Category Archives: DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY

Moving On Up – E.O.Y. Class Of 2014

Steven Michael - Trinity TaylorAs the last pieces of pageant gig are put away until next time, I’m able to truly reflect on my recent adventure to compete at E.O.Y. and what it meant to me to be onstage once more. I’m also able to realize what I can accomplish, how others support or do not, and if it’s all worth it at the end of the day. This is my journey to the Entertainer of the Year 2014 contest pageant event. Also known as E.O.Y. Enjoy the read. X
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Why I Want To Become Mr. E.O.Y. 2014

Why I Want To Become Mr. E.O.Y. 2014 – An Open Letter

Steven MichaelI’ve decided to enter the National Mr. Entertainer of the Year 2014 contest because I believe it’s the best system overall for me as a professional performer to give who I truly am each and every time I step on the stage. I have big plans for my future as a representative of the E.O.Y. system because let’s face it, win lose draw, we involved are all representing Entertainer of the Year, crown or not. It’s where I belong. There are other choices but when given the logistics, politics and bigger picture, here is where I set my determined roots for the road ahead.

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Laganja Estranja Interview: Drag Race Royalty

Laganja Estranja - RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6I wanted to call this “High Times of a Drag Superstar” but alas, I did not. Through social networking and creating trust among the queens, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a great number of RuPaul’s Drag Race divas throughout the years. When the rumors began to swirl about the new cast for season 6 of RDR, I knew that regardless of who made the final cut I’d be speaking with attention-getting Laganja Estranja. Isn’t her name delicious?!

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Britney Spears Rocks Planet Hollywood Las Vegas

Britney Spears StoreI was hoping to take a hot minute or two off from it all upon my return from our Sin City Christmas but since everyone has chimed in about Britney Spears’ opening night of her 100-show residency at Planet Hollywood, it’s my turn. Granted my seat wasn’t as close as say Miley Cyrus’ 50-yard-line worshiping center of Britney’s universe but I could see just fine. That’s considering I was on my feet 95% of the show. Sorry for the ones behind me watching me shake my ass, wave my fists and film a majority of the show who were not joining in. It’s a concert performance. GET UP!

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Fabulous Palm Springs Follies Grand Finale

Fabulous Palm Springs FolliesI love a good show. Entertain me, please! For 23 years the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies have been thrilling audiences and saluting the troops of proud America while employing some of the longest and most mature performers at their theatre situated in downtown Palm Springs anyone has ever seen.  Due to a struggling economy the show will be bringing down its curtain one final time for their 23rd and final season. Here’s the story…

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Britney Spears Appears at Planet Hollywood

Britney Spears ToxicUnless you live under a rock then you are keenly aware that our Pop Princess Britney Spears is about to set up shop and begin residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas beginning December 12 and continuing for two years with approximately 50+ shows of greatest hits and material from her upcoming album including #1 track Work Bitch and guess who has a ticket for opening night?! Me, that’s who!

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Introducing Dancing Firecracker JoJo Siwa

JoJo Siwa

I’ve really found my forte has become celebrity interviews. They are something I really enjoy doing and just having the honor to conduct them is a special privilege I have. When I was in L.A. at the Glendale Studios seeing a live taping of Lifetime TV smash hit Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition this past spring, I took notice of a little blonde spitfire named JoJo, 10, who truly danced her dance. I was there interviewing Lady Gaga creative director Richy Jackson, one of the judges for AUDC, as JoJo really stood out to the choreographer in me. She will be hell in heels when she grows up.

Since the second season of AUDC hits Lifetime TV on 9/3 I reached out to JoJo and her wonderful mother Jessalynn about allowing me to introduce her talented wonderwall of extension and strut of sass to our big gay world. I was thrilled they replied so quickly.  So glad she supplied the amazing photos, as well. Sadly, few do. I sent the girls an email  saying, “Here’s a round of Q/A for you both. They are geared towards JoJo but I will note where Mamma can answer, too.” Here’s what they shared about dancing for Abby Lee Miller, fun out-of-studio time for JoJo and what it felt like shooting reality television. Just love what they both said…

jojo siwa_3

Steven Michael – JoJo, Did you ever get scared or intimidated by the lights or camera?

