As I settle back into at-home life, I can’t help but reminisce over the last few months on tour. MOVE is so much more than a performance. It truly is an experience and an opportunity to connect and celebrate life with each and every person who comes to a performance.
I’m so very thankful for the positive energy and happiness all of you brought to us each night. At the end of every show the dancers, Derek and I were blown away by what you gave to us. We are forever humbled and grateful.
Until next time!
Photo credit: Desiree Stone
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!
Many of you have asked about the bus set up on our moving MOVE tour. Ask and you shall receive! There are three buses. Derek and I share one, the crew is on another and the dancers have their own. My room is in the back of D-Man’s and my bus. It’s pretty nice! I even have a cozy queen size bed. It’s where I like to snuggle up with an SVU episode or two. Okay, it’s usually a full on marathon.
Before we get started, please note how hilarious our bus is. What’s with those blue flames?! We like to pretend we’re big time rock stars from like an ’80s hair band or something. Doesn’t that seem more appropriate than just a bus full of dancers?
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?
Our day off in Orlando, Florida, can be summed up in one word: MAGIC! As in Magic Kingdom, that is. That’s right, we went to Disney World! It rained like crazy the whole time so we had to wear massive ponchos all day. We look hilarious in all our pictures! We didn’t let the downpour rain on our parade, though, the MOVE dancers and I screamed through Space Mountain, giggled through the jungles of the Animal Kingdom and even stopped to say hello to Minnie and Mickey.
None of us had ever had turkey leg like these. Thankfully we caught our first bites on camera!
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!
Being on tour has been a perfect opportunity to collect inspirations and ideas for my new home. When I return to LA in a few months, I’ll begin to fill my blank space with furniture and accents. My goal is to select pieces that have personal meaning or remind me of a place I visited and admired.
New Orleans definitely got my design wheels spinning. I was in constant awe of the city’s approachable opulence. The blend of French, Spanish and African influences create such a dreamy, elaborate environment. It’s something I would love to recreate in parts of my grand manor… I mean, my house. 🙂
I took tons of pictures for my mood board of cast iron railings that decorate the balconies in the Quarter. I’d love to find an antique or vintage inspired one to hang on a wall, use as a headboard, or maybe cover a fireplace I also took pictures of the gas lights and lanterns, which would be beautiful in any backyard.
Speaking of the yard, NOLA’s lush, elaborate gardens got me thinking about my own. I’m into the idea of incorporating sculptures into the landscape. Also took note of the large pots and abundance of hanging plants.
What city inspires your interiors?
When I’m on tour, I take the few days I have off very seriously! I like to eat, drink and do as many things as the city we’re visiting has to offer. Last week in Austin, I definitely did just that.
I started my morning at Hillside Farmacy, a quirky restaurant that supports local farmers for their farm-to-table feasts. The space used to be a pharmacy in the 1950s, hence the name. They cleverly use vintage prescription bottles as salt and pepper shakers! The original rich wood cabinets, artsy murals, tile work and crystal doorknobs create an authentically-worn-in warmth. My fried egg sandwich (avocado, aioli, sprouts, fried green tomato) was off-the-charts delicious!
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.