OK, I've been obsessing lately on "So You Think You Can Dance."
You can tell that by reading the recent blogs. (Hey, I promise to move on now.) You can also tell that I'm happy Melanie Moore won. Here's the interview I sent to papers:
By MIKE HUGHES
As the “So You Think You Can Dance”
season began, viewers figured they knew Melanie Moore.
She was the Georgia teen-ager with the
warm face and vintage hairstyle. She was kind of shy, maybe a dance
Well, not really. Moore – the show's
new champion – has more sides to her than viewers might guess.
She was her high school's Homecoming
queen, “which was really exciting for me,” she told reporters in
a phone interview Friday.
She's a social sort, rarely shy. “I'm
a lot more talky and chatty than people think,” she said.
And her college choice wasn't what
people might have expected. Moore – who grew up near Atlanta and
whose boyfriend goes to the University of Georgia – enrolled in
Fordham University, in the Bronx. There, she majored in visual arts,
not dance. “You always need something to fall back on,” she said.
Or maybe not. At 19, Moore has become
an instant dance star.
That started with her first performances.
“I think Zeus himself would invite you to dance on Mount Olympus,”
Lil' C, the judge and choreographer, told her then. “That was
It was a stunning audition, another
judge, Mary Murphy, said this week. “She took our breath away.”
Moore was considered front-runner and
didn't budge. She was never in the bottom two or bottom three of
viewers' votes. For the finale, host Cat Deeley said, she got 47 per
cent of votes, with Sasha Mallory getting 32 per cent; that left only
21 per cent for the two guys, Marko Germar and Tadd Gadduang.
Some of that may just be a personality
thing, Moore granted. “I always laugh at myself …. I hope that
I'm relatable to people.”
But this was no popularity contest, no
homecoming vote. Judges kept praising Moore's technique, which she
attributes to her teachers and her mother. “She instilled a work
ethic in me.”
Moore's dad was an analyst; her mother
was a nurse who became a supervisor and a consultant. The dad died
after a liver transplant when Moore was 12, but the family was
Growing up in Marietta, Moore started
dancing at 2-and-a-half. She did the competitive dance circuit and
built an intense focus. “I need to have things in line,” she
For five “Dance” weeks, she was
paired with Germar, another favorite. They were the only duo, she
said, that rented separate rehearsal space; when they finished their
sessions at the “Dance” studio, they kept going. “Marko, half
the time, was going to kill me, I was so nit-picky.”
That was particularly true when they
had to do a difficult tango, she said. “We were there until 11:45
every night, pounding away at it.”
That sense of detail was mixed with a
sense of adventure. One number required her to leap into the arms of
one of the “all-star” dancers, Neil Haskell. They started with a
few modest jumps, Moore said. “Then I was across the room, running
and jumping …. We were sort of daredevils.”
Now she's leaping into life. Her plans
– She has 10 days off, so she'll help
her boyfriend move into college. (“It's going to be about him, for
a change.”) Still, she'll also be taking dance lessons then. “I
can never sit still for that long.”
– Then she starts preparing for the
“Dance” tour, this fall.
– Afterward? Moore was excited by
comments from director-choreographer Kenny Ortega, who will be doing
a “Dirty Dancing” remake next year. She jokes that that
constituted “a verbal contract.”
She's planning on mostly banking her
$250,000 prize money. “Everyone has said I should indulge myself ….
I sort of want to get nice carry-on luggage.”
And when she does return to school, she
said, she'll probably switch to a dance major. She may not need that
fallback position after all.