JoJo Siwa – “No, I loved them!”

I love them to. That will never change. How about Abby Lee Miller? Did you ever feel that she was ever too mean to you? She’s stern and strong with her ways.

“No, Abby was always good to me.”

Mamma, did you ever feel as if Abby was too hard or critical on JoJo?

Jessalynn Siwa - “No, I knew going into the show Abbys teaching techniques.”

Yes, I suppose you know what you’re getting into by working with Abby. Mamma, what attracted you to having JoJo on the show? Was there an audition to go through?

“JoJo dances all day long and watches Dance Moms over and over. I think it’s nearly every dancer’s dream to dance with or for Abby. Yes, there was an audition.”

JoJo Siwa

Growing up and dancing in my day, there were very few studios that train like her girls do on the show. They, of course, were the studios that everyone achieved to be like. It really is what you put into it. How was it working with the other competition moms? Any ones we should watch out for?

“Well, whenever you have dance you have dance moms. (smiling) Crazy moments and super fun moments. Yes! Watch for the ‘TRIANGLE.’”

jojo siwa_2

Oh, that sounds juicy. I can’t wait. JoJo, how much time do you spend dancing a week in class or otherwise? Is being a dancer what you want to so when you grow up?

“I dance around 20 hours a week. I would love to be FAMOUS!!!!”

Darling, you will be famous. Have fun with it and keep grounded. Stay close to Mamma and point those toes. JoJo, who are your idols in the dance world?

“Abby Lee, Rachelle Rak and Richy Jackson.”

Oh, I never would have guessed. (lauhging) Three great choices, nonetheless. Mamma, can you give me a brief bit about where JoJo is from and do you have dance background?

“JoJo and I are from Nebraska. I have been dancing my whole life. I have had a dance studio for 20 years.”

JoJo Siwa

Oh, wow! That’s fierce. I really miss being in a studio. JoJo, that scorpion extension is mind-blowing. When I saw you do it live during the taping I was blown away. How did you learn it and can you teach me?

(smiling) “I would love to teach you but you have to be flexible and have tons of control. That was one of those tricks my mom made me do over and over and now I can do it on a dime.”

Well, it’s phenomenal. What do you enjoy doing when you’re outside the studio? And do you have a lot of friends outside the dance world?

“I love to play the piano and play with my two dogs LuLu and CoCo. I am super social and have tons of friends. We like to swim, have slumber parties, go to the movies and just hang out!”

JoJo Siwa head shot

Sounds very fun! Mamma, how do you feel about Dance Moms and the outrageousness of it?

“Outrageous… nahhhh.” (smiling)

jojo siwa_1

JoJo, I was able to visit with judge Richy Jackson the day I saw the taping live. Did you appreciate what he told you during critiques?

“I absolutely love Richy and took everything he (and the other judges ) said seriously. I loved getting compliments from them!!!”

I was there the Gaga-inspired day and yes they did give you great critique. You’ll have so many people tell you so many different things. Even people will tell you what they think you want to hear. Keep an open mind but also realize it is all so subjective. Especially in performing while being judged. I wish you the best of luck with your career. Mamma, did you ever shy away from the cameras? What was that like being under the lens?

“No, I was never shy. You will see! (smiling) It was fun. An experience of a lifetime!”

jojo siwa

And finally, JoJo, can you tell me who wins the competition, please?! I have to know. (laughing)

“Nooooooooooooooo!!!! Ha Ha, I am laughing too!” (both laughing) “Thank you sooooooo much!” Jessalynn and JoJo.

And to my gays… WATCH OUT for this one. JOJO IS DYNAMITE! The new season of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition starts next week on Lifetime TV. Watch for me in episode 2 giving you on-camera audience realness for your nerves. X

Interviewing Richy Jackson – AUDIO

richard-jackson

I love having occasional access to the hottest movers and shakers in Hollywood today. I was able to sit backstage with Lady Gaga’s main man Richy Jackson as he was preparing for a taping of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition one day last spring. We kiki’d the ki, for realsies. I hit record and what was said became organic and real between us two. We had a lot in common and here’s what we discussed that crazy day inside Glendale Studios. Of my many celebrity interviews, speaking with Ricky Jackson one-on-one was a complete thrill! We bonded immediately.

