Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo
Tabitha D'umo (née Cortopassi born September 11, 1973) and Napoleon D'umo (born October 17, 1968), known together as Nappytabs, are Emmy Award–winning married choreographers who are often credited with developing lyrical hip-hop. They were supervising choreographers on America's Best Dance Crew for the first five seasons. They have been resident choreographers on So You Think You Can Dance since season four. In 2011, they won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for their work on season seven. Tabitha and Napoleon own Nappytabs urban dancewear and have been working together in the dance industry since 1996.
- Let other dance styles inspire and influence your own and remember that there are no boundaries. Dare to be original.
- Freestyle is an expression — a part of you. You listen to the music and do what you feel and not what someone is telling you to feel.
- My advice for teen girls is to stick with it and to keep working on whatever they want to accomplish. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey, and the hard work and the sacrifices and opportunities it takes to get somewhere, because it will all make you better at what you do when you arrive.
- Ask yourself why you [dance]. Don't do it for the wrong reasons. You have to love it because it's a tough business and you're not always going to get to do the cool jobs and those things. So if your heart is in the right place, you will find happiness within the dance.
- Tabitha (interviewee). (May 11, 2011). Nappytabs Part 3: Dance as a Career. DiscountDanceSupply. Event occurs at 1:28. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
- Giving advice to aspiring dancers.
- I'm hoping, as a choreographer, that [America's Best Dance Crew] is going to bring it to the next level again, just like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly when they were the stars of the screen. Where you can go somewhere and it's not 'back-up' dancing; you're the actual show.
- In the dance community, we think about steps. We think about how hard is this step or how hard is that or how different can I do this from somebody else and [the crews] forget that that's a small percentage of people watching the show. The rest of the people just want to feel something... That's really what it takes. They're the stars of the show so they have to make that come out to the people that don't dance and make them feel something.
- Napoleon D'Umo talks about America's Best Dance Crew. BSYTYCD. Blogger.com (June 7, 2008). Retrieved on 2009-09-11.
- In response to the interview question 'What is the biggest challenge facing the [ABDC] dance crews?'
- You can’t do this because you want to be famous or make money. You’ll have bad times and good times, and you have to do it because you’re passionate about it.
- Staub, Mary (August 29, 2008). One Love:Tabitha and Napoleon Take on Life, Love, and Hip-Hop Together. DancerUniverse.com. Archived from the original on 2010-06-30. Retrieved on 2009-04-20.
- Talking about making a career out of dance.
- I think they're all equally hard. They all have their own techniques and when you don't train in that technique then it's difficult. Y'know, especially for somebody in a ballroom who's use to stepping heal-to-toe and they get into a jazz routine and they're up on relevé the whole time. So everything has its own technique and when you get use to one way, it's difficult to switch.
- Nancy T (interviewer). (June 2009). Napoleon D'umo Interview, ABDC 4 auditions. New York City: BloggingBestDanceCrew.com. Retrieved 2009-07-24.
- In response to a question about whether it's easier for a hip-hop person do technical/Latin styles or easier for someone with traditional training to do hip-hop.
- I think the future of dance is where we came from, where the dancers are the stars and I see in the next ten years dancers being these huge stars and the movie musical coming back.
- Napoleon (interviewee). (May 11, 2011). Nappytabs Part 1: Dance in Contemporary Culture. DiscountDanceSupply. Event occurs at 1:22. Retrieved 2011-07-22.
- Dance is not an internal thing. You have to be able to give to somebody else visually watching or they won't care. If they don't leave with some type of emotional feeling—whether it be you cry, or you laugh, or you jump in the air for joy—then it becomes movement and we haven't done our job.
