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Twitch Interview on Step Up 3D

I came across this earlier today thanks to a friend’s post on facebook. It is an interview done by Tonya Plank of The Huffington Post. Its no secret that are many SYTYCD alumni that are apart of this film but Twitch has a speaking role. So enjoy reading this interview and learn a few new things about All Star Twitch. All Credit goes to

Tonight is the Los Angeles premiere of Step Up 3D, the very first 3D dance movie. Last night, I was able to chat a bit by phone with tWitch Boss, So You Think You Can Dance all-star and now soon to be movie star as well! We spoke about his work in the film, how he prepared for it, how it was different from his work on SYTYCD, and what he envisions for his future.

HuffPo: Hi, how are you?

TwitchBoss: I’m very good, things are all right.

HP: So, your new movie Step Up 3D comes out this week. What is your role?

TB: Well, my character’s name is Jason. He’s a comic book nerd and he’s a fool for gadgets and stuff like that. He has his own lab. He’s pretty beef in there; he’s a very excitable guy. He loves kicking it with his crew and to battle in dance. And that’s something I can totally relate to. He’s a freestyler.

HP: And this is an acting part right?

TB: Yes, it is.

HP: Oh cool.

TB: Very exciting. I’m very excited.

HP: It’s your first acting part, right?

TB: Right. Absolutely.

HP: I mean, you were in Blades of Glory and Hairspray but those weren’t acting roles. Just dancing.

TB: Laughs. Yeah, just dancing. In Blades of Glory, I was running around in a tutu. Laughs some more.

HP: Oh how funny, I’ll have to see that!

TB: No, no, I mean, you really don’t have to! More laughter.

HP: Well, okay. More laughter. And so you auditioned twice for Step Up 3D? Once for the dance part and once for the acting part?

TB: Yes, I did. The dance audition was first. I went in and did that. I had a blast doing that. That was one of the most high energy auditions. There’s a couple of auditions that pass through LA a couple times a year where you get a lot of dancers that go out and sometimes get a little pushy and competitive. But this time everybody was just amped and ready to dance and ready to go. It was a great, great dance experience.

Afterward I asked (producer) Adam Shankman and (director) Jon Chu if maybe somehow I could come in and read for a part or something like that. I kind of hounded them, my manager kind of got on the ground. We came up with ways to keep kind of putting it in their ear to see if I could at least come in and read. And I finally got that opportunity, and I guess it worked out, you know.

HP: Did you find the acting part stressful?

TB: You know, I don’t want to say stressful, it was just new. Acting is very different than dancing. Of course I felt so much more comfortable with dancing at first. But the whole process of acting is absolutely incredible. It’s a process I respect and love, actually. So, you know, it wasn’t stressful, it was work, and it was a learning experience.

HP: How did you train for the acting part?

TB: I had an acting coach, named Mary Kegley. She worked with me very closely.

HP: Had you taken any acting classes in school? Didn’t you go to a dance school for college?

TB: I mean, I went to a university that had a dance program, yes. But it wasn’t specifically a dance school. So, I did go to college and major in dance. But acting is fairly new to me. I had an introduction to acting class for dancers there, I’ve had those classes here and there throughout my life. So it wasn’t something that was completely foreign to me, you know, learning lines and stuff like that. But actually doing it the real deal, doing it on film, that was the new part.

HP: So you’ve now worked in film, TV and on stage. Which do you like best?

TB: You know what? I kind of have my favorite part of each one. TV happens so quickly, you get to see the results and study them and learn from what you did on TV a lot quicker than you will on film. But I mean film, I love the quality of film, and the anticipation of it, the building it up to seeing the finished product is amazing. Because after the editing and the music are put in and all that stuff, it’s just a whole new monster.

HP: How was the dance training for the movie in comparison to the dance training for SYTYCD?

TB: Oh, the hours are way, way different. For So You Think they had you rehearsing for hours for a number you’d have to do in a couple of days, as opposed to rehearsing for a couple of days for a number that you’d have to do in a couple of months. So, the schedule’s just very different.

HP: Have you seen the movie yet?

TB: I have not seen it, not yet. I’m seeing it for the first time tomorrow.

HP: In LA? Is the premiere tomorrow?

TB: Yep, the premiere’s tomorrow, in LA. My family’s in, my mom, my brother came down. But one of my brothers is actually in the Army and he’s wasn’t able to make it down for the premiere. But man, just sending love out to him because he’s out there holding down the country.

HP: Is he in Iraq?

