Interview with Victor Smalley of 'So You Think You Can Dance'
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of chatting with Victor Smalley, the latest dancer to be eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance.
Victor was frank and grateful when discussing his time on So You Think You Can Dance. While he admits he was disappointed with his elimination, because as we all saw he definitely danced for his life, his ouster was softened by Nigel's comments and his respect for the Top 10. Here's what Victor had to say about tango-ing with Karen, changing partners, and his surprising answer to what he wished he'd done more of on So You Think You Can Dance.
Was it difficult to change partners so many times?
hard getting a bunch of different partners because everyone in the top
ten right now has had their partners since the beginning. You
understand how your partner works. It's very easy to get married to
your partner. When I had Bianca and I only had her for three weeks, I
was married to her. So when she got cut, I was devastated and it's
really hard when you're married to someone and then, boom, here's your
You need to be connected with that person. You need
to get to know the person. You have to be comfortable with the person
and then, boom, that person gets cut and then I get another partner.
It's tough, but that's what you have to do. A good dancer is expected
to be able to dance with anyone. We're actors and even if you don't
like someone, you have to make believe that that person is world if
that's what the dance is portraying."
What was it like working with your final partner, Karen?
"Working with Karen was great. She has
so much passion when she dances and confidence. From the moment she
steps into a dance room and you give her an A count, it's like she
knows what she wants to do. She hits hard. She dances hard. She's
just such a powerful dancer and it was such an honor to work with her.
She was on the same page with me, so we both had partners that were
eliminated. We have little bit parts that connected us. As soon as we
walked into that dance room, just by her body language, she was telling
me, Victor, we're going to do this. And it was just such a great
feeling to work with that you could just vibe off their energy. It was that Latin passion I guess you can say."
What was your favorite dance last week, tango or hip hop?
tango was my favorite. I was dying to get a ballroom because the whole
show I've been barefoot. I've had contemporary twice. I had Broadway,
which was barefoot and was jazzy. I had a jazz routine, so this was my
first week having shoes on. And I was really excited because I think
it's easier to impress the judges when you're a contemporary dancer and
you do something that's not in your style compared to you being a
contemporary dancer and doing contemporary, it's expected that it's
going to be good. So I was very excited to show them that I could do
other styles. Just the feeling that
I got onstage with Karen is just incredible. That tango is in the top five of
dances I ever done in my life."
What Choreographer do you wish you'd been able to work with?
"Oh man, I wish I
would have gotten in more ballroom. I also wish I could have gotten
Sonya Tayeh. She does the job on the show. I would have loved to have
worked with her, but I was pretty happy with all the choreographers
that I got. I think I got a bunch of different choreographers and I
was so blessed to work with all of them."
Tell us about your elimination:
"I was content, even though I was getting cut because I felt like I had danced my life out and I had no regrets. So whatever the verdict was, I felt like it was a great way for me to go because I really felt that I danced my life out. Unless if I would have back or messed up on my solo, then I would have had regrets and I probably would have been upset because I would have been if I would have done that on stage, or if I would have done that, but I knew that there was nothing more that I could have given them. Plus with what Nigel told me made me really happy. So I felt like if it was my time to go, I left on a good note."
Do you think you deserved to stay after dancing for your life?
"Everybody wants to stay longer, but as far as deserving it, I think Nathan and Ryan are two very talented dancers. I feel like as far as everybody on the show, everyone is at such a high caliber, it's like when you go into an art gallery, you don't walk in and say this painting is better than that painting. No, they're all in the same art gallery. Each artist is very talented just like us. We are all a bunch of artists and we're all equally talented. You can't say one is better than the other. We're just at that level. We're all in the top 20. There's a reason that we're all there.
I felt like I danced my life out and I wasn't expecting to get cut. It is what it is. One door closes and another one opens. I had a great experience and if I had to go, I'm glad that I left on that note."