Pint-sized com­peti­tors, big re­wards

Danc­ing With the Stars: Ju­niors judge says show was ‘mag­i­cal’ to work on

StarMetro Edmonton - - DAILY LIFE - De­bra Yeo Who’s com­pet­ing? Find out at thes­­vi­sion

There is no ques­tion for Mandy Moore, the chore­og­ra­pher who be­came fa­mous for the Os­car-win­ning movie La La Land, who the stars are in Danc­ing With the Stars: Ju­niors.

It’s the 12 youth­ful celebri­ties, aged 9 to 14, com­pet­ing on the Danc­ing With the Stars spinoff. It de­buts Sun­day on Global TV.

“We found the kids (on DWTS: Ju­niors) were re­ally open to want­ing to be bet­ter,” says Moore, also known for her Emmy-win­ning chore­og­ra­phy on the grownup DWTS as well as So You Think You Can Dance.

“If we gave them crit­i­cism or a cri­tique or asked them to do some­thing bet­ter, they re­ally took it se­ri­ously to make it bet­ter for the next week.”

The “we” in­cludes DWTS pro­fes­sional dancer Val Ch­merkovskiy, and DWTS and fig­ure-skat­ing cham­pion Adam Rip­pon, Moore’s fel­low judges on Ju­niors. The judges didn’t want to be pa­tron­iz­ing to the kids, but “No one wants to see a kid cry.” They set­tled on help­ful cri­tiques pref­aced with com­pli­ments about things the kids did right.

“We ended up be­ing an­other set of eyes to help them get bet­ter.”

And get bet­ter, they did, Moore says. She hopes there’s al­ways a place for dance on TV, but she’s also think­ing about “the next wave” and the fact that dance will likely have to be pre­sented dif­fer­ently as view­ers in­creas­ingly con­sume TV in non-tra­di­tional ways. For now, she hopes view­ers en­joy watch­ing Danc­ing With the Stars: Ju­niors as much as she and the rest of the cast en­joyed mak­ing it.

“We felt it was mag­i­cal.”


Twelve child celebri­ties rang­ing in age from 9 to 14 are paired with youth­ful pro­fes­sional dancers on Danc­ing With the Stars: Ju­niors, a spinoff of the long-run­ning grownup ABC se­ries.

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