TB: No, actually he’s training in New Mexico before he’s deployed.

HP: Oh wow.

I also wanted to ask about the choreography in this, in Step Up 3D. I read that it was choreographed specifically to be shown in 3D. So I was wondering if it was a lot different in that way from what you’ve done.

TB: Right, certain aspects. I mean, you know, not the entire thing. There were definitely a couple of different eight counts that were made specifically for a 3D effect, but the dancing was still definitely raw, still battle style, battle mentality. But there were some shots where we definitely had to hit our mark for that 3D effect.

HP: Oh cool. I can’t wait to see it.

TB: Me too. Laughs.

HP: Do you want to do more acting? Even pure acting, non-dance parts?

TB: Oh absolutely. That’s actually what I’m striving for. I will do more acting but away from dance parts. As far as the dancing goes, I love to perform, I love to get down, but my passion lies in education and in teaching. I teach hip hop to kids, and I teach hip hop workshops and stuff like that. So in the near future, I will still teach and stuff like that. But I’m definitely striving for and trying to make a name for myself in acting.

HP: Are there any filmmakers or directors you really want to work with?

TB: Ah, let’s see. Laughs. There’s a bunch actually. I’d love love love to work with M. Night Shyamalan because his entire mind, is just ridiculous. Just ridiculous! And I’d love to be in some action movies. I want to be a superhero and I want to run and jump from building to building. More laughing.

HP: So, back to dance for a minute. What initially made you fall in love with dance?

TB: Oh I mean, looking back on it, I think I’ve always really been in love with it. I was the kid that during spare time at home with friends, I was always like, ‘let’s make up a dance routine real quick.’ Laughs. I don’t even know why, but I just would. I’d see my family just dancing around the house, not professional-like, just dancing around house. We always loved to just jam out to music. I tried out for my high school dance team my senior year, and that’s when I really fell in love with the entire idea of making a career out of show business.

HP: Did you ever foresee that you would become a professional dancer or was it just like for fun at first?

TB: Yeah, of course. I mean it was definitely fun. As a kid there were a couple of theater workshops that they’d do during the summer. I’m from Montgomery, Alabama, and so the arts aren’t that heavy there. So during the summer, they have the summer arts program where the kids will come for a month, and learn all kinds of different performing arts, you know, like acting and singing. From that program I realized I loved to be onstage. So the dancing kind of came afterward. It was something that I really did pick up naturally and that I really loved to do.

HP: And what do you love about hip hop in particular?

TB: Oh, it’s just the lifestyle. Hip hop is more than just a style of dance. It’s an entire lifestyle, you know, an entire history, and an entire culture.

HP: Are there other choreographers you’d like to work with?

TB: I haven’t worked with Kenny Ortega yet, but he’s more into directing now than choreographing. But yeah, Kenny Ortega, that would be amazing. And though you know, even though he’s passed on, it would be so amazing to work with Gene Kelly. Awwww. He’s just, he’s the man.

HP: Which dancers have inspired you?

TB: Oh all the classics. Bob Fosse, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire. And on up a generation: Michael Jackson. And some of the guys in – I don’t know if you’ve heard of these movies – but Breakin’, Breakgin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo. There are these movies that happened in the 80s and I happened to run upon those in the rental store and I promise you I probably rented them every week when I was a kid. Laughs.

HP: I read that you have your own production company now.

TB: Yes, ExperiMENTAL Industries. It’s for producing movies and shows. It’s a whole production company. It’s a good time.

HP: So, would you want to work behind the camera too?- As a filmmaker?

TB: Not so much filmmaking. I really enjoy the creative process, but I’ll leave it to filmmakers to make the films. But being behind it, putting on the shows and producing – absolutely. To get involved conceptually – absolutely. But I mean, to get behind the camera and actually set up the shots – naaa, I don’t think that’s really up my alley. Laughs.

HP: Well, thank you so much for chatting. Good luck and I can’t wait to see the movie!

TB: Awesome. It was great talking to you.

Step Up 3D opens nationwide on August 6th. Look for other SYTYCD alum, like Joshua Allen and Katee Shean, who appear in dance roles.

August 2, 2010 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

SYTYCD 7: Dancer Analysis – Adechike Torbert

Yay another twelve hours and it’s the final Top 4 Dancer to come to the limelight. So let’s look for some smooth, creamy, dark chocolate.. aka Adechike Torbert. Just like in the previous posts, there is a post asking which routine of Adechike’s did you enjoy the most.

