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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

Tyce Diorio Finds Magic in Playing Cupid on 'Flirty Dancing'

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

FOX is shaking up the dating-dance show landscape by debuting a new series over the holiday season — Flirty Dancing. The show is a major hit in the U.K., so the network hopes that the same magic translates to U.S. audiences.

On the first episode, premiering Sunday, Dec. 29, So You Think You Can Dance choreographers Tyce Diorio and Travis Wall play cupid for couples hoping to find a spark through movement. Dance Dish spoke with Tyce about his experience on set and how surprisingly wonderful the format works.

Dance Dish: How was Flirty Dancing pitched to you?

Tyce Diorio: [Executive producer and showrunner] Mike Yurchuk and [producer] Mike Riccio told me this show is going to be about real people. There's going to be moments of magic in a location that's just breathtaking and it's going to be filmed and shot beautifully.

Once I heard that I was even more intrigued because the person looking for love is going to learn a piece of choreography. The intention of the choreography is unique in the sense that you have to create chemistry between two people. So the choreography has to be built around the idea that this is not just dance for dance. It's about two human beings coming together, literally meeting and locking eyes and energy for the first time.

DD: Did you prepare any differently as a choreographer for this because it was such a unique and fresh approach?

Tyce: It was refreshing to me because everything is a challenge. It's how you approach them. It's cinematic, it's a love story.

We see this in the movies hundreds of times. So when I was creating it and I was thinking about creating a movie for two people to step into. That, to me, is exciting. Like La La Land, where you take Ryan [Gosling] and Emma [Stone] and they have so many magical moments together and that film has so much heart and so much humanity. This feels similar to that.

DD: Where did you film your episode in Los Angeles?

Tyce: We filmed in Grand Park, across the Ahmanson Theater in Downtown LA. The park has these stairs that go down to a beautiful fountain. The fountain lit up with purples and blues and then there's a bottom part of it, which is all water shooting up out of the floor.

If you keep walking another 30 seconds there are beautiful olive trees. It's like the Garden of Eden. It's just so nice. We had two locations and with them coupled with the music, all of that came together.

DD: Since you are a versatile choreographer, what styles were your two dances?

Tyce: The first piece of choreography I would describe it as a kind of street. It felt like jazz, but it felt a little theatrical and it also had a Motown feel to it as well.

The other piece that I did was romantic. I wouldn't even classify it as contemporary or anything. It was more lyrical/romantic.

DD: What did you learn from working on Flirty Dancing?

Tyce: You get a broader perspective of the person who's looking for love. They're going to dance with this person, but the show also talks to them about it after they dance with their dates.

You're also getting the friends and family's point of view of this person and how they have changed or grown and what parts of love they have felt stuck in. You're getting a full scope of the person and you see it all realized on screen. What I love about this show is that it's energetically and creatively stimulating for everybody.


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