Photo Credit: ©(ABC/Craig Sjodin)
Tonight is the night Dancing with the Stars fans have been waiting for... the season 20 premiere. One of the most talked about pairings this season is that of fan favorite professional dancer Emma Slater and her celebrity partner, Redfoo. Who doesn't want to see what this creative couple (#TeamFooma) will bring to the dance floor?
I had the chance to ask Slater a few questions in advance of tonight's premiere about how rehearsals were going, if we can expect to see some of Redfoo's outrageous attire, and of course... if the pair will be dancing to "Juicy Wiggle."
The Reel Spin: This season you're paired with Redfoo. Is it safe to say he'll bring the party?
Emma Slater: I think it is definitely safe to say Redfoo will bring the party with him to Dancing with the Stars this season. I've been following him around the last two weeks, and he seems to create fun and laughter no matter where he is! That's special to me. And it's all him, he's genuine, and he genuinely loves a happy atmosphere. I also think that once people witness that on top of having a superb attitude and work ethic, Redfoo is a very passionate person with high morals and respect for all those around him, they'll adore him even more. He's a top class guy, let's hope America gets on board with his dance moves!
Emma Slater, Redfoo Photo Credit: ©(ABC/Craig Sjodin)
TRS: Fans of Redfoo know he is full of swag and high energy. How is that translating to the ballroom world? I would imagine rehearsals have been fun...
Slater: Redfoo does have a kind of loose swag. He's got a definite style which is brought out when he performs and in his music videos. It's somewhere where '90's disco flare' meets 'oozy island gangster.' If our partners naturally have a good sense of rhythm, it is always much appreciated by us pros on the show. Counting music is imperative and can be a hard rule to stick to for people who don't hear music that way. So the fact that Redfoo is a music artist helps in the sense that he counts music (albeit in a different way). But in terms of actual dance steps, the technique in ballroom and Latin is the polar opposite to the kind of commercial movement Redfoo has done in his music videos. It's pulled up, we finish our movements with turned out feet, we constantly have our weight forward (nose over toes) and we rotate our hips & pelvis a lot. Redfoo is a little confused right now!
TRS: Do you find that Redfoo has wanted to have more of a say when it comes to wardrobe than previous partners? Please tell us we can expect some outrageous attire...
Slater: I had my first wardrobe meeting recently about this season with our wonderful wardrobe department. As Redfoo has his line of clothing (La Freak) and a very specific style, our team will create his look first, and we discussed that my costume designs will be planned to match his and follow suit (excuse the pun). I'm loving the fact that my partner really knows how to embrace his sense of fashion, and I'm totally on board!! So yes, houndstooth, zebra print, neon orange, suit me up! #TeamFooma is a partnership all the way. On saying this though, you might get a few surprises along the way, some unexpected looks and variations... [winks]
TRS: I can only imagine how challenging it is to try to teach someone a new style of dance each week, plus come up with choreography. Yet, that intensity seems to help the professionals really bond with the celebrities on the show, and for the viewers, the connection that is formed is really one of the most special parts of the show. Do you feel the same way?
Slater: This show is spectacular for many reasons, for me the most spectacular reason however is the genuine human connection. Many of the pros on this show (Tony Dovolani!) describe each season like a marriage. You can't imagine how close you become so quickly, it's a tight-knit bond formed in an intense environment. You and your partner establish trust and respect super quick and throw all your energy into your team. It's wonderful, because sometimes you form unlikely bonds between two people that in other circumstances wouldn't normally be friends. Brought together by DWTS. I found my American Dad on DWTS (Bill Engvall), and the viewers watched me do it! It's amazing. Redfoo and I have been friends for two weeks, but I haven't left his side and we are identical in the way we think. It's scary! But on a very honest note, human connection is the ONE thing I value most in life, and the interest of seeing each celeb's relationship with their pro blossom is what makes the show for me.
Redfoo, Emma Slater Photo Credit: ©(ABC/Todd Wawrychuk)
TRS: Is there any style of dance in particular that Redfoo is looking forward to learning or that you think he will catch onto quickly?
Slater: I think Redfoo will end up being quite quick on his feet, so I'm hoping for the opportunity to teach him the jive. I don't normally say that! Jive is hard. But Foo's energy lends itself to that dance, and it suits his personality too. In any dance we tackle, I'm hoping to create magic with him. That's the only way to approach each week... with a fresh positive attitude and a good deal of determination. In order to survive each week, you have to get excited about each dance you're doing, and as the ideas are building up in my head, I'm getting very excited about this season. Each week has the potential to be our favorite, and I won't strive for nothing but that quality.
TRS: Any chance we'll get to see a dance choreographed to Redfoo's infectious new single "Juicy Wiggle" at some point?
Slater: The real question is 'Will #TeamFooma Juicy Wiggle at some point?' ...
Dancing with the Stars premieres tonight on ABC, 8/7c.
Follow Emma Slater on Twitter: @EmmaSlaterDance
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Interview by Pamela Thomas