Richy Jackson - Steven Michael - AUDC

Richy is good people. This I know is true! So talented but incredibly humble and real. Follow him on Twitter and catch his latest work. The new season of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition starts 09/03. Look for me on the second episode (I believe) which was the Lady Gaga-inspired installment showing out for the camera. They ask a lot of their audiences. And watch out for firecracker JoJo. ♥

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW HERE

Experiencing Mr. E.O.Y. ’13 – Competing Nationally

Steven Michael

I’m just getting back to the grind of a casual life in Palm Springs, blogging again and wanting to share my amazing adventures of competing at the Entertainer of the Year pageant in Louisville last week. The road getting there to E.O.Y. was quite swift considering I was just competing in March nationally elsewhere after a huge hiatus from the competitive stage. However, the road to me becoming an entertainer started when I was seven-year-young and moved on down many roads from there. I’ve found the spotlight not only on the stages many would think immediately but I also consider my job and here with my blog the places I find myself entertaining these days.

Steven Michael

I miss the stage. No surprise. If you’re a performer then you know where I’m coming from. Am I too old? I hate that word. I can be older or oldest. Old dictates done. I guess some think I’m too old but not everyone, especially the ones who love and support me the most. Age will never stop me from doing something I feel  passionate about. And on the subject, you will never find out exactly who supports you and really cares either monetarily or just simply attention-wise until you run for something at this scale or possibly need their help. Trust that. No Tea… If someone you know is getting ready for something as important as, hmm, running a national pageant, body building contest, job promotion, whatever, just a simple message of support or text means almost as much as a few dollars do. Almost. We’re excited about what we’re doing. Ask us and we are usually too happy to share. Plus, it helps hearing it all said aloud.

Steven Michael

Sponsorship naturally is very important and without it I wouldn’t have been able to run. Many of us wouldn’t. I will not go broke doing these contests and encourage others to realize it is what it is, too. It doesn’t work out for everyone. The winning. I’ve lost more than I’ve won if you’re counting trophies. Have fun with what you do and enjoy the life moment. You take the risk and step on stage when many others wish they could or would. Among many faithful generous confidants, my dearest friend Dimitri James at SKINN has been such an amazing support system for #teamstevenmichael that he is the reason I am able to do what I do. If you’re a contestant who runs for a contest, thank your sponsors as much as you can. They make you.

Steven Michael

And phone calls are so rare these days that it’s the ones who make that effort to pick up the phone and verbally check-in who really make a caring impact. People get wrapped up in their own agenda and I get that. Those calls mean so much especially from people who know the real you and can be honest telling you like it is. We often have people around us who tell us what we want to hear, especially when you have power and pride of the pen like me. If you reached out to me during my run for E.O.Y. with support, I worship you and you know that. I will always listen to what you have to say. Know that, too.

Steven Michael

As soon as I made the decision to enter Mr. E.O.Y. I was off and running. I am very, very blessed that I was able to bring exactly what I wanted to the stage without compromising or cutting corners because of financial desperation. I was even in a position to sponsor my amazing dancers myself with the tips and donations by members of the gym I had collected from the breath of decision until departure. It worked out perfectly as did they, my dancers Madolyn, Kelley, Kelsey and Arielle. Thanks to YouTube (and lots of texting, trusting and Facebook messages) I was able to video choreography and they got together at Legacy Dance to space it and work it out. I knew that they would be everything. We all come from the same dance background and studio (just 20 years later) and their technique was on point.

Steven Michael

I flew into Nashville after a flight delay and upgrade to first class (Thanks, Delta Air!) and arrived late missing one night of rehearsals and time with mom who generously sponsored my travel. I ran around town after I checked-in to wind down, grabbed some food and then back to bed at my home away from home at Radisson Airport. Love that place, always! Fed Ex had delivered my packages there before I arrived so it was all safe and snug behind the front desk. I was set!

