Pint-sized competitors, big rewards
Dancing With the Stars: Juniors judge says show was ‘magical’ to work on
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.