Choreographers and husband-and-wife team Tabitha and Napoleon D’uomo are best known for their involvement in the dance competition show So You Think You Can Dance, and for developing a new form of hip-hop dance, which judge Adam Shankman would later call “lyrical hip-hop”.
Tabitha was born Tabitha Cortopassi on September 11, 1973 in Galloway Township, New Jersey. The Italian-American studies jazz, ballet and tap during her younger years; she also studied hip-hop by observing music videos. Napoleon, born in Apple Valley, California in 1968, learned hip-hop by frequenting the popping scene in Los Angeles. His family later moved to Las Vegas.
Tabitha and Napoleon met as students of University of Nevada–Las Vegas: she majored in communication, while he majored in molecular biology. There, both pursued their love of dance, with Napoleon even earning a scholarship as part of the university’s dance group. They began their dance partnership in 1996, right after their graduation, as part of LV-based group Culture Shock; they would marry two years later, on April 19, 1998, and have been inseparable since.
The couple became prominent in the dance scene when they moved to Los Angeles, where they began choreographing for numerous artists, television shows, movies, and dance teams for the NBA and NFL. The “Dynamic D’uomos”, as they were known, became more popular when they joined America’s Best Dance Crew, where they acted as supervising choreographers. In 2008, they joined as guest judges and choreographers for So You Think You Can Dance. There, they became known for “lyrical hip-hop”, a type of hip-hop dance that is more soulful and tells a story more prominently.
The couple is also involved in directing tours and live events, producing workout DVDs, and Nappytabs, their line of hip-hop dance apparel.