think you did so well?

M. Moore Thatís a great question. I donít know. I feel like the reason why I did so well was probablyóit would probably be because first off my partnership. I had an absolutely amazing partner from the beginning. Marko was so strong and I feel like we really carried each other. We feed off of each other from the very beginning. I donít know. Marko and I put so much hard work in, in the beginning, and it wasóI donít mean to say that it was more than everybody else because I know that everyone was working really hard but we were the only couple who rented studio space outside of the rehearsal time that we Ö. And so we would be in rehearsals all day and then we would go to rehearse at night.

Marko half the time wanted to kill me because I was so nitpicky and heís one of those people whoís like okay; no it will come together when we get on stage. I know how you perform and I was no, it needs to come together before we get onstage because I know how we perform and it will be even better. I need to have things in line before we go onstage because then when you go onstage you donít need to be thinking about stuff that youíre worried about coming together. You can really just live in that moment. In that way Marko wanted to kick me half the time but our partnership really worked out well, and I can definitely attribute my success both to him and our work ethics because without those I donít think we would have made it as far at all in the competition.

Moderator We go to Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World.

B. Kwiatkowski You said in the interview with People that you thought Sasha was going to win once it just got down to the two of you. Why was that? Why were you so convinced that you were going to take the runner up spot?

M. Moore I donít know. I really did think Sasha was going to win. First off, sheís an absolutely amazing dancer and literally Iím so inspired by her but secondly, theyíve been calling me a favorite since the beginning and usually the person whoís the favorite or the front runner doesnít win because for some reason or another it usually doesnít happen in that favor, so I really didnít expect it at all. Sasha really has improved so much over so many strides and sheís really grown on people. We werenít that good of friends in the beginning either and as she opened up in the competition it was really when she was opening up to us. And I have nothing but absolute love and so much respect for her, and honestly I was so ready to be second place and really just tell her how much of an amazing job she did because any of the four of us that were on that stage, I feel like, could have taken it.

Moderator Weíll go to Sheri Block with

S. Block I wanted to follow up on the question about Dirty Dancing. Now, you werenít even born when the first movie came out. Have you seen it, first of all, and what do you think it would be like to be part of the remake?

M. Moore Of course Iíve seen Dirty Dancing. Itís one of my momís favorite movies but I donít know. I feel like it would just be sort of electric to be a part of it. I have a friend who worked on the Footloose remake, and they said that everyoneís energy was just crazy because everyone knows how great the first one was so theyíre expecting so much from the second one. And I feel like it would be so much fun and the choreography would be amazing because Kenny Ortega is absolutely amazing and it would just be a blast. I would really hope that works out because everybody saw it so Iím hoping that was a verbal contract.

S. Block Yes, it could be another huge opportunity for you.

M. Moore Yes, definitely.

Moderator We go to Henry Hanks with

H. Hanks Another caller from Georgia here so congratulations for winning the first for Georgia, and I was wondering which of all the routines you did that you felt that you worked the hardest on and you were proudest of it for that reason?

M. Moore The routine that we wereóitís kind of an odd one. The routine that I think I was the most proud of was the tango routine that I did with Marko because it was our first ballroom style and they gave us the standard American tango, which is so hard because you have to keep your connection basically the whole time. And when I tell you that in rehearsalóand Nigel even said that. He said in rehearsals it didnít look like that. I didnít even look that good, and Marko and I just kept working on it and we kept working at it. We went to rehearsal space everyday afterwards and we were there until like 11:45 at night. We were pounding it to the ground with that number and to get positive comments about it and for Mary to say, ďNo, it wasnít perfect but it was good, it was not badĒ was just such a relief because we worked so hard. And we wanted our first ballroom number to just come out well, and thatís definitely the one I was most proud of that we got through.

Moderator We go to Mike Hughes with TV America.

M. Hughes Melanie, I was really surprised that you went to Fordham and that you were an art major rather than a dance major so tell us both halves of that. Why did a Georgia kid go to a New York City school especially when your boyfriends going to Georgia and why arenít you majoring in dance, which youíre so good at?

