Wade Robson agreed to answer our 20 Questions, and he did. Sort of. He was probably too busy dreaming up the next season of The Wade Robson Project. Or at the very least, new jazzy handsigns.
1. First things first: Do you get a say on the voting for the Wade Robson Project, and do the results sometimes irritate you?
I only get to choose [at the end of] the first round. Then in the second round, if the judges don’t agree, I have to choose. But from then on it is all up to the audience and the voters.
2. Who would make it to the final round on the celebrity version of the Wade Robson Project? Would Murphy Lee still get to be a judge if he didn’t have a CD to promote?
Probably Justin Timberlake. Yeah, all the judges were great in their own way.
3. When you were a kid did you (like certain of us) wear your jazz shoes to school against your mother’s admonitions to the contrary, because you knew they made you look cool? Did it actually make you look cool, or did you just get beat up?
I didn’t really go to school that much. I was home-schooled because I was working all the time.
4. Do you think it was easier or harder to get respect as a very young choreographer? On the one hand, you’re a prodigy, and on the other, you’re a little kid trying to run with the big boys.
It was harder for sure. But once people saw me dance and saw me work they realized that I don’t act my age.
5. What are three moves everyone should know so that they don’t look like fools on the dancefloor?
I can’t just specify three moves – there are so many moves. The only thing you need to have is rhythm. If you have that, then when the music comes on your body should just move naturally.
6. Which celebrity would you like to out in our first-ever Private Dancer Award; that is, who, upon seeing them dance for the first time, made you say, “No. Fucking. Way.” – but in a good way?
Usher is amazing.
7. What are your five favorite songs to dance to?
That’s too hard. I like to dance to anything with a great beat. Of course, Michael Jackson’s stuff gets my blood pumping.
8. You had fancy Tour Manager titles on tours for Britney and *NSYNC. Besides choreography, what sorts of things were you responsible for?
I was the Tour Director. I came up with the whole concepts of the shows: I did the music, I helped design the stages, the lighting, the costumes, the themes, and I did all the video work.
9. It’s no secret that some of the guys in *NSYNC aren’t, shall we say, natural dancers. What’s the key to getting Lance in-step with everyone else?
They all are very talented and some just needed more time than others to pick up the choreography. In the end they all had it down and they looked great.
10. Tell the truth: Aren’t there moments when you can’t help but yell, “Britney (or Justin, or insert your popstar of choice here), you just are NOT GETTING THE SHOULDER THING RIGHT,” fling down your sweatband and stomp out of the room?
Never. I have a lot of patience, and when I choreograph for people it is my job to make them look good.
11. During the “One More Time” finale of Britney’s Dream Within a Dream Tour, Miss Brit wore a little diamond bra and flounced around in fake rain. Who came up with that idea? Do you take all the credit? (There are people who want to thank you for that, you know.)
Yep, that was my idea. I originally wanted the rain to be Pepsi, but it was too expensive. The water idea looked great.
12. How did you end up remixing (and adding vocals) to Mandy Moore’s song “Candy”?
Through the business you meet a lot of people, and I know the producers on the album. They asked me to do it.
13. What’s a lesser-known collaboration that your fans might be shocked to hear about?
Not many people know that I was in a rap duo called QUO was I was little.
14. Your website says that you’re developing a musical feature film with Disney. Aside from Chicago and Moulin Rouge, there haven’t been many (if any) widely-released musicals. What is the greatest challenge you foresee with this project and how do you plan to overcome it?
I want it to be a modern musical that will be a classic in years to come.
15. Name three videos that you wished you could say you choreographed.
There aren’t any really.
16. What was the last movie you saw, or book that you read, where you wished you had the power to re-write the ending?
The Matrix: Reloaded. I was a little disappointed.
17. Gun to your head: For the rest of your life you can either continue to expose the world to the genius that is your choreography, but you never get to move rhythmically to music ever again OR you can dance, but it will always and forever be the pitiful routines of others that propel your limbs. Choose.
I don’t want to choose.
18. How do you feel about abstract versus literal choreography? (Literal choreography being holding up two fingers while singing the word “two,” for instance.)
I like the choreography to tell stories, but at the same time be creative and unique.
19. Choreographers who are household names are few and far between, and yet you’ve managed it at such a young age. Do you see your following the career trajectory of someone like Debbie Allen? What’s your next step?
I don’t look to the future – I live in the now. I want to continue my show on MTV, I am going into directing and I am still writing music.
20. Ok, so you choreograph and dance and produce and compose and whatever else. What one other thing do you really wish you were good at? Quantum physics? Shuffleboard?
I wish I was better at basketball.
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