Christopher Scott never wanted to dance. Now he’s a three-time Emmy nominee for Outstanding Choreography.
After his mother packed him and his sister from Maryland to Hollywood to give them better opportunities, Scott defied having to enter a dance class, opting for track and field instead. “If you had told me I was going to be a dancer I would have laughed in your face,” he says.
He entered Hollywood High School in the 9th grade, and applied and was accepted into the performing arts magnet program. It was in his very first semester that he checked out the school’s production of West Side Story (his sister was in it and dating the “coolest guy in school”) and out of sheer boredom learned the songs and the dance moves and landed a part in the production. During his four years in the program, he had leading roles in several stage productions and studied various styles of dance, particularly excelling in tap. To hone his tap dancing skills, he spent many weekends as a street performer on the Venice Beach boardwalk and the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California.
In 11th grade, three-time Emmy winning actress and choreographer Debbie Allen (and future So You Think You Can Dance judge) came to the school to audition dancers for the opening of the American Music Awards with Mariah Carey. “I feel like the luckiest kid in America,” he says. It was his first paying job and when he got his paycheck (about $650) he thought ‘I think I’m gonna go with this,’ and his dancing career began.
Since then Chris has worked with renowned artists such as Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons, Khalid, and Gloria Estefan, and has worked on a variety of film and TV projects including the Emmy-nominated 82nd Academy Awards, Step Up 4: Revolution, Step Up 5: All In, Dancing with the Stars, and America’s Best Dance Crew.
In 2009, Scott teamed up with Harry Shum, Jr. to choreograph the super hero inspired web series The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, aka The LXD. An experiment in storytelling through dance, the series is the brainchild of writer/director/producer Jon Chu.
In 2011, Scott made his So You Think You Can Dance debut and thereafter made frequent visits choreographing contestants’ duets and group routines. He received Outstanding Choreography Emmy nominations for his work on the show in 2012 and 2014.
In my interview with the three-time Emmy nominee and Scott talks about his leap from dancer to choreographer, his love of props in routines, reveals his advice for new dancers and the song that got away – the only tune he hasn’t been able to snag the rights to (yet).
Christopher Scott is nominated for Outstanding Choreography for So You Think You Can Dance.
The Emmy voting period ends August 27th at 10pm PST.
The Creative Arts Emmys will be a two-night affair on Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th.
The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards will be Monday, September 17th.
This interview runs 25m.
Opening: So You Think You Can Dance theme
Closing “Say You Won’t Let Go” cover by Boyce Avenue