Interview: How Broadway Gave Matthew Morrison 'Credibility' For SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

So You Think You Can Dance airs Wednesday nights on FOX.

By: May. 22, 2022
Interview: How Broadway Gave Matthew Morrison 'Credibility' For SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

Before the world knew him as Will Schuester on the hit television series Glee, Matthew Morrison was dancing on Broadway in the ensemble of shows like Footloose and the Rocky Horror Show.

Now, he's putting his dance knowledge to the test by sitting the judging panel for the new season of Fox's competition series, So You Think You Can Dance, alongside Stephen "tWitch" Boss and Jojo Siwa.

The new season features highly skilled dancers between the ages of 18 and 30 showcasing their talents in various dance styles, including contemporary, tap, hip-hop, ballroom, animation, breaking and more. Those who are selected to move on to the SYTYCD studio will work with world-renowned choreographers and compete each week in a variety of styles, with brand-new twists and turns introduced into the competition.

BroadwayWorld caught up with Morrison to discuss about how his time on Broadway has given him "credibility" for being a judge, what excites him most about being on the show, and more.

Had you been a fan of So You Think You Can Dance in the past?

I mean, come on, obviously. I love this show. I kind of, since the beginning, really, really, I feel like I grew up with the show in a way. It's been a staple in our society and just to watch dancers' careers kind of blossom from this show. I've actually worked with a few dancers, you know, Melanie Moore, we did Finding Neverland together, just to see like people's careers kind of take off. And whereas before you would watch a concert, like a Justin Timberlake show or something, you'd see a bunch of dancers in the background and you'd never really connect with them, but I feel like this is a great way, the best show to connect with the dancer and actually to get them to know them on a personal level. So I think it's just such a beautiful show.

And you're such a great dancer too, so it's so exciting to see you take part in this. Would you say that your experiences in Broadway shows like Hairspray and Footloose prepared you for this in any way?

I think it gives me credibility ... I grew up as a break dancer, like when I was really young and then I transitioned into, you know, ballet, tap, and jazz and my first roles on Broadway before I started doing leads were as a dancer. I was in the ensemble and kind of worked my way up the Broadway ranks. I feel like I studied and trained just like all these people are doing.

The dancers these days are on a whole different level. They're doing tricks and crazy stuff that I I've never even seen before. So I'm actually excited and one of the reasons I wanted to do this show was to see how the global pandemic really shaped these dancers because yes, a lot of them probably missed out on classes and probably missed out on a lot of technique, but you're having these dancers alone in front of a mirror for years on end. And it's just like, what is that, what is that gonna look like on stage? What did they come up with? What fears are brought into dance? What joy? I'm excited to see what this experience is gonna be. And I think, I think it's gonna stand out upon other seasons, just because we've never been in this situation before.

Definitely. It feels like such a great time to bring the show back.

Absolutely. And the show is all about heart, you know. I feel like we kind of need that.

As a judge on this new season, is there anything specific that you're looking for in your dancers performances? Any type of technique or style that would really stand out to you?

Nothing is gonna stand out, you know, at the thing at the end of the day, I can't tell these people what to do or what not to do. I'm here to encourage them to find that out of their own. I don't feel like I'm a judge. I don't really like that term to be honest. I want to them to think of me as a teammate. I'm here to help them see their potential, their greatness, and I want them to believe that and believe in themselves.

You also are joined by such a great panel. What excites you about working with Jojo Siwa and tWitch?

I'm really excited. We've actually zoomed a couple times so far and we're just kind of getting to know each other. And I really love that, you know, the show is doing that a bringing us together ... So we're really getting a solid amount of time just to see how we talk and see how they flow. I really appreciate that time, but Twitch I've been such a huge fan of him from watching him as a contestant on the show, obviously I did see him as an all-star on the show and then just to see his career take off to where it is now. And Jojo, I wasn't too familiar with, to be honest, and now doing my research on her and just to see her journey. She is 18 years old. She should be a contestant on the show, basically ... I'm sure she's probably even gonna know a lot of the people that are auditioning for the show but I feel like having that face on the show as someone who's in it right now is so special and kind of keeps us current and up to date.

Interview: How Broadway Gave Matthew Morrison 'Credibility' For SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
tWitch, Jojo Siwa & Morrison

Since the show has taken a couple years off, is there anything new that we can expect from this new season?

I think, you know, in the sense of just having us three as judges, I think that that's gonna be a kind of a fresh look of the show and I think there are plans to do a lot of new things that we haven't seen before on the show.

Watch Morrison dance in a new promo video for So You Think You Can Dance here:


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