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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

Mandy Moore Caps Off an Extraordinary Year with an Emmy Win

Choreographer Mandy Moore picked up her third Emmy this week, but this time it's in a new category — Outstanding Choreography For Scripted Programming for Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist. She won for the numbers, "All I Do Is Win," "I've Got The Music In Me" and "Crazy." The project has been a dream come true for her because it's brought together movement on television with a filmic feel.

"I feel so fortunate to be partnered with Austin Winsberg, our show creator, a man who loves cinematic dance storytelling. A lot of the times as a choreographer you don't get input necessarily into how the camera might see the dance or what emotion you're trying to convey through the steps — sometimes they are just steps as a choreographer," she said at the Creative Arts Emmys virtual press room. This show is obviously not that. I think that's why so many people were drawn to the numbers because it's the perfect marriage between camera, steps, dancing and choreography, but also storytelling."

When asked how working on Zoey's compares to the work she did on Dancing With the Stars, Moore had a very perceptive answer to what separates the two shows.

"Something like Dancing With the Stars is about scale and feeling epic or intimate or sexy or flashy or going along with some sort of a theme night we might have. There's a certain amount of storytelling, but I find more of a visual kind of feast when I'm creating something for Dancing With the Stars," Moore shared. "I'm thinking, What are they going to play back on the sizzle reel for next week? What are the wow moments that we can create? When you're working in scripted, the heart of everything is in the script. What story are you trying to tell? The characters, a lot of the time, drive how the choreography is created."

For Zoey's fans looking for the inside scoop on Season 2 with COVID-19 looming in the background, Moore reassured reporters that it's business as usual on the set, even though there are many safety precautions in place.

"As far as any of the COVID stuff, honestly, it hasn't really affected my department. We are still moving forward, obviously with plenty of safety measures in place, but the heart of Zoey's has always been storytelling through dance," she said. "Luckily, we're all back at work and we feel confident moving forward with shooting on Monday. I'm at the end of my preproduction phase and we start shooting on Monday. From this point forward, I feel like I'll never see the light of day until April. So it's nice to have a moment to talk to you all."

There was one big question from Season 1 that needed to be answered as well. Will Moore have the opportunity to direct an episode in Season 2? It's something for viewers to keep their eyes on.

"I actually can't talk about the director one yet for many reasons, so I'm going to have to put a pin in that one," Moore revealed, "But yes, there is discussion about it, for sure, if that's still on the table."

If there's one thing about the choreographer, she loves where she started and misses the shows that propelled her to even greater heights.

"I miss my Dancing With the Stars family so much and my So You Think [You Can Dance] family because that's a different thing," she summed up. "But being on Zoey's now has opened a whole new side of my creative brain. We're deep in it for Season 2. I'm looking forward to more of these incredible musical numbers."


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