Here at Instinct we can’t pretend not to be So You Think You Can Dance fanatics. And like most viewers, we’ve felt a special sense of pride watching Travis Wall evolve from an astonishing talent and competitor to a brilliant, Emmy-nominated choreographer (not to mention 2011 Leading Man). There was a lot of excitement throughout the office when news broke that Wall would not only be creating a dance company, Shaping Sound, alongside SYTYCD alums Nick Lazzarini (season one champ) and choreographer Teddy Forance, but also that they’d be documenting it for the world to see in their new reality series, All The Right Moves, premiering July 31 on Oxygen. The series also features Shaping Sound member Kyle Robinson.
We were thrilled to talk with Travis about All The Right Moves, Shaping Sound, and his other upcoming projects. And yes, there may have been a squeal or two.
How did the idea for the show come about? I guess the idea to televise the creation of your dance company?
Travis Wall: Oh, well, what happened was, I was just in Boston and I was actually at a dance camp of Teddy’s family and I got an e-mail from this producer that was like “Hey I really think you’d be interesting. We’re such big fans of you on the show [So You Think You Can Dance]. Would you want to take a meeting? We want to make a reality show about you.”
And I was like, “I don’t know how entertaining that would be, but I really think you should meet the people in my life and see everything we’re kind of doing right now.” So I took a meeting with them first and then we kind of came up with the concept of maybe bringing in the guys and making it about all of us—and I brought in the guys and we all kind of came up with this show and it was a two year process. You know, we had to go to all of these production meetings and all these things and they really loved the idea that we were doing a dance company so that’s kind of how the show came about. And it’s so cool that we got to document this entire process of really starting our dance company and we kind of have this forever, which is so cool to us.
That’s so cool. You kind of mentioned this, but one of the show’s strengths I noticed when I was watching the first episode was really that history, you know, that you have with your cast members...
Obviously you and Nick have known each other forever—and Taja Riley, too—and that obviously provides really interesting backstory, but it helps with the drama too because you guys seem to know how to push each other’s buttons.
Yeah [Laughs], and you will see lots of that this season. [Laughs]
So that’s what some of the fans have to look forward to?
Yeah, the fans definitely get to look forward to amazing dancing! We have two dance performances every episode, so that’s 16 in total—and you get to see the process of that, you know, we are family and we do fight like brothers and we live like brothers and when you’re constantly around these people 24/7, you know, we’re completely vulnerable in a lot of the situations, so you definitely get to see a lot of drama. [Laughs]
I think it’s great that you have that balance though, as well. The fact that we get to see two dance performances each week with you guys and you’re all so phenomenally talented is super exciting. As far as other familiar faces that we might be seeing this season, we’ll see Melanie [Moore], Allison [Holker]—but are we going to see Danny Tidwell?
No, you don’t get to see him! He’s in Norway dancing for the Norwegian Ballet Company so…
Will we see any other SYTYCD familiar faces from the show?
Ryan Ramirez is on the show. Noelle [Marsh] is from So You Think, Alexa [Anderson]—she was actually on this season—she just got kicked off, which is so stupid. But, she’s a dancer in Shaping Sound.
As far as this season of So You Think is concerned, do you have any favorites so far?
I have a lot of favorites…it’s really hard. It’s usually in the beginning of the season I can kind of tell who’s going to stay till the end and who I want to win…I don’t know, they’re really good this year! I think Cole [Horibe]—his dedication to his performance is amazing, you know what I mean? And I think Eliana [Girard] definitely has the most beautiful technique…I think Witney [Carson] is a star—I think she just explodes on stage.
She’s a firecracker!
She’s a firecracker, I know. There’s so many—I could really say a great thing about all of the remaining ones. And Cyrus [Spencer]—he’s brilliant at what he does and he’s holding on every week by doing these routines so he could be dangerous in this competition.
You did some choreography for Step Up Revolution as well…
How was that experience?
It was great—we just had the premiere [a few] days ago, and I love the movie. The dancing in the movie—it’s just so good. [Laughs] It was awesome. I got to be in Miami for three months, which was awesome because my boyfriend lived there at the time and I got to spend time with him as well and make my first movie so it was surreal.
Best of both worlds!
Best of both worlds. [Laughs]
And congratulations on your Emmy nomination! Was that a surprise that it was for Dancing With The Stars this year?
Yes! This one was a surprise because I just—I wasn’t expecting it at all. I got this phone call at 5:45 in the morning and I was just like, “Ah! I got nominated!” And then they were like, “Yeah, for Dancing With The Stars!” and I was like, “I got nominated for THAT?!” [Laughs] I was like, “What?! Okay!” I was thinking, something else, but that’s amazing! [Laughs] Last year I got nominated and then this year I got nominated with my best friend, so I get to experience that with them, which is a lot of fun.
That’s so cool! So it doesn’t get old right? The Emmy nominations—not over it?
No. I mean, I guess keep’em comin’! [Laughs]
So what’s coming up for you beyond the show that your fans should know about?
I’m going to New York City for a little bit. I’m going to be choreographing a new Broadway show called Bare. It’s about two boys in Catholic school, pretty much falling in love and dealing with their sexuality and society.
Okay and stupid question, but is this “bare” as in B-A-R-E or B-E-A-R?
Okay, so no hairy bears in that one…
No no no no…[Laughs]…no hairy bears.
Step Up Revolution is in theaters now. All The Right Moves premieres July 31 on Oxygen.