Dancing her way to fame and fortune

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 November, 2011, 12:00am


Name: Melanie Moore
Home: Marietta, Georgia, US
Star sign: Virgo
Chinese zodiac: Goat

I started dancing ... when I was two and a half. I have an older sister and that was how I got into dancing. She started dancing. I saw her onstage and I knew it was something that I wanted to do. I have the older sister syndrome. Everything my older sister does, I have to do.

I never thought I'd like to try out for the show because ... the show in America is huge. I was like, 'No, I am not going to try out. That's selling out'. But I was at university in New York City. I wasn't doing anything. I was bored so I thought, 'It's now or never'. So I tried out. And I made it. I made it all the way to the show and ended up winning the title [and the US$250,000 first prize]. It was a good experience.

I put my university life on hold to pursue dancing because ... I missed two weeks of class [at Fordham University in New York] to audition for the show when I was in Vegas. And I missed two tests that I wasn't allowed to make up. And I'm usually a straight-A student and made really good grades. But my As dropped to Ds because I missed taking the tests. I was like, 'No, I can't have that on my record and I don't want this to be part of my GPA [Grade Point Average]'. So I took a leave of absence from my studies during the show. Right now I'm on hold.

It's hard for me to choose an alternative winner because ... we just got off a tour so I've got so close to everybody. But Marko [Germar] was my partner and I would never have got to where I was if it wasn't for him. So I would definitely hope that one of the partnerships would win.

I always thought that ... So You Think You Can Dance was about cut-throat competition. But it wasn't like that at all and we were very supportive of one another. Everyone was super-nice. And, like I just said, we have just finished a big tour and we were all like a big family. We all try to see each other once a week.

My next move is ... to join [choreographer] Travis Wall's company that starts in December. That's the first quarter of business. I'm moving to [Los Angeles] and will go on auditions. I was offered a tour job with a famous singer [Lady Gaga]. I'm going to try to do that. [Director] Kenny Ortega was talking to me about remaking [the movie] Dirty Dancing. There were a lot of offers after the show. I'm going to put my hands on those and make them happen.

What I have to say to aspiring dancers is ... you should always keep pushing for the next thing. Definitely appreciate what you're doing. When I was in the show, I always appreciated every moment. But I was always thinking about what's next. Am I going to be on a tour or on TV? You must always push yourself and strive for something better than what you have, because if you keep pushing yourself you'll reach great things.

Gold Coast Festival 2011

Melanie Moore danced at Gold Coast Festival on November 5. This weekend, jazz singers Eugene Pao and Howard McCary will perform. For more details, visit goldcoastpiazza.com.hk