'So You Think You Can Dance' Q&A with Ellenore Scott: On that alien voice, moving her family to NYC, and her aches and pains
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Whether you loved or hated that alien voice, you’ve got to admit that Ellenore Scott gave it her all on the dance floor week after week. She might have only placed in fourth, but the quirky jazz dancer had one of the most identifiable dance styles of the season. This morning, she called up EW to talk about what last night was like behind the scenes, the moment she thought she hadn’t made the top 20, and to set the record straight about exactly why her family moved to New York (hint: she didn’t force them to).
You finished fourth, is that what you were expecting?
You know I really tried to go into the finale not having any expectations, whether I was going to place or who was going to win. So I was happy with fourth place, I was really freakin’ happy. There were so many different amazing dancers in the top six, I didn’t know how people were going to choose. The two ballroom dancers, three contemporary dancers, how do you pick from that? So I really had no idea, and I was very proud of myself finishing fourth.
You must be exhausted. Is part of you glad it’s over?
Never gonna say that, but I am excited to go home and not dance. I think by the finale all of us had started to break down slowly, loss of sleep and not eating right because you’re rehearsing so much. My shoulder’s messed up now and I have an infection in my foot, so I think maybe it’s time to not do the show anymore.
What was last night like behind the scenes?
Behind the scenes last night, it was actually just pure enjoyment. It was a celebration of season 6. It was more like the results are in, you did everything you can do, let’s go have a good time. So that was the feeling last night, which was really great because we were all supporting each other. If people got eliminated it’s not like they were shunned. We congratulated them for getting fifth, sixth, whatever, fourth, third, second, first.
So you were all happy for Russell.
Exactly, he so deserved it. He does things on that stage that I can’t even fathom. When he came out in his Santa costume I was, ‘What is this guy thinking?’ But he’s crazy and he’s amazing and I wish him the best of luck in the future.
We didn’t see that much of you going into the top 20. Were you worried about your lack of screen time?
They do have to feature different people in different cities. But here’s the thing: we were still at home and we didn’t know about top 20 when they were doing all the auditions in Vegas week, so I was like, ‘Uh-oh, they didn’t show me enough, that means I’m not in top 20.’ So I was preparing myself, ‘Because they didn’t show you, that means you didn’t make a good enough impression so you’re not in top 20.’ So then with my solo in Vegas, I was like, okay, wait a minute, maybe they do like me. It was a mind game. I didn’t have too much time to think about it though.
Were you happy to be paired with Ryan?
I was surprised. But I was like, well, if he’s a ballroom dancer that means whenever we pull out ballroom, he’ll know what he’s doing and then he can help me out. And if we have any contemporary then I can help him out. So I actually thought it was a perfect pairing. And one of my best friends on the show was Jakob, he got paired with Ashleigh, so the four of us were really, really close in helping each other rehearse and get through the numbers and everything throughout the season.
Did you have a favorite of your own dances?
Definitely an equal tie between the two dances I did on the finale. The table dance and the contemporary with Jakob because they were so emotional but so physical, and it really challenged me to do my best. I got an injury when I was learning the table dance, so I had one less day of rehearsal. So it was really hard for me that week to go onstage and perform. But Legacy has a great energy and it was fun to dance with him, so definitely those two pieces.
I’m guessing you and Sonya developed quite a bond. Will you be doing anything with her once the show is over?
I hope so, she is an amazing choreographer. I think we are on the same planet secretly. But she’s definitely helped me to not be afraid of myself and to be unique and quirky and try to think outside the box, which she does with her choreography a lot of the time. And I think this was a great season for her, she got to really showcase a lot of different sides of Sonya which I thought was amazing. So hopefully, you know, to keep in contact with me, and hopefully when we go on tour I’ll be doing her dances, I’ll be doing her work then.
Did your parents really move to New York because you wanted them to?
Yes, and a lot of people are taking that like a very selfish thing. But I went to New York when I was thirteen to do a summer intensive program at Joffrey Ballet, and I fell in love with the city. So when my parents came out to see my performances, I told them I wanted to move there. And usually parents would be like, ‘No, that’s such a big thing, we can’t change our lives.’ But right at that time I was finishing middle school, my mother was finishing law school and my step-dad was ready to get a bigger position or a better job. It was just the right time, which I never got to mention. It was the right time for everyone to start new. A lot of people thought I forced my family to move there, but no, it was a decision. It was hard because we did not have a lot of money and we used a lot of savings to try to get everything with rent, because rent in New York is woooooo! Which we didn’t realize, but in the end it turned out for the better. We all got great gigs. It was the best decision we made, I think.
How many people are talking to you in that alien voice you do?
Oh my God, I think people are coming out of their skin, seriously. I keep getting Twitters of people writing different messages to me and Facebook messages and emails. It’s a great thing. I think I might be doing the alien voice thing for a very long time.
Have any strangers come up to you and done it?
Not yet, but I’m waiting for it. I hope no one comes up to me right now at the airport and does it.
Anything you wish you could have done differently?
No. The one thing I wish I could have done is sleep more. I would usually stay up late at night reviewing dances and I would get so excited about them that I couldn’t sleep. So I wish I could have relaxed and said, ‘you’re okay, go to sleep,’ but it was pretty hard. But I would not change this experience for anything. Because if I did, then it wouldn’t be the same, you know? And even though I didn’t win, I did win for myself, and that’s the most important thing.
Are you looking forward to the tour?
I am looking forward to the tour. Right now we’re not sure about the dates, but we are such a great top 10, we are so connected to each other and such great friends it will be great to take Christmas break off, relax, do some work, and then get back together and dance again. That’s gonna be so amazing. I’m really, really excited to start dancing with them again.
Do you have any post-tour plans?
Post-tour, I’m just gonna start auditioning for things, back to square one. I’m hoping more people know who I am this time. I think I’m gonna start taking some acting classes and voice lessons, maybe doing some Broadway auditions. Doing the Broadway piece was amazing and really inspired me. They have companies in New York, maybe some TV or print stuff would be fun, too. So I’m gonna explore my options now because I’m really interested in everything. And choreography: I really want to start getting my own style. And hopefully, maybe someone on the show will hear about this interview and want to put me on the show or something, you know what I’m saying?
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m gonna miss everyone very much. I’m already not with them and it feels so weird not to have all the screaming dancers together.