Meet ‘La La Land’ Choreographer Mandy Moore

Meet Mandy Moore. No, not the singer and actress currently starring on ‘This Is Us’. We’re talking about Mandy Moore, the dancer and choreographer who has had huge influence over the small and big screen. You’ve seen a lot of her work on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and, most recently, on 14-time Academy Award-nominated film ‘La La Land’. We spoke with Moore to discover what drives her passion, what inspires her, and most importantly, what makes her move. Read on for more.

ZLife: How did you first get into dancing?

MM: When I was little, I would constantly dance around the house and put on performances in the living room. When my mom ran into the local dance studio owner at the Post Office, she asked for advice. The owner told her to bring me in for a class and I never stopped!

ZLife: When you found your love for dance, what were your hopes and dreams?

MM: I wanted to dance and create for film, TV, and the stage. When I first moved to LA, I wrote down my goals and one of them was actually to choreograph a film that had a huge dance element. So many years later, that goal was realized with ‘La La Land’.

ZLife: Speaking of ‘La La Land’, congratulations on all the recognition you are receiving!

MM: Thank you!

ZLife: What was it like working on that project?

MM: A dream come true. I wanted that job so badly and was so excited when I was booked. It was a magical journey…we danced all day, every day. We imagined that it must have been like that in the 1950’s MGM Musicals era. I loved it!

ZLife: What was your most memorable moment on set?

MM: Probably the opening traffic scene. The dancers worked so hard and I feel an immense sense of accomplishment every time I watch it.

ZLife: What would you say was the turning point in your career?

MM: Definitely ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. I became part of a community of choreographers that had the opportunity to show their work on a massive scale. Our names and faces were part of main street culture and, for the first time in a long time, people talked about contemporary and jazz dance. I have loved working on and creating for this job.

ZLife: Why do you think people gravitate towards dance so much?

MM: Dance is the one thing that has always felt like home. I love a challenge, I am artistic, I am athletic, and I love music. What other art form puts all those things together in one? The basis of walking, talking, and moving are the foundation of dance. People love music, it moves them, and dance is a natural extension of that feeling. Plus, you don’t have to speak the same verbal language to understand body language. It’s universal.

ZLife: Who do you dream of collaborating with?

MM: I’ve been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people! But I’d love to work with Casey Nicholaw. He is a Broadway Choreographer and Director and I love his work.

ZLife: What’s your favorite style of dance?

MM: It depends on my mood! Haha. Lately, I love jazz dance.

ZLife: What’s your go-to dance song for when you’re letting loose? And what do you do to let loose?

MM: I really love ‘September’ by Earth, Wind, and Fire. My go to chill and hang activity is snowboarding. I feel like a rock star on the mountain.

ZLife: You have such a busy lifestyle. How do you maintain health and wellness?

MM: I think the big thing for me is balance and rest. My days can be very long and full of stress and anxiety. I make sure to treat myself and have rest days and go to the spa.

ZLife: What does the future look like for you?

MM: More dance!! More choreography!! More snowboarding!!


Susan Perez

Susan Perez is the Managing Editor of the ZLife blog and you can usually find her getting her sass on to Beyonce's 'Formation' in Zumba class; other loves include eating popcorn while watching 'The Voice', singing [really badly] at the top of her lungs while driving, and wearing red lipstick.



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