M. Moore Well, I knew that I wanted to go to New York because I have always loved it. We always took family vacations there and I knew that if I wanted to pursue dancing that it was the best place, and then when I decided that I wasnít going to do dancing in college it was sort of my momís and my decision. We just thought that dancing is such a hard industry to break into and it is smarter to have a backup plan and something that you can really go off of because you can get hurt. And I could break my legs and I would never really be able to dance again, and you always need something that you can really fall back on.

That was my decision because art is definitely my second love and thatís why I went to school for that, and then it was my final decision to go to New York City was when I knew that I would be pursuing art and not dance because I knew that I could take amazing classes in the city so I sort of got the best of both worlds. It was a nice compromise between my mom and me.

Moderator Weíll go to Rodney Ho with the Atlanta Journal.

R. Ho I wanted to ask you, to follow up with Mike Hughesís question about art what is your specialty in the art fields?

M. Moore My specialty is oil painting. I mean Iíve done a lot of everything but oil painting is definitely my favorite. I like to do portraits, more impressionistic because those are just my favorite.

R. Ho Anything online that we could see?

M. Moore I donít have anything online right now. I had to start over basically when I got in college because I am an art major so you have to start back over with charcoals and basic drawing classes, so I donít have anything right now but I can probably get some stuff up online.

Moderator Weíll go to Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World.

B. Kwiatkowski Melanie, just a follow up, you won with 47% of the 11.5 million home viewer votes. Thatís a huge margin given it was a four-way vote so what are your thoughts about that? Do you have any theories about why you had so much fan support or ideas about why viewers were so drawn to you or do you think it was just you were relatable or your personality? What are your thoughts on that?

M. Moore I really have no idea. I was just surprised. Literally I was just like, oh my gosh; 47, wow. I donít know I tried to make sure that my personality really came through in everything that I was saying and I definitely think it hadóI always laugh. I always laugh at myself. I can never take myself too seriously and I definitely think that came through. I mean I hope that Iím relatable to people. I would hope that they see something in me that inspire them to get up and do something. Maybe thatís why, I donít know.

Moderator Weíll go to JD Montgomery with

J. Montgomery Itís been brought up today a few times, of course, throughout the whole session the whole front runner idea. I was just wondering if there was a particular comment or critique from a particular judge or guest judge that kind of stuck in your mind throughout the whole session of kind of a standout; hey, this is about me type of motivating comment?

M. Moore No. I canít say that there is anything that stuck out in my mind in particular. Just because I know as far as the judgesí comments go what they say means a lot to me but really how I felt about the dances is really whatís important to me, and as long as I get out there and I do the best that I possibly can thatís what really matters to me. It was really nice to be getting praise so much from the judges and to be getting such nice comments but at the end of the day it really matters about how I felt and how America felt about it.

I donít know. I didnít ever want to consider myself a front-runner. I know it had been said so much but I feel like once you put that pressure on yourself it adds a lot of stress, and I never wanted to think about oh, I need to measure up to what I did last week and I need to measure up because Iím the front-runner. I didnít ever want to put that in my head because I didnít need that stress. I put enough pressure on myself as it was, so I tried to stay away from that idea.

Moderator Letís go next to Debra Seirle with Dance Informa.

D. Seirle I just wanted to know what your plans are now for the huge prize money youíve won. Do you have any things you definitely want to go and spend it on or any plans?

M. Moore I donít know. Everyone has said to sort of like indulge myself on one thing because Ö so crazy and then put the rest of it away, and I donít know. This is so stupid and crazy but I sort of want to get really nice carry-on luggage so I can feel really cool when I walk into the airport when I travel or maybe like a nice ring or something. I donít even know and then I just want to put the rest of it away.

D. Seirle Thatís sort of random. You want to get nice carryon luggage.

M. Moore Or like a watch or something. I donít know.

D. Seirle Yes, oh, thatís cool. Okay, yes, just wondering if you wanted to go out and buy a car or anything like that?

M. Moore No, I donít want to drive. I want to go back to New York. I donít really want to drive.

Moderator Letís go to Mike Hughes with TV America.

M. Hughes Yes, just to follow on that a bit. I didnít know if you came from a comfortable family financially or not. What did your dad do for a living before he died and what does your mother do for a living? Because they seem very supportive of you, is there any kind of Ö in their background or anything?