Trinity Taylor - Steven Michael

Wednesday I had a great breakfast in Nashville with mom and my best friend Kristin at Cracker Barrel before heading to Legacy Dance for rehearsal. I walked in and after a major Kiki session with my dancers we got started. They twirled and twerked for Daddy Bear, for reals. Even Thomas and Charles at Hedge on Perez Road donated to #teamstevenmichael by sending ahead 4 beautiful candles for my girls to enjoy as appreciation. It couldn’t have gone any better considering we had very little rehearsal together. Hire professionals and thank yourself later, I say. We blocked the performances and after a few solid run-throughs, I was on the road to Louisville. No rest for the wicked and weary competitor. Me.

Steven Michael

Traffic was ehhh leaving Nashville so it took me a hot minute to get past downtown but once I got into Louisville, I was there! I stayed with a former roommate Tyler who lived close to The Connection and it was great to reconnect with him. Exactly what I needed. It had been way too long. I had reserved hotel rooms at Candlewood Suites for the dancers to arrive the next day but staying at a close friend’s place was perfect for me. Plus, Tyler had agreed to be my drag slave for the contest. He was very in-tune with what I needed as a competitor. I had been down the same road with him years ago. Tyler rocked my stay and kept me grounded.

Angel T. Stratton - Steven Michael

Unfortunately, soon after I pulled into town a group of boys walking down the street decided to throw a handful of those orange crackers with the peanut butter inside through my open window and pelt my dashboard with them causing orange cracker to go everywhere. Whoosh! Amazing aim. Crackers for the crackers, I guess. It was shocking to say the least. Luckily it wasn’t a rock. Many reasons went through my head as to why but the bottom line is that we continued driving and got where we needed to go safely. It could have gone awry quickly if I had said and done what was on my mind. It made me wake-up, that’s for sure and see my surroundings. I get very comfortable in Palm Springs. And I wasn’t in Kansas anymore, Toto. That was the only heavy instance along these lines while I was there in Louisville, thankfully. The rest of the stay was everything!

Steven Michael

The next morning I arrived at registration early as instructed. Not everyone got there to The Connection when they were suppose to but I wasn’t keeping score. I was worried only about myself and getting my dancers safely to town. Xavier Cole, Mr. E.O.Y. 2012, spoke a few minutes while we picked contestant numbers, turned in music, entry fees, applications, et al. He reached out and checked in with me while I was getting ready here in California which meant a lot to me as a contestant. Once the girls arrived, I let them know I had picked #12 out of 13 so it would be a minute or two before we started. I was happy with that draw but I was even more happy I that everything I needed the girls for was the first night. I knew they’d have a complete blast and get job offers which they did on both accounts.

Steven Michael

Rehearsals went well considering we needed to quickly figure out spacing on that grand stage at The Connection. It gave us a chance to meet (and scope out) the competition and see what game everyone else was bringing. It was on! I could see it was going to be a great show. If I compete and win I want to compete and win against the best. If I’m to have my face cracked I also want it to be by the best. We got the girls checked-in and paid their monies so that was done. I promised that once they arrived I’d pay them in full and I did. Business first, Hunty. Treat people like professionals and they in turn return professionalism.

Tiffany McCray

After a great meal at Tyler’s, shower and packing, I got back to the club and the evening began. The Kings of E.O.Y. were competing along side of us and then the Miss contestants joined in the next evening and finished off Sunday night at the Horseshoe Casino. The energy backstage was fierce and exciting. CeZanne was emceeing the contests which I lived for. She ran that audience and show how things needed to be done. It was so good to see her and reconnect over the course of the next 3 nights. Terry Vanessa Coleman also ran backstage like military camp – a really fun rigid, do-it-like-this-and-don’t-pull-shade military camp. It worked very well. The gorgeous Vanessa DeMornay also emceed and she is one hell of a performer! I loved the feeling and space I was in.

