Friday, February 1, 2008

Shimmy Exclusive Interview- Dan Karaty

Shimmy: What was it like growing up with parents that performed on Broadway?

Dan: Well, growing up in the Karaty family was a lot of fun. I'm the youngest of five kids, and although my parents were Broadway veterans, when they decided to have kids they gave it up. My father was a stockbroker and my mom stayed home with us. My parents decided to open up a dance studio when I was about 13 years old, and that's when I started to dance. They certainly had plenty of knowledge, talent and experience to pass on to me.

Shimmy: What was your own experience in Footloose like?

Dan: My experience in Footloose was brief, but amazing. To be a part of an original Broadway cast was something I always wanted, and it made my parents very proud. To be honest though, we opened in October and I gave my notice in November…I had one semester left at New York University and wanted to finish my education. If I took any more time off I knew I would never go back.

Shimmy: Would you ever return to the boards?

Dan: I wouldn't return as a performer, but as a choreographer or director? I would be there in a heartbeat, that's another dream of mine.

Shimmy: When did you transition from performer to choreographer?

Dan: The transition from a performer to a choreographer just sort of happened. Wade Robson and I worked together quite a bit, and while I was dancing on some gigs for him I began helping out with choreography. We always worked well together and things just happened from there.

Shimmy: What was it like working with Britney Spears back when she was at the top of her game?

Dan: Britney was an absolute joy to work with. We created some memorable performances together and that girl really knew how to turn it on when she hit the stage. Britney was always a hard worker and didn't quit until she got it right. I wish her nothing but the best.

* Dan performing with Britney Spears at the 2000 Video Music Awards *

Video: Momoe2006

Shimmy: You've dabbled in so many areas- teaching, judging, doing commercials, choreographing tours and television- what do you enjoy the most?

Dan: You know, my career has continued to evolve over the past 10 years or so and I've been happy every step of the way. I consider myself a lucky man because I do what I love. Honestly, I'm excited to see where things take me next…but I'm extremely happy with what I'm doing now. Choreographing movies and commercials and being on television, it's not so bad 

Shimmy: So You Think You Can Dance has brought your work to the masses, will you return for season four?

Dan: I'll be there! I really can't wait to see what amazing talent shows up this year. Oh, and rumor has it that I'll be showing up on other versions of the show around the world. See you overseas too!

Shimmy: What contestants from the show did you enjoy working with the most and why?

Dan: I love performers more than anything else. Yeah, show me that you can dance, but entertain me! That's what I'm really looking for. Nick Lazzarini from season 1, Lacey from season 3, those are the type of dancers I love to work with. They bring so much to the table and make it fun.

* Lacey Schwimmer & Kameron Bink dancing a Dan Karaty number on SYTYCD *

Video: Green Ramalama

Shimmy: The JUMP Convention- tell us about it.

Dan: Well, Gil Stroming is the man in charge and he does an incredible job. He has really changed the convention world and has taken it to a whole new level by having a great faculty, live music, amazing sets, and so much more. All of us on JUMP travel around the country to teach, inspire and motivate dancers of all ages. From hip-hop to jazz to contemporary, we offer the kids the best of everything. And oh yeah, this past summer we held our national finals at Radio City Music Hall, and this summer we'll be holding it at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.

Shimmy: What inspires you?

Dan: Inspiration can really come from anything…an experience in my life, an incredible dancer, a piece of music I hear, anything. I do my best to keep things fun and entertaining for the masses to enjoy. I like to make people smile, laugh, or at the very least have a good time, that's my goal when I'm creating.

* Dan teaching at JUMP Convention *

Video: littlelady103106

Shimmy: What are "dream roles" for you?

Dan: Ha, actually, what I'm doing right now is a dream for me. Hopefully I can do more of the same. I really would love to choreograph and direct a musical…and anything else I can get my hands on.

Shimmy: If I swiped your ipod for an hour, what would I be listening to?

Dan: My choices in music can vary depending on the mood I'm in. I love listening to Kanye, and chilling out to Maxwell. Oh, and Led Zeppelin's music is forever. I'll always love Biggie and Jay-Z…and any old school hip-hop.

Shimmy: Three things you cannot live without.

Dan: The New York Yankees, the New York Giants, and Starbucks!

Shimmy: You have a degree in journalism. What areas are of interest to you?

Dan: You know, I've always just loved to write. I don't know if I'll ever have a career in it, but its something I like to do in my down time. I would love to someday sit down and write about all of the crazy things I've done, seen, and experienced. I'm not sure if anyone else would be interested, but it seems readable to me.

Shimmy: Leap ahead ten years, if you are no longer involved in dance what might you be doing instead?

Dan: Ah, that's a good one. First of all, I'll hopefully be married with some kids running around. Whether I'm on-camera or behind it, I know I'll be involved in the business one way or another. Maybe I'll be following the Yankees around the country….now that would be fun!

Shimmy Video Pick
* Anya Garnis & Danny Tidwell dancing a Dan Karaty number on SYTYCD *

Video: Green Ramalama

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Anonymous Suzette said...

I don't know what it is about Dan Karaty that fascinates me, but I loved this interview. Everyone knows something about Wade Robson and the like, but it was great to learn a bit more about the guy. Good job.

May 20, 2008 at 12:10 AM  
Anonymous Marieke from Amsterdam said...

The Dutch viewers can see Dan now as a jury member of SYTYCD in Holland. He does a great job there.

Can I just add that Dan has got incredibly beautiful eyes?!

September 30, 2008 at 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yes, those eyes that cannot hide what's inside! What color eyes he has?

December 25, 2008 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger faithless said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 7, 2009 at 4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love him!!!!

January 19, 2010 at 4:33 PM  
Anonymous jenny from Amsterdam said...

He has the most gorgious smile I have ever seen.
And Yes the eyes are the mirror of the soul.

October 30, 2010 at 7:55 PM  

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