M. Moore Well, my mom was a nurse and she got into executive nursing and now sheís a nursing consultant, and my dad was a risk analyst before he died. I mean I definitely come from a comfortable family. Weíre not struggling in any way but my mom has worked so hard to put us in a comfortable position, and she always puts my sister and I before she puts herself. And sheís instilled such a good work ethic in us so weíre very ready to work for it, and I think that has definitely shown because I donít really want to spend the money. I want to keep it and make sure that itís safe so if I really need it later that I can use it.

Moderator Weíll go back to Beth Kwiatkowski with Reality TV World.

B. Kwiatkowski Melanie, Nigel said you had everything that he wanted in a female dancer while the judges also commented how you tended to master every style or genre of dance that you attempted to learn and perform. It seemed like the judges were suggesting you danced so effortlessly so was there actually a style of dance you found very difficult and struggled to learn, and did you face any major struggles during the session as a whole? I know you talked about the tango and the ballroom a little bit butó

M. Moore Yes. Well, I definitely hadnít been trained in ballroom and that was basically the only style besides disco that I hadnít ever taken a class in, so those were definitely struggles but the hardcore hip-hop with NappyTabs with Twitch was definitely a struggle for me. I mean you guys have seen how I move. I donít move so hard and quick and it was so fast, and they knew that I could do it so they gave me a really hard piece but it was super challenging. I donít think I would have gotten through it without Twitch because he was everything for me. He just got me through that.

B. Kwiatkowski Sure and youíve discussed the offers youíve received but whatís going to be on your to-do-list after the So You Think You Can Dance tour, and what are your plans? What do you hope to accomplish?

M. Moore I donít know. Right now Iím thinking that I really want to go back to school but major in dance rather than art just because Iím so inspired and people have asked me about choreography and things like that and I donít consider myself a choreographer at all. I can improve my solos and I can do that kind of stuff but Iím definitely a dancer right now and not a choreographer, and I look up to people like Stacey and Sonya so much, and I would not classify myself with them in any way. Maybe after some schooling and learning how to choreograph and really just a little bit of growing up then Iíll really be able to choreograph. I donít know. Iím definitely going to be auditioning though soó

Moderator Weíll go back to Debra Seirle with Dance Informa.

D. Seirle I was wondering if they ask you to be an All Star next session would you like to be one?

M. Moore Oh, my gosh; I have already told them that I donít care what I have to do I will be an All Star next session without a doubt. I told them that from the minute I got into the top ten. I said, ďOkay, so hereís the thing. I got into the top ten. That means I have to be an All Star next year.Ē I donít care whether you put me in Bollywood. I donít care whether you put me in disco. I will be here and so I really want to be an All Star, and Iím hoping that I may be able to be like an assistant for some people next year to soó

D. Seirle An assistant for the choreographers?

M. Moore Yes, maíam.

Moderator And a question from JD Montgomery with

J. Montgomery You mentioned your interest in choreography, and I was just wondering if there was a particular choreographer this session that you felt you learned the most from or that you kind of connected the most with?

M. Moore I definitely think that the choreographer that challenged me the most and she pushed me the hardest was Sonya Tayeh. I didnít get to work with her really intensely until the end when I got to work with her and Sasha, and she pushed me so hard because she knew that ďGame OnĒ was going to be a challenge for me because of the dynamics. They were totally different than what my body naturally does, and she has just been so inspiring through the whole process.

She really cares about each and every one of us that were in the top 20, to the top ten, for the top four, and then I donít know. Sheís been life changing and sheís so inspiring to all of us that I could not have asked for somebody better to work with. I mean definitely all the choreographers were super inspiring but I think that she took it to more a relationship with us rather than a choreographer stance, and we really knew that she cared about us.

J. Montgomery Thatís good, and thereís definitely been like the running theme with all the other dancers that weíve talked to. Sonya seems to be a very standout asset to the show, so thank you for that.

M. Moore Yes, she is amazing and her choreography is ridiculous. All of its crazy outstanding and I donít know she just likeówhen youíre in a piece with her sheís really intimidating and sheís very scary but when you dance you know that sheís watching and you know that sheís really caring about what youíre doing and sheís pushing through it with you so itís really nice.

Moderator Thank you and Iíll turn it back to Ms. Seymour for any closing remarks.

K. Seymour All right, thank you, everyone, for joining us for the conference call. There will be a transcript available on Monday.

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