You may or may not know who Compton, California native Dave
Scott is, but if you have seen the movies You
Got Served or Stomp The Yard then
you have seen his moves.
As a self-taught dancer, Dave Scott has worked
his magic on the big screen and television. He has also choreographed many
music videos and stage performances for the likes of Ginuwine, Tyrese, Brian
McKnight, Bow Wow, Immature and B2K.
Back with the new movie Step
Up 2 The Streets, Dave is steadily developing new shows for TV and more movies.
We talked with him about the ins and outs of a choreographers career, the challenges he faced in mixing step and
dance styles for Stomp The Yard and his
views on Hip-Hop dance crazes .
AllHipHop.com: What was it like
growing up [in Compton]?
Dave Scott: It had its complications, but like any other
difficult situation, it makes you stronger.
AllHipHop.com: How did you get involved in dancing?
Dave Scott: I grew up in the breakdancing era, with the
movies Breakin and Beat Street. Dancing was my hobby and a
way to have fun – hanging out with my boys, we developed crews. It was a chance
to be creative and put little things together. We would hit spots like The
Palladium and battle crew versus crew.
AllHipHop.com: Were you a pretty good breakdancer?
Dave Scott: [laughs] I was a better breakdancer back then. I
still have a couple of moves that grew out of that forte.
AllHipHop.com: When did dancing become a career for you,
instead of a fun hobby?
Dave Scott: It was while I was in school out in Utah. I was
approached by someone while at a club dancing. They were a part of a tour for a
rapper and they had lost one of their dancers. They asked if I wanted to replace
that dancers role for the tour.
I agreed, but I was also second-guessing myself. Although I
had a passion for it, I never thought that I could make a career out of it – because
I wasnt exposed to that world. At that point, everything I had known about it
was from what I saw on TV. However, I agreed to go on tour and I just went from
AllHipHop.com: Did you ever receive formal training through
a dancing school?
Dave Scott: No. I am self taught.
AllHipHop.com: Really? No dance academies?
Dave Scott: None. I learned by watching. I was watching
videos and mimicking them. I would then come up with my own styles by doing
moves that I thought should have been in those videos.
AllHipHop.com: Do you recommend school for would-be dancers?
Dave Scott: As far as being a professional dancer, it all
depends on what kind of dancing that you want to do. If you want to do more of
Broadway and things of that nature, then I would highly recommend it. But I dont
recommend school as far as college is concerned, to be a professional dancer.
There are a lot of different avenues available today than
there were years ago. There are work-shops and dance classes available to help
develop your skills. That is one thing that I have done along the years to
enhance my skills. Those things help your own style and technique to be more
AllHipHop.com: Aside from that tour you mentioned earlier,
what was your big break in the industry?
Dave Scott: It was when I started dancing for Ginuwine. That
tour with him was a very big one with Bone Thugs N Harmony, Aaliyah and Mary J.
Blige. Each act had their own dancers, and I started developing relationships.
I started choreographing for Immature and then later on I developed B2K.
AllHipHop.com: Out of your many clients, which has been your
favorite to work with?
Dave Scott: My favorite one to work with? I would say B2K. I started from scratch with them.
Its a different feeling to see somebody come from nothing to something – and
to peak as high as they did.
AllHipHop.com: On the flip side, which client has been the
most challenging or difficult for you to work with?
Dave Scott: [laughs] There have been a few of them. As far
as difficulty goes, I would say the actors. When I did Stomp The Yard everybody was talented, but I did have a couple of
people in there that had a dancing background but [gives a failing whistle]. It
wasnt what they thought it was going to be.
AllHipHop.com: I can respect that. I know that you dont
want to put anybody on blast, but I had to try at least.
Dave Scott: [laughs] Yeah.
AllHipHop.com: You did the choreography for Stomp The Yard and You Got Served. Which experience did you enjoy the most?
Dave Scott: Both of them had the equal level of enjoyment. Stomp The Yard was a life-changing
experience because I was in Atlanta for four months and I wasnt home. It was a
different kind of thing because stepping is aggressive too, as well as Hip-Hop.
I had to add the two elements together. It was a challenge and it had to be
something different from You Got Served.
You Got Served was first, so I had
the excitement factor of having something to prove. Plus I got to bring Hip-Hop
to the forefront in a big way. So both movies had their different levels of
AllHipHop.com: Did you have a stepping background? Or was
that something that you had to learn yourself for the movie?
Dave Scott: I did not have a stepping background, although I
was familiar with it from college. I could step a little bit – but dont tell
Screen Gems that. [laughs] They thought I was a professional. I am now though!
When I got the call – I did all of my research and put myself on that level. I
had to prove myself to my own self.
AllHipHop.com: How difficult was the jump from
choreographing videos to full-scale movies?
Dave Scott: I love a challenge. When I do a video, I always
have way more than a video can hold. So to do a movie, I get the chance to go
for broke. Instead of doing 30 minutes, I have two hours. There were moments
that I had blocks. I was like, What am I going to do next?
AllHipHop.com: How did you get passed those creative blocks?
Dave Scott: By sleeping, [laughs] I just needed to get away
from it for a moment. Sometimes you need to step away and appreciate what
youve done already. I am the biggest critic of my own work, so I always think
that something is horrible. I had to step away once everything had started to
look the same to me. I would also step away by getting out and going to the
AllHipHop.com: Dancing changes so much over the years. How
do you stay on top of it all?
Dave Scott: I like to keep my ears to the streets and see
whats new or whats coming out. I also like to be innovative and different
from everybody else. A lot of times I go outside of the box, leave the stuff that everybody else is doing
alone and come up with my own thing.
AllHipHop.com: Since you are the pro, what is your opinion
on some of these rap dances coming out these days?
Dave Scott: Everything repeats itself. Back in the day you
used to have The Robocop or The Running Man and so forth. You had names for
these dances and rap songs to go along with them – and people jump on the
bandwagon. The dances that they do for these songs are simple little dances –
theyre cool – theyre cute. If they want to get down on some choreography, then
let them Pop or Boogaloo. You know? Stuff like that.
AllHipHop.com: You are also working on your own projects.
Tell us about them.
Dave Scott: I have a pilot that was done for Nickelodeon
called Dance Throw Down. Also I have
another movie that we are starting production on real soon. I cant release any
information on that yet. I am also working on a couple of more TV show
projects. When everything hits the trades, I will be able to talk about all of
that some more.
AllHipHop.com: You also have instructional DVDs out?
Dave Scott: Yes sir. I have a series of instructional DVDs
coming out. I am going to show you stuff that you can do in the clubs and stuff
that you can do for routines. I also have one that you can use just for fitness
and staying in shape. These will be different volumes. I am also going to throw
some bonus footage of stepping moves. This will be for those looking to just
have fun and those that want to take dancing seriously. I will have all of the
upcoming postings on my website: www.theofficialdavescott.com
AllHipHop.com: Is there anything that you would like to
leave us with?
Dave Scott: Yes. I want all of the fellas to take their
girls out for Valentines to see the new film Step Up 2 The Streets.
AllHipHop.com: Ah yes. I saw the commercial for that the
Dave Scott: Thats coming out on February 14. Its
phenomenal and something way different. I think it will be appreciated.