To say Danny Tidwell’s road to the finals of So You Think You Can Dance had its ups and downs along the way is an understatement. Clearly the best technical dancer this season, he struggled to connect with the viewers as well as the judges. Though no one could deny his dancing ability, judges questioned his character, calling him arrogant and saying he danced like he already won the competition. Tidwell felt misunderstood and tried his best to show America who he really was. This midseason turnaround took him all the way to the finals, where he ended up as runner up to winner Sabra Johnson. Now rehearsing for the upcoming tour, Danny takes a break to talk to BuddyTV about his time on the show.
Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview
Hey everybody, this is Gina from BuddyTV and I’m talking to Danny Tidwell from So You Think You Can Dance. I’m so happy to be talking to you. How are you doing?
I’m great, how are you?
I’m good, thanks. Let’s go back and talk a little bit about your dance training. You were unbelievable this season, I’m so glad that you were part of the show. Tell me about your training growing up.
Grow up I was at Denise Wall’s studio, I went there. Eventually she ended up being my mother. I was at the studio a lot, so I took all the different classes, I took the jazz classes, the ballet classes, the gymnastics classes, the lyrical classes. All levels and all ages, I was always around them, so up until I was 15 that’s all I did.
My friends and I were watching the show all season and we’re trying to figure out what is in the water at your mom’s dance studio, because they turn out some pretty amazing dancers. What do you think sets that studio apart from others?
Well I think, you know you said during the show I got really embarrassed so my mom just screamed out “Pashion! Pashion!” I was like, “Whoa, whoa.” I think my mom’s studio, when you’re at the studio, it takes all this energy, but it has this really great energy in the studio. She teaches, like when we’re there, it’s just all about the music and about our technique and we have a really great bond with each other. It’s a really small studio so there’s not much that gets by, so you learn a lot about each other and other stuff.
When Travis was on the show last year did you go to a lot of the tapings?
I went to a couple. I went to like two, I think, last year.
When you go from sitting in the audience or watching it on TV to actually being on the show, is it much different than what you thought it would be?
It’s definitely different. When you watch it, you think, I don’t know, when I was watching it before I was like, “Wow, like this was good or this was bad but you still need to be judged.” But once you get on the show it’s a lot harder.
Yeah, I was gonna ask you if the pace of the show, is that something you’ve ever been used to, going that many hours of the day?
I definitely worked that many hours in a day before, but I definitely never worked in front of a camera that many hours in a day.
A lot of the judges had an opinion of you early on and you felt like you were misunderstood. Having thought about it now, can you think of why they maybe thought that you were so arrogant or standoffish? Because as the season went on, you became a lot more open and I don’t know if you were taking the judges’ criticisms to heart and trying to show more of yourself. I was just wondering how that whole thing affected you being on the show.
Well, when you dance on TV, you’re in a studio, so you’re in the same place every time and the camera’s there with different people each time, but not a lot of people so it was hard for me…I think they were trying to come across good to America.. I was very used to dancing on a stage in front of people theatrically, but I’m not used to pushing it to four different cameras and talking and getting my personality across as well.
So it was a challenge for me to take what my choreographer’s vision was, and to not only do that because then it’s also to present myself as Danny Tidwell to America in a competition. I’m just so used to surrendering all that I am to the work and the dance and not thinking about myself as much, so this competition I learned a lot about just how to get what I really think across and what I really feel across.
It felt like the audience, maybe in the beginning, didn’t get you. You kept ending up in the bottom which was ridiculous, and then suddenly things turned around and people really started to appreciate you. Is there a moment in the season that you felt like was your turning point?
I think it was when I got the opportunity to work with different partners, although I loved my first partner Anya, I thought she was really great. When I got an opportunity to dance with Sara and dance with Lacey and to try to do more than just one dance in one show, I think that was the turning point for me to be different, you know.
Is there a particular routine that you did throughout the season that really stood out for you?
I really like to do the samba with Lacey, I think that was really fun.
Is there anything on the tour that you know about that we can look forward to when we see it?
I think you’ll look forward to seeing some of the things you saw during the season. I think we’re doing a lot of the group numbers. And to see us grow as artists, I think all of us are dancing a lot better right now, we know each other a lot more, and we’re not necessarily competing against each other any more, so I think you’re going to see us grow as artists as well as competitors..
Do you have any plans in the future? Once the tour is over, is there any goal that you’re setting for yourself?
I like working in entertainment, and I love dancing and being on stage and being in front of the camera, so hopefully more things like that.
I just wanted to thank you so much for your time.
I really appreciate it.
Thanks so much, can’t wait to see you on the tour.
– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)