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Travis Payne from Live to Dance Grammy Awards 2011 – GRAMMYs Guided by TurboTax

Hey it’s Shira Lazar backstage at the Grammys
brought to you by Turbo Tax with Travis Payne, of course from “Live To Dance”. Hello One of the amazing judges, but you’ve also
choreographed some of our famous artists who have won amazing Grammys. Like the one and only Michael Jackson. Yes, yes Michael Jackson who I love so much. Which is incredible. Yes, it was great, always a pleasure to work with
him. We had a sixteen year creative relationship. Wow. That, you know, had to come to an end at “This Is It”, but you know he’s always in my heart and my prayers of course are with his family and his fans at this time. What is it like choreographing him? I mean, he already had his own moves obviously. Right he, Michael had an immense vocabulary of movement, you know, long before we met, but it was great to be able to have creative exchange with one of my
heroes, since I was a child. You know, so to finally get in the room
with him, and I always tell people, some of my favorite moments with him were in the mirror. You know, creating new moves and dancin’ around with him. You know, I’ll always remember those times. Of course you’ve worked with Usher, Gaga as well. Yep And she’s just a huge star here at the Grammys. Yes Last year, this year, what is she like as an artist? Well, I got to direct her Monster Ball Tour and we had a great time. I mean, she
is a force of nature, I mean, so much creativity, and so much passion and so much dedication. She’s willing to put it all out on the line each and
every performance and I really respect that. I mean, she has a discipline to her that not
many artists that I’ve worked with really sort of show you outwardly. You know, she is very into her art and that is it. Yeah. You know, and I can really appreciate that, it
makes the working experience that much more exciting. And now are we, we’re seeing her perform at the Grammys. Yes, I’m not involved in that performance, but I’m certainly going to be watching. And so who else are you excited to
see or have you worked with here? Oh my God, here at the Grammys? Everyone? Seems like you’re connected
to everyone. TLC, En Vogue, I mean there’s been so many over the years and I’ve been really
really grateful and really, really honored. Yeah I’ve been in LA since nineteen ninety, you know, getting my start with Janet Jackson, as a dancer on the Rhythm Nation Tour, but currently gearing up for Lenny Kravitz world tour, I’ll be directing. Working with Mick Jagger and l. getting ready for Michael Jacksons Immortal World Tour, presented by Cirque du Soleil. No way I’ll be the principal choreographer. That’s going to be incredible.
And my dear friend Jamie King, who’s Madonna’s director, is directing this show for Cirque and so we’re getting to work together again for the first time since we were dancers together on Michael’s Dangerous Tour. There’s like a whole bunch of great wonderful energy in my
life right now and I’m really really excited about it. It never ends. It doesn’t That’s good.And now you’re a judge now too. What is it like judging people? We both do that every day. We do
that every day, but then actually you tell them what you think. Yeah, the thing is, you know, I know about dancing and I got in opportunities to do other situations but, this one rally spoke to me, you know. Not only because it was Paula Abdul, who’s been a hero of mine for many years. My
very first audition in LA was for Paula, but to have gone through so much with her as a choreographer artist relationship and then her to ask me to be involved with this it just made sense to me. . Then you get to have a platform that
celebrates all ages, all styles of dance, you know, and half a million dollars. I mean, there was so many great things about it. I knew I
couldn’t say no. so we just finished our first season. Yeah. Last night crowned our first winners. Really? DeAngelo and Amanda, ten and eleven year old ballroom dancers from Miami. Don’t you love those just like random discoveries?
There like diamonds in the rough. The thing about them is they’re so polished for their young years and it was just a joy to watch all our contestants, you know, just flourish under these circumstances. What do you look for in a dancer? Magic. I look for the hairs on the back
of my neck to stand up, for the pit of my stomach to turn. I look for, you know, you just you feel
it. You feel it. I like to say that you can hear a song and you know if it’s right. You know, you may not know the
notes, but you know how it feels. I just go like this. Yeah, yeah I’m into bopping. If it can make you move, organically, it’s good, same thing with dancing. If you can look at it and get
something from it and appreciate it even though you may not understand every single thing about it, if it makes you feel good that’s half the battle. Finally, who has guided you throughout your career to get
where you are today? There’s been a lot. There’s been many, I mean. I always say that it
takes a team to reach any dream. You know I have wonderful family and friends surrounding me. I have a great agency. I have a great manager, you know, great creative associates. You know, great friends who are so honest with me about everything. In turn, I think that that has certainly helped me. You know to succeed and deal with every little thing that comes my way here in this industry.
Yeah, I’m super excited for Michael Jackson Tour, so thank you Travis Me too. I’m going
to be hitting you up for tickets. Please it’s all good. No please, I want everybody to come.Oh my God, totally. I think it will be fun. Yeah, it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Thank you. Thank you so much, enjoy. Sponsored by Turbo Tax. Turbo Tax guides you step by step to the maximum refund you deserve.

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