The Shibutanis’ Go to Derek Hough for Latin Dancing Advice

According to Maia Shibutani’s blog for Team USA even! This is a fascinating blog, where Maia talks about how the short program is required to be latin dancing this season. So of course they sought out one of the most successful latin dancers of all time, Derek!! Remember back during Move when we commented on the fact that the Shibutanis were visiting Derek and Julianne during MOVE rehearsals? Well, we weren’t far off in our speculations. 🙂 Here’s a tidbit where they talk about consulting Derek about “fun” latin dancing.

While we were aware of the perception that as siblings, the Latin rhythms could be tricky for us to perform, we had our own opinion. In February, before our creative process truly began, we sought out advice from Derek Hough. Derek Hough and his younger sister, Julianne, have been standouts in the world of dance and entertainment on “Dancing with The Stars.” They have experience performing together and even have their own show, “MOVE,” that toured the country for the third time this summer. Derek shared our opinion that Latin rhythms can absolutely be about having fun. The program we have created has a cohesive concept and it is high energy. It really suits us and we’ve made it our own. We love it!

Sounds like they used their regular choreographers, got inspiration from Derek and Julianne, and learned the movement from other ballroom dancers.

Right after worlds, we were able to attend two days of rehearsals for Julianne and Derek’s show. Seeing that elite level of dance on the floor was inspiring. When we were creating our short dance, we worked with Marina and Massy, but we also worked with Serge Onik, Jenna Johnson and Maxim Kozhevnikov. Learning from both male and female dancers was incredibly helpful when we were looking to create movement that highlights both me and Alex.

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2 Responses to The Shibutanis’ Go to Derek Hough for Latin Dancing Advice

  1. Cathy says:

    Wow!! This is so awesome! So thrilled that the Shibutanis…two elite world and Olympic ice dancers…are looking up to both Derek and Julianne for ideas, advice, and inspiration. Why not go to the best?! And this could not be a more perfect dynamic…both brother and sister teams! As World Youth Latin Champion, 2-time Emmy winner for Outstanding Choreography, and 6-time MBT winner, Maia and Alex are in excellent hands with Derek on various levels…as a dancer, a choreographer, and a teacher. And of course, the short dance that Derek choreographed for then-world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White brought them gold in the 2014 Winter Olympics! Love to see Derek and Julianne so honored and highly respected by such a wide variety of athletes and celebrities. 🙂

    Thanks, Miss Heidi, for this exciting news!! Yes, Maia’s blog is fascinating, and I love the pic of the Houghs and the Shibutanis taken at a MOVE rehearsal! 🙂

  2. Joanne B. says:

    Honestly, sorry to hear they sought advice from Jenna. Time will tell if it was a good selection, because I think they should have hired Derek and Julianne.

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