Travis Wall Talks About His Return to So You Think You Can Dance and Being a Role Model for Gay Teens – Exclusive!
Travis Wall is one So You Think You Can Dance alum who has managed to sustain a career as a dancer and reality television personality, and now the fan favorite is gearing up for the premiere of his own reality show, All the Right Moves.
We caught up with Travis exclusively and he opened up about the difficulties of choreographing routines, how his family reacted to his coming out and what advice he would offer SYTYCD competitors.
Did you want to open that part up of yourself to America?
Yeah. Absolutely. I feel that my story's very interesting and inspiring especially to young teenagers. You see how I got here. I talk about my goals and ambitions and what I want for myself and my life. But also personally, you see me living my life with my boyfriend. I don't think a lot of teenagers have stories to hear like this and have people to look up to. I feel like being gay sometimes can be such a negative thing, and it's a very positive life. I definitely have a positive life and want to show everybody that.
I assume you live in an environment where you don't have to think twice about your sexuality these days.
Do you meet people who have experienced the opposite that look up to you?
Yes, absolutely, all the time. People — they always think they have to be one thing. They look at some TV shows and it's like, ‘I don't fit the stereotype.’ I don't feel like I necessarily fit the stereotype either. So I try to inspire people just to be who you are. You might not be in the most comfortable situation as I am, but it’s baby steps. You can get here. Obviously, when you're younger, it takes a lot, but when you find who you are, and you have goals and you achieve them, you can have the life you want.
How did your family react to you coming out?
I just had my mom to worry about. She was the only one I had to tell, and she was like, OK. That's great. Let's go.
You've obviously done really well, but what would you tell the So You Think You Can Dance competitors? What's the reality after you leave the show?
The reality is that you have to make your reality. Nobody's going to give you the reality. After coming off the show, I had one goal, and that was to be a successful choreographer. I worked my buns off to get that. And I’m still breaking into new areas of choreography. But after you start achieving things, you have to think about what's next for yourself. For me, I want to become a director. Seven years ago, I didn't know I would be here, but I am here. And seven years ago, I just said, I have a goal of being a choreographer. So I started working on that. Now, my goal in seven years is to direct my first movie. So I'm going to start planting the seeds and always think about tomorrow. I'm definitely on the job today, and I'm working my buns off today, but I'm always thinking about what's tomorrow. So you have to constantly, constantly keep goals for yourself, and once you reach those goals, reset goals, find new ones.
How involved are you going to be with SYTYCD this year?
I will be very involved, as much as I can. Once top ten comes in, I'm pretty much every episode.
Did you find that this show pushes your envelope because you get a minute to choreograph?
Yeah, you know what though? When I first started working on the show, and I used to go ‘Oh my God. The turnaround is so crazy.’ How fast they make us work. You're shot out of the canon, and you're like, ‘I hope this goes well. I hope I land on my feet.’ You know what I mean? But the thing that So You Think has really done for me, is prepare me for the industry, because you don't get all the time in the world to work in the movies. Step Up 3, we had two weeks to create every single dance number you'll see in that movie. Everybody works that fast. Every TV show, every commercial, every film. You don't really get the time you need. So it really did teach me how to work under pressure and how to work as fast as possible.
Did you ever consider the traditional route of joining an existing dance company?
I did, but not really. I never really considered myself a full dancer. I mean I love dancing, don't get me wrong, but my body — I'm not comparable to some of the these beautiful, beautiful dancers. So I took the route of what I feel comfortable and confident in, and I'm insecure as a dancer, but I'm not insecure as a choreographer, and I definitely would love to learn to live my life, secure in my profession, instead of beating myself up every day at something I really can't control.
Catch the series premiere of All the Right Moves on July 31 at 9 p.m. ET on Oxygen!