The previous posts in this series: All-Stars, Kent Boyd, Lauren Froderman and Robert Roldan

Las Vegas Callbacks
For one reason or another, Adechike opened up with a tap solo. He must have done a stellar job because he was passed through to hiphop and ballroom. From there he was asked to dance for his life and as thus did a contemporary routine that wowed the judges.

But here’s my question. If Adechike opened up with a contemporary solo rather than a tap solo. He still wouldn’t have done well in the hiphop and ballroom rounds, so would he still have the chance to dance for his life after ballroom?

Meet the Top 11:
– Wade Robson’s Jazz
Now surprisingly enough, Adechike seemed to melt into the background for me in this piece. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not a good thing either. I simply couldn’t pick him out in the routine throughout the piece unless the Top 11 was dancing by themselves and even then.

– Sonya Tayeh Jazz
In this piece it was easier to see Adechike and as thus was easier to see what he’s doing. It’s clear that his technique and ability is off the charts. He’s a very strong and very athletic dancer… but then how is his connection when doing the partner dances?

Week 1: Top 11 Performances:
– Jazz w/ Kathryn choreographed by Travis Wall
Right off the bat we know what Adechike needs to work on: personality, characterization, living through the dance, etc… that seems to be the M.O. for most of the dancers this season, fine tuning. But in a dance where a girl is throwing herself all over the guy and it’s suppose to be the guy’s dream sequence one would think he’d enjoy it more…

Week 2: Top 10 Performances:
– Contemporary w/ Allison choreographed by Mandy Moore
This piece was a lot better than last week, no question about it, but he still needs to fine tune his movement and his connection to his partner. He still needs to stop thinking about dancing and just dance, and he’s doing it… bit by bit.

Week 3: Top 9 Performances:
– Hip Hop w/ Lauren Gottlieb choreographed by Dave Scott
Wow, talking about enjoying the dance. This is the first time I think I’ve seen Adechike really enjoy the dance from start to finish. Then again, this is hiphop and hiphop does funny things to people because it’s so different from jazz and contemporary. Maybe it’s just his partner too since Muscles seems to be obsessed with Cushion’s… well… cushion 😀

Week 4: Top 8 Performances:
– Jazz w/ Courtney choreographed by Mandy Moore
I really liked this routine. I thought Adechike was relaxed, composed and enjoying the moment. So I was surprised to hear that the judges weren’t too thrilled about it. Do I remember the routine weeks later? Not really, but after watching it through, I enjoyed it a second time as well. I’ll admit he didn’t shine like the previous week, but it could be that he’s more acting than living through the dance.

– Bollywood choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan
Again this is a week where Neil, Mark and Ade were all available… and could have easily filled this role with ease. In fact they could have asked Mark to fill in for Bollywood since it would probably fit his style of dance best… golden opportunity people! Anyway, when watching this dance I had the distinct feeling that Adechike was dancing what was suppose to be Alex’s part while the assistant ended up dancing what was suppose to be Adechike’s part… which is probably why this piece didn’t do Adechike much justice…

All in all this week was pretty stellar. Nothing extremely memorable, but he is starting to show that he’s having fun while dancing and performing in front of the audience… which is key. So to me, he’s growing and that’s enough for me.

Week 5: Top 7 Performances:
– Salsa w/ Anya choreographed by Liz Lira & Danny Davalos
Ok wow, that was like every trick in the book thrown at them. What’s interesting is that if Adechike reminded me of Mambo dancer Emmanuel-Pierre in regards to look, but at the same time he was a but rough around the edges… overall a pretty strong routine.

– Contemporary w/ Kent choreographed by Dee Caspary
White chocolate and dark chocolate is one of the best combinations in the world. Adechike needed this strength of a routine to balance out the other routine of the day. He was living in that moment, breathing that moment… that you believed what he was trying to do.

Wow this was a very good week for him. Adechike needs to continue on this upward trend. If anything I would consider this to be his “breakout” week. Everything seem to come together at just the right moment, let’s see how long this would last.

Week 6: Top 6 Performances (Round One):
– Lyrical HipHop w/ Comfort choreographed by NappyTabs
O.M.G. this is the most emotionally connected that Adechike has even been with a piece, it was beautiful. It was danced beautifully and it felt like the entire room was breathing in sync.

