Reality-show contestants come a dime a dozen, and once their shows are off the air, we’re so busy watching the next competition, we often forget to see whether the winners go on to make it in their chosen profession. For every Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks, there are dozens of Taylor Hicks and Nikki McKibbins. But one show seems to be the exception to the rule: The alumni (not just winners) of So You Think You Can Dance show up everywhere: In music videos, on Broadway, on tour with pop stars, on Glee and, this weekend, in Step Up Revolution. When VH1 caught up with the movie’s star, Kathryn McCormick (third place in season 6) and co-star Stephen “Twitch” Boss (season 4’s second-place dancer), we asked how the show contributed to their success.
“[SYTYCD alums] have the mindset that just because they’ve been on the show, nothing is going to be handed to them,” explained freestyle dancer Twitch, who also appeared in Step Up 3D. “They still have to create their opportunities. And for the things that are presented to them, you still have to deliver. So no matter what, even with your exposure on the show, you still have to put your work in it. You still have to continue to pay your dues. The show gives you a rep, yes, it does. And it gives you that exposure, yes, but you still have to deliver on your end of the deal.”
Kathryn certainly felt the need to deliver, especially since she’d never acted before. “I think there’s pressure a little bit, having a fanbase from So You Think You Can Dance, where they’re a fan of my dancing,” the contemporary dancer said. “But now there is a pressure where I had never acted before, and my first time doing it, everyone gets to judge it. It’s like, ‘Yeah, we like your dancing, but can you act? I don’t know!’ I know there’s a high expectation for me as a storyteller, vocally.”
Step Up producer Adam Shankman, also a beloved judge on SYTYCD, says the show’s alums know that as dancers, they can never take anything for granted. “Dancers have to get back on the chorus line; they have to get back in line to get jobs,” he said. “But as I said to the So You Think kids, if you keep your nose clean and do good, you’re going to be at the front of the line.”
And according to Twitch, most of the dancers he knows take that advice to heart. “Those that were on the show that are in this movie, you never saw them slacking off,” he recalled. “They were always practicing. They were always going over steps. If anybody needed help, they were reviewing with someone.”
[Photos: Summit Entertainment]