Steven Michael

Presentation category was first. It went very well. I felt the stage, dug the balls of my feet into that floor and shwerqed it all over. I threw my D a bit and the girls did amazing  giving me exactly what I needed. Me dressed in a fierce yellow shirt with blinged-out cuffs and my ladies with snatched-back buns, white dress shirts and black heels serving Vegas Realness. I felt incredibly comfortable every time I was onstage. I was handed the microphone and spoke well saying everything I planned on mentioning all sponsors, city, contestant number and name. Short and sweet. The moment was incredibly real and really wonderful.

Steven Michael

Next, the contestants were split down the middle and rotated between Talent and Onstage Q/A. I was able to speak about my dear sister Ashley Kruiz during my Q/A and how writing about her passing was one of my all-time favorite blogs because it came from the heart. Plus she had made such an impact on that very stage it felt like the only thing I wanted to discuss. When I said the words Ashley Kruiz, the house went up. It was fabulous. I spoke well, took my settling breath and again said everything I wanted to. I love the microphone and have no problem speaking into something so big and black. Stop… You’re being silly.

Steven Michael

Talent time. Our production began and it was about 2 a.m. Whew. This race is not for the weak and weary. It’s abusive to your body but performance is often that way. Plan ahead getting food in your system and rehydrate constantly, I encourage. We nailed this dance production. There were a couple of heres and theres that could have used some polishing off but I’m very happy with the way we performed. I was on my words and we had a really fun time with it all. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, too. Delorian Chase turned my mix out and she too gave me exactly what I wanted for my crowd and judges. After a sleepy pass through White Castle on the way home I fell into bed around 3.

Steven Michael

The next day and actually most of my time I spent perched on Tyler’s back porch enjoying the unseasonably cooler weather. Friday evening I had Creative Evening Wear and a dear friend Jana who I danced with when we were 18 brought up her daughter Rue who escorted me for the category. I had a beautiful faux mink coat atop my bling encrusted tuxedo that needed tending to by a stunning size 0 bombshell. Check, please. It meant so much that Jana made the effort to come and support in such a way. Rue and I look so incredible. Flawless. I believe the mink was a risk but I stand by it. I knew I’d stand out.

Steven Michael

Saturday my dear Carmella Marcella Garcia (George T. to his friends) made the trip up to visit with old friends (Tyler and I) and enjoy a cookout including Laird from The Connection who took me down memory lane and beyond, Tyler’s fabulous daughter Salina with super boyfriend Jason and her son. It was a wonderful relaxing moment and I loved it. It was perfect. I enjoyed my pre-Swimwear category meal of a Tic-Tac and single ice cube. Nah… close. Ask anyone that knows me and they shall tell you that I eat no matter when.

Steven Michael

Being it was the final night of competition for me with only the Creative Swimwear category and crowning, I felt a sense of bittersweet come across me as I did when I was finishing up the preparation. I thoroughly enjoy the hard work, the prep, the decision making, blinking I find very therapeutic and of course the stage time and spotlight warmth I worship. I really don’t have any opportunity to perform these days to this scale so if I have to go and find it, so be it. If I’m able and have the desire to, I will. I made a great piece of jewelry to wear with the Aussiebum suit my love Jeremy Barnes donated to my cause. The goddess Trinity Taylor, who was dressing my sister Tiffany McCray competing for Miss, escorted me out and we served the children in our virgin white. She looked hot! I gave them some gratuitous cake shots and swaggered on off.

Steven Michael

I forgot to mention that for the opening number of this same night, we male contestants were given headless costumes to put on so we would all be standing there headless holding our own heads. Cute gimmick. Cheap costumes. David Freklz Hunter was helping me with mine just as it broke. I called out, “STUNTS!” and we laughed it off trying to piece it back together. Sure enough, we are all out there in our individual headless moments and and I start to scoot across the stage all eerie, my frame comes loose again and starts to fall off. I quickly dash behind stage right shuffling to get it back on somehow. Here I finally come back out holding it in place with my left hand and my head in my right. It was a mess. I committed to what I was doing and kept going.

