Ask and you shall receive! Many of you have requested in the comments (yup, I read em!) to see what it looks like backstage and behind the scenes of a MOVE performance. Lucky for you, we just wrapped a show at the world famous Grand Ole Opry in Nashville!
It’s a great honor to get to perform at the iconic Opry. Since 1925 the stage has seen performers like Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, the Dixie Chicks and even a young Elvis Presley! The feeling you get when standing on a stage with so much history is indescribable.
Here’s what our pre-show looks like!
Two songs, that is. It’s time to hit pause on whatever it is you’ve got to do this weekend and press play. I’m challenging you to pick two of your all-time favorite songs and rock out as hard as you can! These songs have to be two things: fun and loud! Music has such a profound effect on us. Happy songs can elevate our spirit and make us feel great! Therefore, I want you to pick two songs that make you feel energized and positive.
Whether you’re driving in the car, cooking dinner, going for a run – close that email, put down the phone and plug into your playlist. Dance hard, sing at the top of your lungs, let it all out! And – let me know what two songs you’ve chosen!
What is a dance captain?
When we’re touring and on the road, we are no longer dancing under the watchful eyes of Nappytabs. As captains, we are Napoleon and Tabitha’s extra set of eyes. We’re responsible for making sure the choreography stays clean and on point. Last year there was just one captain and this time Hayley and I are lucky to be co-captains. That way we can lean on each other and share the responsibilities.
That is a huge responsibility! You must have worked very hard to get here.
I’ve been dancing since I was eleven years old. I studied almost every type of dance and really trained for this type of lifestyle. I didn’t always realize you could do this for a living. I thought my options were either going to Broadway or be in the ballet.
What do you love most about MOVE?
Being on tour requires every last drip of energy I’ve got. In order to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed every day after a high-intensity evening performance, it’s important to keep my body properly fueled with efficient foods. My snacks and meals must be more than just delicious — they have to be effective. As much as I love my sweets, the up and down games sugar plays on my metabolism doesn’t do me any good.
I don’t like crazy restrictions or being too regimented. As you all know, I love to eat! But keeping as close to this balanced schedule as possible keeps me on track. If you’re looking to stick to a productive, clean eating routine, look no further than here!
How did you get into the business of dance?
I started dancing when I was 18, which is late compared to most professional dancers. I was in college at UC Berkley when I met a group of street dancers. I thought, “I want to do that.” So I did and I loved it. I started uploading my dance videos to YouTube. My channel caught the eye of an agency in LA. They approached me about representation so I went for it. It was a slow build but it was great.
And now you are now working with NappyTabs! How did that happen?
I took their class about four years ago. That led to me assisting and now, doing choreography for them.
What is your favorite moment so far of the MOVE Tour?
It’s cool getting to watch from the lighting pit. I love turning to the audience to see how they engaged and excited they are. Their faces light up. It’s really cool!
Hey guys! I am extremely excited to announce the issue I did with Women’s Health is on stands right now! The magazine did a great job in getting my truth across their glossy pages. All the time I get questions from fans about my supposedly-strict diet regimen, what type of cardio I do and for how long. Honestly, that’s just not my jam. I don’t want to be tethered to those types of routines. I want to participate in this wonderful life with fun, happy energy and delicious food. These qualities, I believe, do not come from counting calories or clocking hours sprinting on a hamster wheel.
Although I do share some of my most effective moves, this article isn’t just about attaining a dancer’s body — it’s about having a dancer’s mentality. There’s so much more to the benefits of dance than a taut tush. The elated emotional charge you get from letting yourself go, moving your body freely while expressing how you feel in a positive way… that’s what makes you feel like a dancer! And when you feel good, you look good. They really do go hand in hand.
Lately, my work clothes are my workout clothes — and I’m not complaining about it! I love being comfortable, of course, but I also love the look of a dancer-on-duty. Just because we are dressed to sweat it doesn’t mean we can’t be inspired and on-trend, right?
My MOVE dancers and I are all about leggings with personality, loose racer-back tanks and bold bandeau bras. I love the juxtaposition of a lacy, feminine bandeau underneath a manly muscle tank or tee.
Maintaining high energy may come from within, although it has been proven that certain colors such as red, orange and hot pink can boost our confidence and vitality. It’s science, people! Why not rock bright and exciting training shoes to kick things up a notch?
Part of my personal dance uniform includes a flannel or denim button-up wrapped around my waist. It comes in handy if I don’t have time to change before running an errand or meeting a friend.
Here are some of my favorite style picks for dancers on the go, or anyone who just wants to dress the part!
When you began cultivating costume ideas for the MOVE Tour, what were the early discussions like?
Daniella and I were both inspired by recent pop music videos. Our goal was to create looks that are sexy and sultry but still fresh and youthful. I wanted to move away from the ballroom world we’d been designing for on Dancing With The Stars and do something more contemporary. We are all extremely happy with the results! There are over ten costume changes per person.
What’s the biggest challenge in designing for the tour?
Making sure there is flexibility for the dancers. Certain things look good as far as fashion goes, but they don’t move the way a dancer would need them to. They are moving their bodies across the stage in ways the everyday person doesn’t, so the clothes need to be able to work and follow the choreography. They need to look amazing and also be effective.
What’s the best part of your job?
Working with the dancers! It’s great working with people who can express themselves like they do. I love them, Julianne and Derek. We’ve all become family.
Most of us are familiar with the benefits of music. The influence of a song can calm our nerves after a stressful morning, get us pumped up for a big event or even heal a broken heart. The people at the Forever Young Foundation and Sophie’s Place know and understand the power of music and they are taking it to a whole new level.
Sophie’s Place is a very special space, which is dedicated to providing music therapy to children with injuries or illness. There are listening stations, instruments and even a recording studio. Children and their families are welcome to use the place to find healing through music. The program was established in loving memory of a singer, songwriter and volunteer named Sophie Barton, who regularly volunteered by singing to the children. She knew that music could make them feel better in a way that traditional medicine couldn’t.
You’re a returning MOVE Live on Tour dancer! What is the best part of the job?
Getting to perform in front of huge crowds is the best! I love the audience. I also love the cast.
What about the costumes?
The costumes are amazing! They’re intricate and interesting. Everything is completely blinged out, covered in rhinestones. Last year was great too but on a smaller scale. We each had three pairs of shoes on the last tour and this year we have six shoe changes! Everything overall is bigger, flashier and even more fun!
What city are you most excited to visit?
Kansas City! My whole family is coming to the show. So are the people from the dance studio I went to growing up. I used to train at a studio that was an hour and a half away from home. It’s really special that they’re all coming.