Dan: You know, my parents never pressured me into anything. They never even said, "We want you to be a dancer." It was just kind of whatever I felt like doing, they were happy with, and, as long as I committed to it and gave it my all, it just seems to be the way it's been. So yeah, they're very happy about it.
TWoP: You studied journalism in school?
Dan: That's right. I was a journalism major at NYU, and I graduated in 1999.
TWoP: You did some other dance training, but why did you study journalism?
Dan: I felt like if I was going to take the time and spend money to go to college, I wanted something else in my back pocket to possibly fall back on, aside from dance. I was still able to study dance all four years that I was in school. And I always enjoyed writing, so I wanted to learn some kind of structured way of using my writing. So journalism just seemed like a natural fit.
TWoP: Who or what would you have been the biggest influences on your career so far?
Dan: Oh, boy. Well, I would say certainly my parents, bringing me up in a bit of a dance environment. They own a dance studio in New Jersey. So that was a big influence on how I studied dance and my appreciation for dance. But it was like Michael Jackson said a long time ago: "Study the greats and then be greater." I've always loved old movies, old videos. Everything from watching Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, to Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, anything like that. You know, just watching what people were doing as I was growing up and trying to my best version of that out there.
TWoP: Who are some of the greats of today? That people in the future will look back on and say, "These were the great dancers of 2008"?
Dan: Oh, boy. [Laughs] I don't think I'd put anybody on the level of, you know, of Michael Jackson, or, like I was saying before, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly. I don't think at the moment we're going to look back at anybody and say that they were as good as them. But that's not to say that there aren't great performers out there right now. Justin Timberlake and Usher and people like that that are out there right now, I think they are absolutely phenomenal. And I think you're going to see great things from choreographers and directors like Rob Marshall, who did Chicago, who I think [will] do more great musicals like that, [which] are really going to set the tone for our time.