Xavier Cole - Steven Michael

It was crowning time and I popped on my tuxedo from Creative Formal Wear changing the shirt and tie. When it was all said and done, and this is how I saw it, David Freklz Hunter brought his strongest game and swept 4 of 5 categories taking the title of Mr. E.O.Y. 2013. He was by far the winner, I admit that honestly. When it comes to me, I didn’t place but my scores were incredibly consistent and strong except for the judge who scored me half of what they did everyone else. If they had thrown out highs and lows it could have been different but when I saw that only one judge gave me such low scores across the board I actually just laughed. Maybe a Daddy Bear done him wrong once or maybe she does’t like California. Who knows?! I’ll never know because they also don’t give out comment sheets afterwards.

Steven Michael

It’s ALL so subjective you must enjoy the adventure or you’ll find yourself empty-handed too often. Next time, I’ll simply have to give them something they can’t refuse. And will there be a next time for me? I always say if that, meaning my last performance, was the last time I ever get on a stage and do what I love, I want it to be under my terms and completely my way. With every decision a consequence. We know that but it never rings more true during the height of competition. I would love to do it again but for now everything is packed away and closed up for the season. Although, I could use a hit of e6000 and glue a rhinestone on something. Stay tuned…

Richy Jackson Returns to Season 2 of AUDC

Richy Jackson - Steven Michael - AUDC

I spoke with Lady Gaga’s main man Richy Jackson during season one of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition and gained a very good report. When I got wind that there would be a second season of the show I knew I wanted to get the story from the main stage. After a few Tweets and emails with Richy’s fabulous publicist Kelly, it was scheduled and set! I was to drive into L.A. for the day and see the taping live while speaking with Richy beforehand in his dressing room.

The show hadn’t been announced just yet but was filming in Glendale so I gladly made the trip into town. I love a good drive into Hollywood. Give me a reason, I’m there. I pulled right up and parked before heading up the studios. I was quite early since I was meeting Kelly so she could take me upstairs to meet Mr. Jackson. After texting her that I was there, I saw her soon coming down to meet me and escort me up.

Backstage we passed by the craft services table which looked appetizing and casual crew members milling about. Upstairs I got into Richy’s dressing room and began to Kiki like we had known each other for years. I hit record on my iPhone and began to record our conversation which was simply priceless. It just flowed and became quite organic. Here’s what he shared about the new season of AUDC, his dance convention “Dance Down” and working with Mother Monster, our Lady Gaga.

Here’s what Richy had to say about the new studio…

“Last time it was theatre and we were far away. It was like “Where are we!? (laughs) There were seats and it was amazing. This time it’s a studio and it’s just different. So were very up close and personal with the dancers.”

When I asked him about male dancers this season since there was just one during the premiere season, he offered…

“There’s two boys. Twins.”

The conversation turned towards Lady Gaga and Richy’s amazing work relationship with her. Kelly was perched in the corner dragging up a pair of sunglasses for Jackson since the theme of this particular show was inspired by the individuality of Gaga.  His thoughts…

“I’m excited about today. It’s episode 2 of the season. I’m ecstatic about the new season. It’s a little scary ’cause you just don’t know what to expect, will Lifetime like us on camera, and the whole thing? I thought it was a great hybrid of Dance Moms and dance competition. Abby, Robin Antin and I (the judges of last season) were from such different backgrounds it was really fun when we were letting people go home because we saw things differently.”

Experienced Broadway Baby, Rochelle Rack, has joined the judge’s panel with Jackson and Miller replacing Antin. Richy’s feeling about the change…

“Rochelle is from Pittsburg but lives in NYC. I like her. She’s in Flashdance: The Musical. She’s reminds me of Robin, but the Broadway version of her. Bubbly, snatched, hair done, nails done, everything done. It’s taken some adjusting for her since Abby and I have already had one season together.”

I change gears and get Richy quickly together when I ask “What makes a well-rounded dancer?” After a brief pondering, he shares…

“I would just say that a well-rounded dancer is a “Jack of all Trades” not a “King or Queen.” Someone that still has to learn, not someone that’s not a master. I prefer “Jacks” because there’s a rawness and vulnerability. Most people are not dancers and they only go off what they feel and they see. There’s a different approach to the dance when they are trying to adapt to all different styles. I always tell Abby in her world everyone already knows a pirouette. The vulnerability of the dancers I work with connects with the camera and reads somehow, someway. Someone that can adapt to all styles is a well-rounded dancer in my opinion, applying themselves to each dance genre. You must be free of yourself! Confidence can sell anything.”

