When I was growing up, I couldn’t wait to take dance classes. As someone who was fairly shy in school and didn’t like speaking up in class, I was much more confident on the dance floor, and it is that confidence I gained as a child that’s helped me succeed today! With back to school season upon us, young kids across the country are heading to school for the first time, which can be a little nerve-racking for parents and the new student! Emmy Award-winning choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo “Nappytabs” recently choreographed an amazing new dance video with ABCmouse called A-B-C Easy As 1-2-3 that has already gone viral and is helping ease kids nerves about heading to the classroom. This fun and inspiring video had over two million views on the first day and is not only gaining fans all over the world, but helping kids of all ages gain confidence before they head to the classroom for the first time or back to school in general.
Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo were kind enough to join me this week for an interview to dish on their viral new dance video A-B-C Easy As 1-2-3 for parents and children, how dance benefits kids, the “So You Think You Can Dance” season finale which takes place on Monday, September 14th, their recent experience as executive producers on MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew”, and their upcoming new project with Jennifer Lopez at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas.
Candace Rose: Many young children across the country are heading to school for the first time this fall. How can parents make learning fun for young kids?
Tabitha D’umo: Well, they can first make learning fun by going to ABCmouse. We first discovered ABCmouse because we have a three year old of our own and we were super excited when they actually called us to work on a project together.”
Candace Rose: You recently choreographed the A-B-C Easy As 1-2-3 music video for children which has gone viral! Congratulations! Can you tell us about it?
Napoleon D’umo: “We’re excited that so many people are viewing it – over two million on the first day it was online. The video is an amazing kind of story which is fitting for right now. A lot of kids are going back to school, some very shy to enter the classroom and a school environment, so what we were doing in this video was trying to get across that learning can be fun in the classroom environment and school can be fun.”
Tabitha D’umo: “Through music and dance it’s a great way to sort of connect with the younger generation. We take the A-B-C song which is classic, we remix it a little bit and make it a little more contemporary for today and pretty much you put the combination of dance and music together and hopefully everybody has a good time. Parents and kids will love it together.”
Candace Rose: Like most kids, I absolutely loved taking dance classes. What are some of the benefits of dance?
Napoleon D’umo: “Well, I think obviously there’s the health benefits to dance and movement and things. The one for us that’s most important is the self confidence and the team building and the teamwork aspect of dancing. We see that a lot with our son. He’s more open as he dances more. The more he dances, the more self confident he becomes and the more opt he is to learn from others, and we love that about dance.”
Candace Rose: With less than a week until the “So You Think You Can Dance” season finale, what will it take to win and what can viewers expect?
Napoleon D’umo: “I think it takes the journey they’ve been on. There’s not one thing in the finale that will decide it. I think if you have a bad performance, I think that will hurt you but in general it’s really about the journey these guys go through and just like we’ve been talking about it’s how far they’ve built up their learning experience across the entire season.”
Candace Rose: “America’s Best Dance Crew” returned after a three year hiatus. What was your experience like on the show? Will there be another season?
Tabitha D’umo: “Well, we had a fantastic experience. We were a part of it originally and excited to have it come back. This time we were executive producers and got our hands into a little bit more of the creative process and bringing the crews back, the champions from past seasons. We wanted to create a playground where they could feel creative to express their art and it was a win-win. I think it was some of the best dance that we’ve been able to put out on that show.”
Napoleon D’umo: “I would say we’re ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ family of course, but ‘America’s Best Dance Crew’, the routines on there were the best dancing you’ve seen on TV yet – it’s mind blowing!”
Candace Rose: Where can we see you both next?
Napoleon D’umo: “Next up we’re working on Jennifer Lopez’s residency show in Las Vegas. We’re directing her big show there. She’ll be out there at Planet Hollywood for three years.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information on everything you mentioned?