– Paso Doble w/ Jose choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin
This dance had the chance the possibility of being really really great. So much testosterone that you would have to pull these two men apart before they tear each other to pieces… but something fell flat. There was no really power, no real drive, nothing exploded for me that I had hoped to see. Though, I think Adechike danced it far better than Jose, it still could have been done better overall.

This week was very up and down. With one really good piece and one not so good piece Adechike proved his prowess in the hiphop but lost it all in the Paso Doble. Oddly enough Adechike seems to glow so much more when doing HipHop as opposed to doing much anything else. If he could channel that energy, that joy when doing HipHop into other styles he’d be golden.

Week 7: Top 6 Performances (Round Two):
– Jazz w/ Courtney Galiano choreographed by Tyce Diorio
This was fun, though I had the slight impression that he was holding back for some reason. I don’t think he completely let loose, though I do think he came close. He did show that he had a lot of fun and was enjoying himself and as long as he continued to live and enjoy in the moment he’ll shine more in his dancing.

– Foxtrot w/ Lauren Froderman choreographed by Jean-Marc Généreux & France Mousseau
Considering this is his first time doing a true ballroom dance, I didn’t expect his posture to be perfect. His personality and characterization fit the dance, but I wish he could have tried harder. Nevertheless this was a fun piece, but not a strong one.

This week was an ok week for Adechike, it wasn’t extremely memorable, but it wasn’t bad either. In comparison to the previous week, this balanced out in a different way (if that makes any sense). No real strong pieces, but no weak ones either.

How to Grow
This is another dancer that’s used to working solo. Unlike Lauren that purposely dances to the audience, Adechike simply dances and lets the dance speak for itself. Adechike needs to work on living in the dance and as thus in the moment in order to continue growing in the competition.

In Conclusion
Ok, this boy is a favorite of mine, and apparently of America’s too… He’s done a lot of different styles thus far and did all right in a lot of them. What I think he needs now is to have a routine that’s all about personality aka Broadway, or a routine all about having fun like a ChaCha, Samba or Jive, or a good strong hard hitting HipHop.

Because he hasn’t really peaked yet, he still has a chance to wow the audience and judges on some level. He’s had an “breakout” performance in his hiphop with Lauren Gottlieb, but has faltered a little bit since then and as thus has had to climb up again (so to speak). He has a chance to do it, but whether he could beat out the immense fanbases of Kent and Lauren remains to be seen (though the fact that Lauren has hit Bottom Three once already shows that he could possibly overtake Lauren when she’s having a stellar day while he had a good day).

I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

SYTYCD 7: Dancer Analysis – Robert Roldan

Another twelve hours, another post. In this case it’s the “dark horse” in the competition. This is the dancer that’s been to the Bottom Three the most of the Top Four, but he has been growing slowly then plateauing and then growing again. He desperately needed a week like last week in order to remain in the competition and he did.

Previous posts in this series: All-Stars, Kent Boyd and Lauren Froderman

Like in the last few posts there is a poll at the bottom asking which of Robert’s dances is your favorite.

Las Vegas Callbacks
Almost nothing was mentioned about Robert during the Vegas episodes. I know I don’t remember him. In the past when almost nothing was mentioned about a dancer, it usually means that the producers believe that the dancer’s dance ability would speak to itself and their personality would shine through the screen on it’s own without television’s aid in editing… let’s see how that works.

Meet the Top 11:
– Wade Robson’s Jazz
Now for some reason Robert did not stand out for me in this piece, which is not a bad thing, but not a good thing either.

– Sonya Tayeh Jazz
In this piece Robert didn’t stick out to me in dance ability as much as his look, but then again all three guys have varying looks to them… but because he didn’t really wow me in this piece and with minimal information about him during Vegas it’s very difficult for me to get a handle on this guy.

Week 1: Top 11 Performances:
– African Jazz w/ Courtney choreographed by Sean Cheesman
Honestly I don’t remember this piece, I had to watch it again to remember it, and even then I still am pretty ambivalent towards the piece. The most I could remember thinking is that Robert is very technically proficient and can connect with his partners, but he seems to be more like a moving work of art instead of connecting with the audience.

Week 2: Top 10 Performances:
– Argentine Tango w/ Anya choreographed by Jean Marc Genereux
This dance was insanely technically proficient, but what set me off was that it seemed to show on Robert’s face just how stressful the dance was. He did the dance well, but it didn’t show and that didn’t help his dancing in the end. If Robert would just relax and live in the dance this would have been so much better. So despite a strong routine I think Robert’s face pulled him to the Bottom 3 this week.

