He may not necessarily think so but Mark Kanemura was quite the underestimated dancer this season on So You Think You Can Dance. He didn’t have a built in fan base from last season the way Twitch did. He didn’t have a big name choreographer backing him the way Will did. He didn’t start off this season with memorable routines the way Josh did. Yet, Mark brought something to the table that kept him alive through much of this competition: he was unique. His individuality was a quality his fans appreciated and they catapulted him all the way to Top 6 before he was eliminated on last night’s episode. Today, he spoke to BuddyTV in an exclusive interview about the tour, his partner, and living in a bubble for the last few months.
Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.
Hey everybody, this is Gina from BuddyTV and today I’m talking to Mark from So You Think You Can Dance. Can you tell me a little bit about your dance background and how you ended up where you are today?
I started in musical theater actually. My voice started to change so I got really uncomfortable singing, so I got more into dancing. I went to this performing arts school and I studied modern and ballet and jazz and tap and hip-hop there. From then I’ve just been training and whatnot. One of my teachers actually gave me the opportunity to start choreographing and whatnot, and I think when I started choreographing I started to experiment more. I think that’s kind of how I got into my weird self.
Was this your first time trying out for So You Think You Can Dance?
It was, yeah, it was.
What was the experience like for you from the beginning through Vegas? Was it very stressful?
Yeah, it was stressful. From the very beginning it was a lot harder mentally than it was physically, just because there’s so much going on as far as there’s so much — like, from the beginning there was so many people at the audition. You have to constantly be telling yourself that you can do this and not hyping yourself self or anything, or stressing yourself out.
Is there a particular style of dance that was the hardest for you to master this season?
All of the ballroom stuff was really, really hard for me. All of it is such a foreign language. You think it would be really simple or anything, but was all really, really, really difficult. I know particularly the country two-step was probably the worst and the hardest dance style that I had to do.
You got to work a lot with Chelsie this season, how was she as a partner?
It was awesome, Chelsie was super, super, super awesome. The cool thing about working with her was that I think she was like the last person that I would have guessed that I would have ended up with, but I think we really, really found a groove as far as working with each other and I think we also developed a very brother sister type relationship, which is awesome.
Is there a dance that the two of you did that you hope ends up on the tour this year?
I really, really enjoyed the jazz number that we did with Mandy Moore, I think we both had a lot of fun on that one. Just because there wasn’t a lot character-wise, there wasn’t a lot to it, so we could just have fun with it and really dance and whatnot. That was really, really fun for me to be with her.
Last week when you were safe you looked so surprised — you did, it was such a good reaction! Do you think that people underestimated you this season?
I’m not sure, I’m not sure if people underestimated me or not. Yeah, I’m not too sure — how do I explain it. I didn’t know a lot that was going on outside of the little bubble that we’re in, just because we’re so busy and whatnot. It was more of a personal thing that I really wanted to overcome the obstacles that they were putting in my way and whatnot.
Are you satisfied with the experience that you had on So You Think You Can Dance?
I am more than satisfied, way, way, way more than satisfied. Just with everything that we’ve had to overcome and the challenges that we’ve been through, I kind of feel like in my own sense like I won, so it’s all good.
What are you most looking forward to about going out on tour, because it’s coming up pretty soon?
Oh my gosh, I know. I think I’m excited about visiting all these placed and I’m also really, really exciting about meeting all the people that supported this show and supported me on this journey and everything, I’m really, really excited about that.
Well, I’m buying my tickets tomorrow, so I hope that when the tour comes through my town we’re going to get to meet up and say hi.
Fun, that would be awesome, that would be awesome.
Good luck Mark, thanks so much for your time, I appreciate it.
Of course, of course, you’re welcome.
– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)