With a top 10 placement on “So You Think You Can Dance” and a trio of seasons as a pro coach on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” securely under his belt, Emmy-nominated choreographer Dmitry Chaplin is very much an active player in the dance-world. The sexy 33-year old is, in fact, so well-regarded that he was asked to take part in “Paul Mitchell Shall We Dance on Ice,” an entertainment extravaganza that fuses the talents of some of the world’s best dancers and ice dancers. Examiner caught up with Chaplin Feb. 24 for an exclusive interview that touched on a number of topics, including his participation in “Shall We Dance,” his most memorable dance from “SYTYCD,” and whether or not he’s open to returning to “DWTS.”
Sherry Wight: You’re involved with “Paul Mitchell Shall We Dance on Ice” [which airs Feb. 27 on ABC]. How did you get involved and would you do it again if asked?
Dmitry Chaplin: I was invited to be a featured dancer on the show. [I would] absolutely [do it again]. I loved the whole experience performing together with the best skaters in the world and being a part of this special feature. “Shall We Dance on Ice” is a very creative and a very unique concept.
SW: Did you have any reservations about mixing ice with dance?
DC: Not at all! Dancers perform on a custom built platform for us, so we never touch the ice during the show.
SW: That’s a relief. Can you tell me a little bit about the special? What was it like?
DC: It was a fantastic show. I enjoyed every single moment of it and loved sharing the stage with Anna Trebunskaya, Chelsie Hightower, and Damian Whitewood.
SW: Go back to “So You Think You Can Dance” in 2006. What was your favorite routine from the season?
DC: My favorite was the Emmy nominated routine “Ramalama” choreographed by Wade Robson where the dancers were transformed into dead people from the 17th century and who still wake up in the middle of the night thinking that they are a part of a royal ball.
SW: Oh, that was a great one. I remember that. You’ve enjoyed success as a choreographer as well as a dancer, and you’re excellent at both arts! Which do you find more personally fulfilling or meaningful?
DC: Both are fulfilling and meaningful to me and it’s very difficult to pick one over the other. Choreography is something I have always loved doing because it is a form of self-expression and an ultimate interpretation of the music. I also love performing because performance lets me… connect to the audience; it gives me an opportunity to open up and be who I am for a few minutes without holding anything back.
SW: We last saw you as a pro coach on “Dancing with the Stars” during season 12 when you were paired up with Petra Nemcova. Would you ever be interested in returning?
DC: I keep my options open of course but as of now I would like to move into other areas of the industry, like acting and producing. Unfortunately, I can’t dance forever and therefore need to think of my future.
SW: Let’s say you did make your fans happy and go back. If you could pick anyone at all to be your celebrity partner, who would it be?
DC: I would not deny working with Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence, or Scarlett Johansson.
SW: What’s been keeping you busy for the past year?
DC: I have been busy choreographing for “So You Think You Can Dance,” [and] performing in stage shows like “Forever Tango” and “Ballroom with a Twist,” and acting.
SW: How can fans keep tabs on what you’re up to?
DC: Follow me on Twitter at OfficialDmitryC.
SW: To close it out, two random questions. What’s the song that’s most likely to get stuck in your head these days?
DC: “She’s Like the Wind” because [I’ve] been practicing singing it.
SW: If you could perform only one style of the dance for the rest of your life, it would be what?
DC: Argentine Tango.