Nick Lazzarini: Making Big 'Moves'
All The Right Moves is basically like So You Think You Can Dance: The College Years. Except, unlike the defunct Saved By The Bell spin-off, Oxygen's new reality show is really good. And for more reasons than simply seeing many of your favorite SYTYCD alums (Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Allison Holker, Robert Roldan, Melanie Moore, Jaimie Goodwin and Channing Cooke for starters) dancing in the newly formed Shaping Sounds company.
At its core, ATRM is a story of friendship and watching those bonds strengthen through adversity. A tribulation which plays heavily into tonight's episode as the fallout from last week's Travis-gate (let's call it) is a major centerpiece. I caught up with Nick Lazzarini to talk about that bombshell, what it means for the boys moving forward and what it's been like to live his life in front of the cameras once again!
TheInsider.com: Travis told me that none of you planned on doing reality TV again, but this opportunity basically fell in your lap. True?
Nick Lazzarini: Yea! We were working at Teddy's mom’s studio two summers ago when this guy called us. He wanted to do a reality show and Travis thought it could be about the four of us and this dance company we were starting. It was very unexpected [but] we have always said our lives would make such a good reality show! [laughs] This opportunity has been crazy and fun, but also a lot of hard work. Work that maybe we didn't know would be this hard. I mean, on top of making a TV show, we're also trying to put together this dance company. It's much harder to balance the television part of it with the business part of it.
Insider.com: At the end of last week's episode, you and Teddy had a visibly negative reaction to hearing Travis' business partner float the idea of attaching his name to the company. What were you feeling at that moment?
Nick: We had just finished performing, were having a good time and working the room when he just laid that on us. I mean, it came out of nowhere. Going into this process we knew Travis was the big name draw, but that was for the show's purposes. This company is something the three of us have always talked about, and really wanted to keep as the three of us. We knew that idea would come at some point, but at that moment, it hurt. And that's what you see: the wah-wah look of being knocked off a high. You'll see tonight that things get worked out and we move on.
Insider.com: Is it frustrating to be in this position given the fact you won the first season of SYTYCD while Travis placed second in season two?
Nick: Travis is where he is because he’s a choreographer. That's not me. I don't want to be a choreographer yet. I'm enjoying my time as a dancer and Travis will be the first to tell you he's not a dancer anymore. I think we both know our roles and know what we want to do and accomplish. Yes, I won the show, but it didn't gain popularity until season two. I'm glad to have been a part of season one because that was a journey of discovery for the producers. I mean, they didn't know what they were doing. We had two different formats of how the show would work before they landed on what it is now. We filmed a bunch and then they sent all the contestants home for two weeks while they changed [the format] because they hated it. We didn't know what was going to be from week to week – we were flying by the seat of our pants, and that was exciting. I'm glad I was in season one because now the show is so much about the judges and the choreographers. Maybe things would have turned out differently if I waited for the second season – maybe I would be more popular, maybe I would have more Twitter followers, but everything happens for a reason and now our show will hopefully take off and be super successful.
Insider.com: Well, reaction to the first episode definitely makes me think the show will be. Looking forward, what are you excited for people to see?
Nick: I'm excited for people to see our relationships in and out of the dance studio. It's pretty honest. We're not faking. Everyone has an up moment this season and a down moment this season. You'll see how we work together and help one another out. Plus I think it's cool you get to see the relationships two gay guys have with two straight guys. I feel like that's a really unique dynamic to have because we show just how super normal it is. On TV, you always have the token gays and the token straights – it's so cliche. I feel like our relationships are not stereotypical at all. I mean, Travis and I are always telling Kyle and Teddy what's going on with sports.
Insider.com: All The Right Moves also breaks down an old stereotype that most dancers are gay. Now, with SYTYCD, would you say the percentages are more even?
Nick: Definitely. I mean, it really depends on where you are in the dance world, but the hip-hop guys are all straight. It's pretty much 50/50 in the contemporary world. Same for ballet – there are a lot more straight ballet dancers than gay ones.
Insider.com: That said, you know people are now actively rooting for you to turn Kyle gay.
Nick: [laughs] Oh my God. You know, I met Kyle when he was 12 and then I saw him performing a couple of years later in New York when he was in Juilliard and I remember thinking, "You've got to be kidding me? Really? Nothing? Not even a little gay?" [sighs]
All The Right Moves airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Oxygen.