For those of you who didn’t think “Dance Showdown,” the competition dancing show on the DanceOn YouTube channel, could get any more exciting from the previous two seasons, prepare to have your socks not just knocked off — but washed, folded neatly and placed back in the drawer. Not only does the show, presented by YouTube dance sensation D-Trix, have its celebrity judge panel back in the form of Joey Fatone, Laurieann Gibson and the newly added KassemG, but I hear there are a few other exciting — and secret — surprises in the works as well. And, naturally, expect some insight from season 2 winners PrankvsPrank.
If you somehow missed the first two seasons (shame!), then think “Dancing With the Stars: YouTube Edition” as eight online personalities are paired with professional dancers to compete for a grand prize of $50,000 (with some mini competitions to win additional prizes along the way). The all-star YouTube lineup boasts some serious draws this year as they’ve recruited Lindsey Stirling, MysteryGuitarMan, Steve Kardynal, Steve Pepper & Lancifer, Meghan Camarena, Arin Hanson, Tati Westbrook and Alisha Marie to bust out, shake loose and do whatever the hell else people do when presented with a good dance beat.
NMR touched based with Lindsey Stirling, the global sensation and brilliant violinist who we have frequently covered but never gotten to gab with, just to see what this whole crazy affair is about. And judging by the pedigree of talent associated, season 3, which debuts November 4, should be the best installment yet. And since fans ultimately get to do the voting on who moves on to the next round, make sure you tune in to support your favorites. If it came down to charm alone though, Lindsey would already have my vote.
How did you get involved with DanceOn (and “Dance Showdown”) in the first place?
Lindsey Stirling: You know, I actually had a friend who did it — either two seasons ago or last season — but Brittani Louise Taylor is a good friend of mine and she had just told me, in talking, how much fun she had on the show and then another friend of mine was actually a choreographer for the show at one point. And so I kind of heard about it from a couple different sources, and I’ve always wanted to do more dancing, I’ve always wanted to take lessons — it’s something I’ve never been able to do. So I was intrigued with the idea of being able to do it in a way that it’s competitive but at the same time not be expected to be a professional and people understand that, hey, I’m just learning. And so it just seemed like a perfect way to just jump into the dance world.
So you do have a way with music, but you’re not a professionally trained dancer or anything …
Right, I do dance in my shows and I dance in my videos, but it’s all self-taught. I’ve never had dance lessons and, like I said, I’ve worked really hard to teach myself because it’s something that — ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wished that I could dance, but my parents said, “You could choose violin or you could choose dance, but we can’t afford both, and I chose violin. So this is kind of a fulfillment — it’s funny to say, but this is something I’ve always wanted to do.
Now, you’re kind of one of the biggest names involved with this, so do you feel like it will curry you some extra favor?
Well, it is a lot about fan voting and participation, so … I do have a really supportive fan base and I’m really hoping that it comes through for me to kind of give me that extra love so I can make it all the way through the season — that would be awesome.
Have you had to film any shows yet? Where are you in the process?
Well, we can’t exactly reveal all the details of that stuff — it’s kind of in the works, but it is all determined on fan voting how long we stay on the show, so after the first episode of this performance airs, then the fans vote and certain people get to move on to the next round.
So dance-wise, you can’t say how you stack up against anybody so far?
Well, it’s kind of fun because we’re all there at the same time, we’re all rehearsing around each other — we all have our separate rooms, but at the same time, we all sneak in and get a peek of how everybody’s doing and it’s kind of a very friendly competition where someone will come in and everybody is like, “Hey get out of here, you can’t watch us rehearse.” It’s very fun, but at the same time, we all want to do our best. Everybody’s being competitive about it in a really fun way. I think the cool thing is, everybody has their own thing they’re bringing to the table — some people are in it trying to be the best dancer they can, other people are using their character that they portray through their YouTube channels to really drive their routines more personality-given. So everybody brings something unique — whether it’s their personality, their character or their dance moves, and so it’s kind of interesting to see how it’s judged with that in mind.
Is there a certain strength you now have in the dance world? Are you more folk? Are you more Irish? Where would you go with your dancing?
You know, I have a very, “eclectic style” is a good way to say it. Since I’m not a trained dancer — I’m self taught — I’ve kind of being taking a lot of influences from “So You Think You Can Dance” and that kind of thing. I’m very lyrical in my movement, I’m very fluid, which has been very interesting, because the kind of dancing we’re doing is very hip hop and pop, so it’s very different than this more fluid movement than I’m used to doing.