Teen's Weekly Insider recently sat down with Gianna Martello, who is best known for her work on Lifetime’s hit series, Dance Moms. Gianna has been choreographing routines for the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) since she was sixteen-years-old. She has been a part of the faculty at the ALDC for 11 years, and has been a guest instructor and judge around the world on competition circuits. We sat down with her to talk about the Abby Lee Dance Company, who she’s choreographed for in the past, who she’d love to choreograph for in the future, best advice she was ever given, and her upcoming projects. Read on to find
more about this talented dancer and choreographer.
Photo Courtesy of Ryan West
1.First, can you please tell us a little about yourself?
Most people call me Gia. I don't have a middle name. I’m an only child and I’ve never played a sport in my life. My hobbies include shopping and getting my nails done. I also kind of like to dance!
2. As a choreographer, you’re responsible for some award-winning routines and performances. How do you find the inspiration to craft a routine?
Usually from the music I'm given or that I choose. On the show I'm usually given a theme and a song. The kids make it easy to create, as they are always willing to try anything I throw at them.
3. When and why did you start your dance career?
I started dancing when I was 4 but started teaching when I was 16. It was a mini class that I used to teach one day a week — Nia Frazier from Dance Moms was actually in that class. I started assisting Abby with choreography and spending more and more time in the studio as I got older.
4. Besides dancing, what are you passionate about?
I love fashion and music. You'll always find me searching for new music to play in my classes or create choreography to. If I’m not doing that, I’m on Pinterest looking at the latest fashion trends or in the mall buying them!
5. What do you enjoy the most about the role of a choreographer or a judge as opposed to the stress of performing yourself?
Performing is so stressful. I can remember always being SO nervous to compete. I love seeing my vision come to life on the dancers. I still get nervous though; at nationals this year I woke up so nervous I felt like I was in the routine. Ultimately, it’s my name on the line just as much as the kids or the studio.
6. What is like working with the dancers on "Dance Moms" like Mackenzie Ziegler and Kendall Vertes?
So fun! Especially Kendall and Mackenzie! They always have something funny to do or say! They’re also really hard workers when it comes down to it, but definitely know how to make me laugh in class.
7. You all have become a source of positivity for so many young girls out there. What does it mean to you to be a role model for your fans?
It means so much to me to be a role model to young girls and fans. I was always such a fan of dancers and choreographers older than me. I love that no matter how crazy or dramatic the show gets, we can still bring out the good and positive stuff for young girls.
8. What else are you working on? Can you please tell us a little about it?
I am still working on Dance Moms, finishing up Season 7 this winter. I just shot two videos with Nia Frazier, one of her own and one for Alexx Calise.
9. Who would you love to choreograph for in the future?
I would love to do a video for Sara Bareilles and William Fitzsimmons... some artists I love to choreograph to but aren't as mainstream.
10. What do you feel has been your biggest challenge in your career?
A huge challenge for me is keeping the routines so different each week. It’s hard for the girls to master choreography in a week and come out on top so some things are recycled if I think they look good doing them. But we want our viewers to be surprised every week so we have to put a twist on the movies so the routines don't look the same!
11. What do you feel has been your biggest achievement?
We never thought this show would go more than one season so the fact that we are half way through season 7 is HUGE. It's amazing to see how many new dancers there are out there because of our show.
12. What is your typical day like when you’re not working?
There is NO alarm set. I usually get my nails done, go to the mall, or go to the pool if it’s nice out. The ultimate day of relaxation!
13. How can your fans interact with you online? Do you have a fan mail address?
I don't have a fan mail address but I try to respond to all my messages on my official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Send 'em on over! I get a lot of messages to send autographed pics and I always do!
14. Favorite sport: Dance! It is a sport!
Favorite singer: William Fitzsimmons
Favorite TV show: Gossip Girl
Travel destination: London... so far!
15. What have you learned since becoming recognizable around the world?
I've learned that everyone is watching you all the time! Every move you make, someone is going to criticize. Whether it be good or bad, everyone has something to say. So for every one bad comment on Instagram, there are a hundred good ones that come after.
16. Now for my last question: what do you want to say to those who wish to pursue careers in dance?
I was not always the competition kid that won first overall every weekend. When I was in rehearsal with my group or when I stepped on stage, I knew this is what I was supposed to do. The outcome didn't matter. If dance is truly something you aspire to do, go for it. You never know where you could end up.
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