'So You Think You Can Dance': Following up with Mollee and Legacy
The day after being eliminated from the "So You Think You Can Dance" competition Wednesday night, Mollee Gray and Jonathan "Legacy" Perez took journalists' questions on a conference call about their experiences on the show and what's coming next.
Was it difficult for you to be eliminated against someone who didn’t dance this week, considering how well you’ve performed on the performance episode?
Of course I was bummed. I think that anybody would be because this was the most amazing experience that I’ve ever been through. But people voted on Asleigh [Di Lello] based on what she’s done throughout the season, and honestly, I am so proud of her for how much she’s grown and impressed America. So I’m very proud of her and Ellenore [Scott]. All three of those girls deserve to be in there. So it was a tough one, any of the top eight could have been in the top six. I’m very proud to even be where I am right now.
How hard was it to hear your maturity kind of be questioned on a weekly basis and how did you deal with that?
That’s really funny, because I’ve kind of grown up with people either liking how bubbly and little-girl I am or people hating it. So I’ve learned to just accept who I am because I am a very happy person and I love just to be outgoing and be remembered. So it was kind of difficult to hear that they thought I was immature because I didn’t feel as though I was immature but I was just more outgoing. I felt they thought I was immature because of my age, but it showed my growth even more when I got in the top 10, so that was a bonus for me.
Because you’ve danced with both Jakob [Karr] and Russell [Ferguson], can you tell us what’s interesting or unusual about them as a person or as a dancer?
I think what’s interesting about Jakob is he may come off shy on screen but he is actually the funniest guy I have ever met. He has the funniest jokes ever. But he is very humble so it comes off on screen as like he’s not very funny but he’s actually hilarious.
And then one thing about Russell is he comes off as kind of a mean krumper on screen, but he’s like a teddy bear. Like you want to pinch his cheeks when you talk to him because he’s so cute.
JONATHAN “LEGACY” PEREZ
You’re a b-boy, but do you think you have a future in contemporary dance?
I love contemporary because it comes from the heart and the movement doesn’t have to be perfect; the why-you-do-it has to be perfect. I want to be able to incorporate contemporary in my breaking and choreograph one day something amazing that has not been seen by the world yet.
Is it more difficult for a b-boy to go on this type of show than a lot of the genres of dancing?
Absolutely. I feel strongly that the b-boy community tries to keep it very internal. It’s a certain street style of living, it’s a way of living. So the adaptability factor plays a big role because we don’t like to copy anybody’s movement. As for contemporary people, they’re trained to look at something and mimic it to the best of their ability, and they do it very well. So yes, adapting to a certain style for a b-boy is virtually impossible unless you have a want and desire to do it. I consider myself a dancer, not just a b-boy. So I love dancing in general so that’s why I set forth and tried to make the best of this show for me.
What would you say is the most difficult dance you did?
It was the Viennese waltz. It was so slow and melodic and beautiful and it’s everything against what I normally would do. And I think the actual opportunity to take that obstacle and make it get amazing and make the dance feel like it’s supposed to be, helped me out in my last solo. I was spinning lyrically, if that makes any sense.
What kind of feedback are you getting from other b-boys? Have you lost your street cred at all?
I have not. Actually, I gained respect in the perspective of the fact that I’ve been a b-boy for so many years and people were inspired before by the movement that I’ve created for myself. Other b-boys have been inspired by me because I’ve been breaking for quite some time -- 13, 14 years -- and just going that long, you tend to inspire the people that start dancing a little later in the game. But those are the people that actually text me and they write to me on the Internet saying to me, “Thank you so much, you’ve inspired me to take classes and become a better dancer.” And to me that’s the ultimate because b-boys are usually very difficult to adapt and the fact that people are actually wanting to do it because they see somebody opening that doorway is very exciting for me.
What’s next for you?
I want to pursue acting for sure. That’s on my list but I want to choreograph and after that get into directing. I think my b-boy creativity has opened up my mind to making pieces that are going to be different and impacting. And so I want to choreograph and get into directing.
-- Claire Zulkey
Photo: Host Cat Deeley, center, says farewell to contestants Jonathan "Legacy" Perez and Mollee Gray. Credit: Kelsey McNeal / Fox.