I asked Richy if he ever gets nervous when the camera pans to him and he needs to respond immediately. This is what he allowed…

“I don’t get nervous. I try to listen to what Abby said so I’m not touching on the same point. I try and give the dancers ideas and angles that haven’t been discussed. I always try to be inspirational to the dancers and audience. I’m not scared, I’m like ‘Let’s get it!’ I love competition day! Absolutely love it!” (both laugh)

As far as the new cast of kiddies goes, I inquired if he had gotten to know any of them and how that works. Jackson says…

“This is still fresh for me. Abby gets to see them during the week more than we do. I came in last week for a special challenge day so I got to see them outside regular competition day because I was working with the kids. I got to see them outside my regular judging day. Then you get to know the mothers as well as their kids and there’s 11 of them. Thank God they give us sheets with their names and information on it! I love this part because you see the fight as the season goes on and people go home.”

Does Richy have any free time outside the studio or tour? And what’s going on with Lady Gaga? The inside skinny…

“The Born This Way Ball tour was cancelled abruptly in Chicago due to Lady Gaga being injured. We were devastated. From that moment on I started doing my dance workshop called ‘Dance Down’ and went on a 6-city tour where I basically go and work with dancers who are both fans of dance and/or Lady Gaga. I never realized how much thought goes into becoming a professional dancer or choreographer, it’s not just the steps. I’m seeing the youngest kids doing it all. What are they on?! It’s bananas! At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to work with kids and I saw them really dancing and really performing, really technical, I thought this was going to be a great job.”

Richy discusses his newest endeavor discussing working with Bollywood’s highest-paid and most-popular actresses Priyanka Chopra who is now breaking into music…

“She is the Angelina Jolie of India, been in many Bollywood films and very popular. A former Miss World. We were just in Miami shooting the video with Pitbull with 8 dancers which was amazing. Zumba had played a big part of producing it since they put a Zumba breakdown and beats in the rhythm of the music and will make an instructional video to go with the Priyanka Chopra production.”

And where is home for Richy Jackson? Where does he prefer to rest his weary head and dancer feet? Jackson says…

“Home is North Hollywood, full-time. I like to travel but I love to stay home. I’ve been so many places because of Gaga but I haven’t really been able to enjoy those places because it’s venue, rehearsal, stage, travel. But when I’m home it’s the best! I’m grateful!”

One more thing about Mother Monster… What about the tour? New Music? Here’s the Tea…

“The tour has been postponed indefinitely. She has a new album coming out soon called Artpop and she’s working on it. It’s been a year since Born This Way. The first show was last year April 27, with rehearsals starting February 4. She and I started conceptualizing the show the prior December… it takes so much time! The show changes constantly. So many details change when songs come and interchange out with others. She gets bored quickly. Changes with her… I’ve been dealing with it for years. The dancers called it the “Gaga Challenge” by the end of it all.”

After the interview we took a couple of pictures and I headed back down to the street to wait my turn before filing inside after thanking Richy Jackson greatly upstairs. The line started forming and I ran my iPhone to the car since you normally can’t take them inside studios. By the time I got back I got in line and waited, and waited some more. Then they filed us in to do some “on camera audience” b-roll with excitement and awe for the show while the camera panned down the line of the anxious audience. Finally after the tenth take I  gave them a Limp Biscuit “YEAHHH!” dead in the camera and that was that. Once inside there was more waiting and audience pans and reactions. I should be all over this episode of AUDC.

When the filming finallystarted it was quite an extensive day. The dancers were amazing especially a blonde firecracker named Jojo who gives you sass, extension and layouts for your nerves. Each routine was done twice for the camera and then the judges’ approval or not. I sadly had to scoot out early since I was driving back to Palm Springs that evening but had a great time meeting Richy and being backstage with him. Ah, Hollywood… The magic. I love being a part of it.