Melanie Moore may have just won Season 8 of “So You Think You Can Dance” and already has the “Dirty Dancing” remake director Kenny Ortega and Lady Gaga possibly looking to snatch her up, but the 19-year-old Georgian contemporary dancer has a more humble to-do list on her mind at the moment: get in some quality time with the boyfriend and, even though she’s a champion, go back to school.
We caught up with Moore just moments after the “SYTYCD” season finale Thursday night to find out who she really thought would win, what her post-“Dance” plans are, and how she plans to dazzle us on the 32-city tour, which kicks off September 17 in Orlando, Florida and runs through November 2 in San Diego.
Here is what was on Moore’s mind minutes after winning…
What was going through your head up there when they were calling the names?
Melanie: I was ready to take second very graciously. In my head, I really thought Sasha was going to win because she has improved so much over the competition and she showed so many sides of herself and she’s such an inspiration to me and getting to dance with her was such an honor that I was ready. And I think all of us had a really even chance. Just being up there and being named one of the final two, I was like, ‘Wait, is this really happening?’ When she called my name, I just started crying.
What was the hardest part of the competition?
Melanie: The hardest part about the experience was definitely the criticism because you don’t want to get up there and lay your complete heart out on the line and the judges say, ‘Well, we hated it. You were bad and it was awful, so great job.’ So you have to mentally prepare yourself.
How do you think your life will change?
Melanie: I hope not that much. I still want to be dancing. I’m still going to be working hard and taking class. I’m hoping that it won’t really affect me. If it does, you guys can tell me because I don’t want to turn into one of those people.
The “Dirty Dancing” dreams…
Melanie: Yeah. Kenny Ortega: Give me a call. I’m down for that.
Lady Gaga also offered you a gig…
Melanie: Yeah. I don’t care!
Those are some pretty good job offers.
Melanie: Yeah. Leave them on the table. I’ll take them!
Catch Up on Episodes Leading Up to the “SYTYCD” Finale:
We know you’ve said you’d take either gig, but what is your ultimate dream job in dance?
Melanie: I don’t know. Honestly, I can’t even say that I have one be cause I just want to make a living dancing. If I’m dancing I’m happy.
What will you do with the $250,000 prize?
Melanie: Hopefully go back to school. That’s what I really want to do…I think I’m probably going to end up back in New York.
What are you looking forward to do now that you don’t dance every day for “So You Think You Can Dance?”
Melanie: I’m really looking forward to spending time with my boyfriend. I haven’t really gotten to see him that much.
What dances do you want to do on the tour?
Melanie: Definitely both of the ones that I did tonight. Hopefully, I get to beat Tadd up with the shoe because that was super fun.
Along with the title of America’s Favorite Dancer and a key spot on the tour, Moore took home a cash prize of $250,000, will be featured on the cover of Dance Spirit magazine, and in a Gatorade athlete campaign on Gatorade.com and in the new G Series FIT print campaign.