So So You Think You Can Dance is releasing two fitness DVDs (Tone and Groove and Cardio Funk), hitting stores Tuesday (7/21), which focus on dancing your ass off, literally. But here you get to learn some actual awesome dances from former contestants, like Katee Shean, Dmitry Chaplin and Travis Wall. Yes, I sound like an infomercial, but I'm always trying to mimic the routines on this show (mostly unsuccessfully), so it is nice to get that and get fit. I got a chance to chat with Season 4's Stephen "Twitch" Boss the other day, about his part in this (he teaches the hip hop segment) and about working on the upcoming Step Up 3D.
TWoP: So, a fitness DVD?
Stephen "Twitch" Boss: Yeah, it's a fitness DVD. When you hear 'fitness DVD,' you usually think about Richard Simmons or spandex, that type of a thing, but this is a little different.
How hard are the DVD's hip hop routines for an average person?
Twitch: Well honestly we made all the routines so they easy to pick up, or pick-up-able, as I say. You can rewind a couple times, break it down as much as possible. The hip hop routine, I try to make it as fun as possible too. So once you get over the idea of yourself dancing in your living room, you really can have fun. Instead of sitting in front of the TV, you might take it out to the party somewhere with you. It's very doable. It's a social dance.
TWoP: Did you work with any fitness people or is it something you choreographed alone?
Twitch: Actually, we did have a fitness instructor come in and kind of oversee. We made the routines first and then she kind of took a look at them and let us know what muscle group would be best targeted in those routines. Then we'd go back and kind of revised and refined which movements would really target those muscles and work them out.
TWoP: Hip hop is an all over workout?
Twitch: It's a full body thing, but in this particular one, the grooves that are in it, the certain grooves or eight count sets of grooves that really target specific muscles with the particular groups. But mostly, hip hop is all over.
TWoP: I'm going try it, but I'm the most uncoordinated human being on the planet.
Twitch: Oh no no, it's cool. We can learn coordination and you'll be right there in the comfort of your home or office.
TWoP: You got to try all sorts of styles on the show. What was the physically hardest style that you did?
Twitch: The physically hardest style. If I had to choose one, it would be the Russian Trepak. That was really physically demanding because of all the levels you had to hit. You had to jump, you had to do groundwork. It was just nonstop. Plus, the outfit was a little unorthodox, it was a little weird.
TWoP: Right, with the baggy pants?
Twitch: It's kind of reminiscent of Hammer, and we had the very long boots on.
TWoP: There's a reason why Hammer pants aren't so popular.
Twitch: That's exactly right. But those that dance the Trepak? They won't hear anything of it. They love Hammer. They celebrate it.
TWoP: Are you working on any other projects?
Twitch: I'm doing Step Up 3D, which Josh and Katee [also from Season 4] are actually in it as well. Just doing Step Up really, just dancing, and I have a part in the movie as well. Just working on my acting shots as well and besides that, I'm teaching. We have a couple of TV shows in the works that we're pitching. There's a lot of potential on the horizon.
TWoP: TV shows -- will you be acting or dancing?
Twitch: I'd be acting.
TWoP: When you signed up for a dancing reality show did you think acting would be the next thing for you?
Twitch: No, it has really provided a lot of us an avenue of whatever outlet we'd like to take it in. I kind of started dancing through acting, actually. I was on the stage first before I learned any kind of choreography. I've always loved to act. It's really provided a great avenue to get back into it.
TWoP: So you're teaching dance classes for people who are actually coordinated.
Twitch: You'd be surprised. I go in and do my best to teach the coordination needed. I do come across all levels, which I do welcome. It exercises your teaching skills.
TWoP: Are you excited about acting in Step Up?
Twitch: I am very excited. Sometimes I get a little nervous because you have to listen at yourself talk and look at yourself on the screen. I wonder, 'Am I convincing enough right now?' The cast, the people doing the acting on the scenes and the people behind the scenes -- everybody in the cast and crew is just amazing. So, it makes work really fun, but still a learning environment. It's a lot of fun. I'm very excited about it.
TWoP: I've seen some of Adam Shankman's very enthusiastic Tweets.
Twitch: I hear he's the Twitter king.
TWoP: He's crazy. He's like: 'OMG! This is going to be the best movie of all time!' Will it live up to that hype?
Twitch: We started some of the dance scenes last week. Some of the 3D effects of the dance sequences are just seriously phenomenal. I've never seen anything like it.
TWoP: How do you film 3D dancing?
Twitch: From what I understand, they just have a 3D camera. As far as the dancing goes, the choreographers will do certain moves and certain sequences that are projected very forward to get that effect.
TWoP: Have you been watching this season's So You Think You Can Dance at all?
Twitch: I have, not as much as I'd like to, because usually we tape on the same nights. But I've [been trying to keep up] with what's going on.
TWoP: What do you think of the talent this year?
Twitch: What I think of the talent this year. Well, honestly, I have to push for my buddy Ade. I'm in love with a lot of people on that cast, because from a personal experience, a lot of them auditioned from past seasons, so I met them during auditions in Season 3 and Season 4. So you know, now I see them on TV and I don't know who I'm rooting for. There's so many, like Ade, Evan, Randy, Janette, Brandon, and Asuka. They are all amazing. I want everybody to win. I want them to pick six winners.
TWoP: Are you surprised there aren't as many hip hop dancers this season?
Twitch: Not surprised. I'm am very satisfied with the one that is on there, Philip. He's amazing. We were pretty hip hopped out last year. We had a lot of hip hop dancers last year, so I'm not too surprised to see more contemporary and ballet and ballroom dancers.
TWoP: For me, back to the workout thing, the most important thing is always the music. What kind of music do you listen to when you either work out or dance right now?
Twitch: Honestly, it's the music. I'm just as cliché as everybody else who says this, but the music that really pumps you up, the music that whenever I hear it no matter what, it gets me going even when I hear it at 3 o'clock in the morning. I just soak it up and just go hard, which is a number of things. Right now, I'm listening to a lot of old school Michael. I can definitely work out to Michael. I also have a lot of electronic beats that are hard hitting. Good times.
TWoP: Any last thoughts?
Twitch: I hope that everybody gets the workout DVD and also -- just to know, don't be intimidated or anything like that just because it's a So You Think You Can Dance fitness DVD and it is us on there as dancers, and we've really done our best to try to break it down and do something that can be universally done as far as movement goes. So everybody can their do their workout in and we have different variations of things and for a lot of it, we have even further breakdowns, so just don't be intimidated. Please pick up the DVD, get fit and have fun. And come and rock out the dance floor with us sometime.
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