Gianna Martello has appeared in the mega-hit reality series Dance Moms for seven seasons. The world-renowned choreographer currently stars in the Lifetime series alongside Abby Lee Miller and is responsible for some of the memorable performances by stars including Maddie Ziegler, Mackenzie Ziegler, and Kendall Vertes.
We spoke with Gianna Martello about season seven of Dance Moms, being with the ALDC for 11 years, and how she harnesses her talents to choreograph, judge, and dance.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Gianna Martello below:
As a choreographer, you’re responsible for some award-winning routines and performances. How do you find the inspiration to craft a routine?
Gianna Martello: Usually from the music I’m given to work with. The girls on Dance Moms are always open and willing to try anything I throw at them and that’s also really inspiring.
Do you ever find yourself with a dancer’s version of writer’s block?
Sometimes! Creating so many routines so quickly can be difficult. I can remember one week I changed a section three different times because I didn’t like it. When I still wasn’t happy with it, Abby walked in the room and instantly knew the step or two that was missing. Luckily we play off of each other so if either of us has a block, the other is there.
What do you enjoy most about the role as a choreographer or a judge as opposed to the stress of performing yourself?
I love not having the stress of going onstage! I can remember getting so nervous as a kid before solos! I still get super nervous for the girls – but not nearly as bad. However, the morning of our winter nationals, I was so nervous I felt like I was in the routine!
As a teacher and choreographer, you have been coaching and nurturing the Dance Moms team members since they were children. Do you feel a sense of pride when you see them evolve on the stage?
Always! I’ve watched them grow from little mini competition kids to superstars!
Being a cast member of Dance Moms must have its pros and cons. What would you say are the ups and downs of appearing on such a show?
The ups are getting to go to cool events, award shows and basically living the entire year in Los Angeles. The downs are usually the people that sit behind their computer screens and make assumptions about our lives and our show that really have no idea what they are talking about.
It sounds like there are a couple of really intense Dance Moms episodes coming up! Can you tell us a little bit about what to expect in season 7?
I think season 7 is the best one yet! There is still a ton of drama but I think that we have some of the best group routines of the series. One of them even gets a perfect score: 300!
There have been several changes to the cast and team over the years. What do you miss most and enjoy about the changes?
I obviously miss some of the old cast members, as they are like family to me, but I do love working with the minis and the new girls they brought to the elite team. Each new person brings a new energy to our group that allows us to continue growing. Everyone can learn something from everyone.
Do you enjoy the fan interaction part of this experience? Social media kind of opens the door for you to reach your fans and bond with them.
Yes! I read all of the tweets and Instagram comments! I try to respond to as many as I can! I love looking at all the photo edits the kids make; they are so creative! I love hearing what the fans have to say; it’s always so cute how excited they get from just one like!
You all have become a source of positivity for so many young girls out there. What does it mean to you to be a role model for your fans?
I realize that young girls all over the world are following me across the social media board. I was just like you guys before, and just like the girls you see on the show. Everything I see and read from you guys always inspires me to stay positive and it’s so awesome to see so many people looking up to me.
What else are you working on? What can your fans expect from you next?
I just worked on an Alexx Calise video with Nia from Dance Moms. It’s called Breathe. We just finished the first half of shooting Dance Moms season 7 and waiting to hear back about the second half. I am in Pittsburgh until the new year and then heading back to Los Angeles. I can’t wait to get back to work in the new year!
Thanks so much to Gianna Martello for taking the time to answer some questions for us! We really appreciate it.
Keep up to date with Gianna by following her on Twitter: @giaabella.