Kevin Hunte: 'So You Think You Can Dance' routine 'out of my element'
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/23/2009
Since Kevin Hunte is a hip-hop dancer with very little formal training in other areas, tackling a Broadway routine during Tuesday night's So You Think You Can Dance performance episode was difficult for him.
"It just took me out of my element," Hunte told reporters during a Thursday conference call. "It took me by surprise, a lot of the character, the style of dance, the movement, just the whole feel of it, that was kind of different. It was just so fast."
Hunte told reporters he was surprised when the judges told him he was unable to capture the humor of the Spencer Liff Broadway routine with partner Karen Hauer.
"Spencer actually told me that I was supposed to be sad. The whole story was in the beginning I lost my job, and Karen -- who was my wife -- was supposed to cheer me up. So, by the end of the dance that's when the happiness was supposed to come out, like at the high point at the end of the dance," he explained.
"But at certain times during the run through and stuff, Spencer was saying that it just wasn't coming across. So after awhile, he just was like, 'Kevin, do what you feel and emote what you feel.' But at that point, I didn't know what to feel. I didn't... I told myself before I performed, 'Just smile, whenever you can smile, try to be humorous,' and that's what I did. I thought I did a great job."
While he's out of the competition, Hauer is still around -- and Hunte had some words of wisdom for her new partner, Victor Smalley.
"If he ever feels tired or hurt or doesn't feel like doing something, he better get it together real quick because she's no joke. She will brush you up real quick. She is a professional," said Hunte on Hauer.
"She is a mambo champion, so she knows about her craft. She is about her work. That is one of the best things that I loved about her, because being a ballroom dancer, she just always adapted to whatever style we got... I told Victor, 'Be ready because she is fierce and she is non-stop.'"
Hunte said he initially auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance's third season before being cut in the Top 32, which prompted him to work harder on his craft.
"Mia Michaels actually told me that she wanted me to grow more and she wanted me to come back next season," he explained. "So, I took two seasons off and trained and trained and trained, and I came back and actually made the Top 20."
Hunte said one of the highlights of his So You Think You Can Dance journey was when he was able to perform a hip-hop routine with Russell Ferguson and Jonathan "Legacy" Perez -- two other members of the Top 20 who also specialize in his area of expertise.
"That was amazing. That was the most amazing experience ever, and as you guys know, me and Russell became like brothers in the show. Just to do that together was mind-blowing," Hunte told reporters.
In addition, Hunte said he also drew some inspiration on the show from Michael Jackson, who passed away in June at the age of 50.
"This opportunity of So You Think You Can Dance, every time I got on that stage, I just felt like I had to let it all out because that is what Michael did every time he got on stage. I just try to give off a certain kind of aura whenever I dance because that is what he did," explained Hunte.
"I just try to live my life in humility and humbleness and move forward because Michael stood for so many things."
As for what's next, Hunte said dancing isn't the only career he plans on pursuing.
"I am just going to take this opportunity. I got my name out there," he told reporters. "I am just going to try to get into some movies. Try to get with a good agency. I really want to become an actor and do movies, things like that. That is what I really want to get into."