A Conversation with Joshua Allen, America’s Favorite Dancer

photo by Joe Viles/FOX

For some dance folks, summer is about taking a break from dance. For me it’s about turning on the TV and following every move of the Fox hit Television show, So You Think You Can Dance. This year I found Forth Worth native Joshua Allen continually taking my breath away with his souring spirit, unstoppable confidence, and magnetic charm. The tour lands in Houston on October 11 at Reliant Arena. Allen, now America’s favorite dancer, took a break from rehearsal to chat with DSH.

Dance Source Houston: Joshua, congratulations from your dance friends in H-town. We were all cheering for our Texas son. Did you get a lot of support from your old dance buddies in Forth Worth?

Joshua Allen: I did throughout the entire experience. I could feel their support. One of my teachers told me she was so happy for me now, but not to come home too soon. I will get back there eventually.

DSH: Every year I try to pick the winner and got the first three years dead wrong. I pegged you as the winner pretty early on. I just had a feeling. Wondering if you got that feeling too?

JA: Well, you know what they say, the fourth time is the charm. Honestly, we all hoped we would win. You can’t expect it you never really know. I always had the confidence that I could win.

DSH: You had a special chemistry dancing with Katee. What made that partnership work so well?

JA: We connected immediately from the first dance, which was a hip hop dance I think. She was nervous and I was really excited because I am a hip hop dancer. I was nervous too because if I messed up they would cream me because I was supposed to know what I am doing. We just clicked. We are both such hard workers, and always wanted to do our best. We are completely different kinds of dancers, so when I needed help she was right there and vice versa. We learned so much from each other.

DSH: Is there one piece of choreography that you felt fit you perfectly?

JA: I liked both of the hip-hops, obviously, “No Air” by Napoleon and Tabatha, and “Skipping” by Dave Scott. Wade’s piece, “Slowing Dancing in a Burning Room,” was also great.

DSH: When did you feel totally out of your comfort zone?

JA: The Samba and the Pasa Doble were totally new to me. Actually, the whole ballroom scene kind of frightened me, but I ended up doing it pretty good. I didn’t know how well I did until I watched myself on TV and thought, wow, I did well!

DSH: Did any pearls of wisdom from your teachers pop up during the show?

JA: Yes, several. Stay focused. Continue to be yourself and don’t change. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything. Live your dreams. Don’t back down and never stop having fun.

DSH: How do you do that thing with your chest or is it top secret?

JA: I would have to come to Houston and show you. Want to fly me there? Seriously, I was just knew how to do it. Nobody taught me how to do it

DSH: I, along with America, thought you were an amazingly versatile dancer. Do you attribute that to early ballet classes, or a knack for picking up styles?

JA: Whenever I did other dance styles I totally committed to them. I acted like I had been doing it my entire life.

DSH: I took a look a the tour schedule and it’s pretty intense. How do you plan to keep yourself healthy, uninjured, and ready for the long haul?

JA: Stretch. Hydrate. Vitamin C. Actually, I am learning a lot from Mark. He’s from Hawaii and they are very healthy.

DSH: Which is harder, preparing for the live show or the TV show?

JA: Well, we don’t have the stress of being judged, but instead of doing 2 routines we will be doing 25. It’s also great to be polishing the pieces. On the show we had only 5 hours to learn a new routine. SYTYC is work period, but I am having a great time.

DSH: Do you have a favorite way to prepare for a show?

JA: I get in a quiet mood, maybe listen to some mellow music, and just breath and get peaceful with myself. I also pray before I got out on stage.

DSH: In your dream of dreams, what would come next for you?

JA: I want to be an R & B recording artist and try my hand at acting. I will be dancing in Step Up 3D, so you can catch my first entry into the movies. In a few years I might want to open a dance studio, not tomorrow though. And, of course, I want to keep dancing. So, I guess my future is singing, acting, and dancing. I want to do it all really.

Snuggle presents So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour 2008, on Saturday, October 11, 2008, at 7:30 PM at Reliant Arena. Tickets available through Ticketmaster.

Reprinted from Dance Source Houston.


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