This week, we saw a very moving Contemporary piece that Travis Wall choreographed about his mom, who is recovering from surgery. The Season 2 runner-up won over the hearts of viewers with his dancing in 2006, and now he’s doing it all over again with his choreography. We recently caught up with Travis to find out about his journey as a choreographer, advice for the finalists, and more.
Travis often choreographs pieces to current music. He said, “Jason Mraz is my favorite artist. He’s ridiculous and that was pretty much the inspiration for my Las Vegas auditions piece. His music and lyrics and story behind the song were inspiration enough for me. I create the dance from there.”
When the news came out about the different format for Season 7, Travis supported it and the dancers who made it far. “I’m really impressed with the dancers they have. I think it’s going to be an amazing season because we’re only picking 5 girls and 5 guys and not 10 girls and 10 guys. Sometimes you get a few who aren’t as great, and sometimes America votes for those who aren’t that great. That’s why I think just to get to the Top 10 we’re going to get the best dancers. And they’re dancing with all-stars which means you have to dance up; you can’t sit in it. If you sit in it it’s going to be done; it’s going to be obvious. I think it’s going to be a really great season.”
Travis isn’t an all-star this season because he’s pursuing his passion and talent as a choreographer. “I’m only choreographing right now,” Travis revealed. “I did some work on Dancing with the Stars and choreographed for the Los Angeles Ballet Company. Everything is just snowballing. It’s definitely been an experience and I’m really excited about it.”
Since he’s been through the So You Think You Can Dance experience, Travis had the following advice for the contestants. “It’s not about being a good dancer; it’s never about being a good dancer. The best dancer never wins this show – ever – and has never won it in six seasons. It’s what people like, and not even just on this show. We just did the Oscars and I hired dancers with Adam Shankman for the program and there were people with beautiful legs and beautiful technique, but if you don’t connect to me, I can’t put you on TV. It sounds so cliché, but we’re hiring stars not dancers. I never understood that when I was on the show. Auditioning people and picking people for my stuff I realize it’s so true. They’ve got to have something about them that makes them more than just a dancer. At this point everyone can dance well, so it’s about who shines and who you can remember at the end of the day. All six seasons, which contestants do you remember? You remember the stars.”
We wish Denise Wall – Travis’ mom (who is also Season 3 runner-up Danny Tidwell’s mom) – a speedy recovery!