Week 3: Top 9 Performances:
– Jazz w/ Courtney choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
This is the second time that Robert does a Jazz routine by Sonya Tayeh with Courtney as a partner (well if you count the Meet the Top 11 dance). This wasn’t a particular memorable routine for me and apparently the audience as he was in the Bottom 3 this week as well.

Week 4: Top 8 Performances:
– Jazz w/ Kathryn choreographed by Sean Cheesman
Ah yes the Bob and Kathie (Ken and Barbie) routine. I really liked the routine. The transformation from plastic to movement and back to plastic was perfect. He connected with his partner really well and it was fun.

– Quickstep w/ Ashley choreographed by Jean Marc Genereux
Ah yes, the kiss of death. There’s a reason (ok many reasons) why the quickstep is the dance that people would dread. It is the most technically strenuous dance for anyone. Robert wasn’t a very strong lead for Ashley, but she wasn’t back-leading either… so that’s a credit to Robert.

All in all this was a high/low week for Robert. I think the main reason that he didn’t hit the Bottom 3 this week was by the charisma of the first routine. Which was really really good as opposed to the quickstep bringing him down…

Week 5: Top 7 Performances:
– Contemporary w/ Allison choreographed by Travis Wall
He knocked this one out of the park. There is no doubt about that. But it was probably very easy to get into the emotional element of the piece because he was able to relate to it. There’s really nothing to be said about the technical side of it since Robert is very proficient in it.

– Disco w/ Kathryn choreographed by Doriana Sanchez
It’s about time the show got wise and put in an All-Star to replace an injured dancer… anyway. He looked like he had a lot of fun, granted he had a lot of chemistry with Kathryn so that might have helped.

Do he grow? It’s hard to say, I believe he is learning to enjoy dancing rather than just simply dancing and not showing it. The audience responds more to someone that shows that they are enjoying what they are doing. So I guess in that regards, yeah, he’s growing in that capacity.

Week 6: Top 6 Performances (Round One):
– Jazz w/ Lauren Gottlieb choreographed by Tyce Diorio
Considering this is Robert’s third time doing a Jazz routine… well Robert is doing well and growing in presense and chemistry which is finally beginning to happen. I think this is the first time I’ve seen him dance with some level of abandon rather than being really controlled.

– Samba w/ Lauren Froderman choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin
Did he drink Dmitry’s blood or something? Because I agree that he reminded me a lot of Dmitry. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is entirely up in the air, but I think for the current purpose it’s a good thing. He picked up the choreography pretty well and he had fun doing it.

If there is anything that Robert grew in this week it’s being able to dance with abandon, or rather getting lost in the dance. By doing that he’s allowing himself to enjoy and live in the moment and he really needed it here.

Week 7: Top 6 Performances (Round Two):
– Contemporary w/ Kathryn McCormick choreographed by Stacey Tookey
O.M.G. Totally a “breakout” performance for Robert in this piece. Everything that he was lacking early in the season he had in abundance in this dance and it showed. It moved me more than his contemporary piece with Allison and it had more abandon and looseness than the previous week.

– Bollywood w/ Billy Bell choreography by Nakul Dev Mahajan
Wow, and Robert’s technique and precision strikes a home run again. Between Billy and Robert, Robert definitely fit the dance better. Being healthy helps to, but somehow Robert just seemed to have shined in this piece for me.

I don’t know what to say really except that after how many stellar weeks Robert really needed a week like this one to keep himself out of the Bottom Three. I think it is almost guaranteed that had he found himself in the Bottom Three this week he would definitely be going home… If ever there was a “breakout” week, this one is it.

How to Grow
Honestly, I don’t know. Robert snuck up on me so subtly that I wasn’t expecting it to be like this. Before the last week I had pegged Robert as to be the one going home with Jose, but now I don’t know. To put it very simply, Robert did not become memorable to me until the last three routines… and that’s saying something.

Robert isn’t strong in every dance style, plus he has managed to avoid HipHop, so let’s start with there. Robert needs to get HipHop preferably with Twitch and he needs to nail it. Once he nails that then he needs to get ballroom like a Viennese Waltz or Argentine Tango or Paso Doble and nail that…

In Conclusion
Robert’s the “dark horse” in this competition. Of the top four Robert has been to the Bottom Three the most, but with several stellar performances and a week like this past week he has every chance to over take the top threesome… moreso now that Lauren has slipped and hit Bottom Three for the first time. As long as he keeps it up, he should be ok, again should be.

I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)