Gay choreographers Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini will star in new series with two friends; Travis discusses SYTYCD process

So You Think You Can Dance season two finalist Travis Wall, who’s now a choreographer for the show, and season one winner Nick Lazzarini will star in a new reality series following a group of choreographers who have been friends since they were kids. Produced by World of Wonder, King of Dance will follow them as they create their own dance company and live together.

In an interview with After Elton, Travis said that two of them, Travis and Nick, are gay, and the other two are straight. He said the show will include “a Glee moment every show, where there will be a dance number at the end of it, and it’s like showing the process, lifting the curtain on how choreographers create a piece and how we live together.”

Also in the interview, Travis discusses his relationship with gymnast Dom Palange (“first like actual boyfriend and actual relationship”), confirming he’s gay but saying, “I’ve never made a big statement like, ‘Oh I’m gay.’ It’s like if you know you know, and I’ve never been afraid to not say something on Twitter. So I didn’t even realize the impact of me like just saying ‘I miss you, I love you’ on Twitter and then people are saying that I came out. [laughs] Well, I guess I came out.”

So You Think You Can Dance doesn’t have the best track record of embracing gay contestants, and Travis said that when he was on the show, “I never had to put on a front like that, but it’s true that I wanted to be in the top ten, and I wanted to go all the way closer to the top, and maybe it’s not necessary to come out and talk about that stuff when it’s a dance competition.” He also said that “There’s a lot of people that have gone on that show that don’t even know yet” that they’re gay.

Asked about executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, he praises what Nigel has done for dance, but also said, “I also have to thank [SYTYCD] co-executive producer Jeff Thacker. No one knows what he does, but honestly, he’s the mind behind the show. He’s the one that chooses the choreographers.”

As to his choreography for the show now, Travis said that he has just four and a half hours to work with dancers: “One and a half on the first day and three on the second.” And because he was a contestant, he knows that “you really need to tailor the piece to them and their talents.” That means that he doesn’t pre-plan the entire routine: “I have a general idea when I come in, but nothing’s really planned. I really do choreography on the spot.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.