- Napoleon (interviewee). (May 11, 2011). Nappytabs Part 2: Dance Theory. DiscountDanceSupply. Event occurs at :21. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
Pacific Rim Video
- We see people who dance really well and can't perform all the time. It's in our community, our dance community. It's like that because we've been doing back-up dancing for so long. We're always in the background of the movies and we're always behind the artist so our job is not to outshine the artist. Well now, with all these dance television shows, we're getting a chance to be the artist. We're on the forefront. We're the Gene Kellys and the Fred Astaires of this generation and it's our job to make people feel something and to really perform.
- This time in dance, this era, is probably one of the most entertaining times. It's got this whole new style of hip-hop which encompasses 20 different styles within it. There's no boundaries to it so people are taking it to the next level. And I think as an audience, everyone is saying Whoa, that is energetic. That is gymnastics, that is dancing, and that's entertainment combined in one. And that's a beautiful thing.
- Peter Gonzaga (interviewer). (October 2008). ABDC SEASON 3 AUDITIONS - NAPOLEON D'UMO. Los Angeles: Pacific Rim Video. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
- In an interview with Pacific Rim about the auditions for season three of "America's Best Dance Crew".
- Somewhere in the world of dance we started thinking about steps way too much: technique, steps, technique, steps. You can do all the technique you want, the regular public doesn't know. All they know is how you perform and what you tell them and what you make them feel; and when you make somebody feel something, it is undeniable.
- There's a life to dance that has to happen and it was seen years ago with Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and the life and the feeling they had in a performance. And when you watch them and you see them and you start to sway with them and you start to move with them and you miss that sometimes and that's what needs to happen with dance again.
- Why would you want to be back-up dancer when you could be the actual star? Let's show the world that we're stars. Let's perform like stars.
- When you can tell the story of the song through your movement, it's brilliant. It comes across as so honest and not fake.
- Grover Dale (interviewer). (June 2009). So You Think You Can Dance / Secrets Dancers Need 2 Know. Los Angeles: Answers4Dancers. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
- In an interview with Grover Dale about what dancers should know when auditioning for "So You Think You Can Dance".
- Dance from your heart. If you dance from your heart, you'll always love it.
- You have to have tough skin in this industry. You're going to get turned down over and over and over. It happens on [So You Think You Can Dance] and it happens in real life for dancers.
- Somehow you have to be able to match the music, tell the story of the music, and put life in it. Make people feel something.
- Napoleon (interviewee). (October 2009). SYTYCDism Exclusive: Live Video Chat with NappyTabs!. Sherman Oaks: SYTYCDism. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- Giving advice to dancers through a live chat with SYTYCDism.com.
- This is one of the great things about this show is that we've really explored a totally new thing which is lyrical hip-hop and [Tabitha and Napoleon] nail it... It shows you that hip-hop [has] completely become a really legitimate beautiful genre in and of its own and you can tell such beautiful and heart breaking stories.
- "The Top 16 Perform". Guest Judge: Adam Shankman. So You Think You Can Dance (FOX). June 25, 2008. No. 10, season 4.
- What better work can you ask for than to be with her?
- So You Think You Can Dance Choreographers: Inside Our Marriage. Us magazine (July 1, 2008). Archived from the original on 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- Napoleon talking about working with Tabitha.
- I am crazier about him than ever... We have been working together for so long. We know how one another operate and have such a good rhythm. If we are apart, I miss him because I need his feedback. I welcome his input even if it is different than mine because it always gives us a better product.
- So You Think You Can Dance Choreographers: Inside Our Marriage. Us magazine (July 1, 2008). Archived from the original on 2008-07-02. Retrieved on 2009-04-20.
- Tabitha talking about about working with Napoleon.
- I guess it's the first season... where I've been effected emotionally by hip-hop routines.
- "The Top 8 Perform". Judge: Nigel Lythgoe. So You Think You Can Dance (FOX). July 23, 2008. No. 16, season 4.
- Comment judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe made in response to a routine choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon.
- Usually their choreography's a bit cotton candy but ["Church"] was a little more edgy and raw.
- Zier-Vogel, Lindsey (August 7, 2008). U.S.'s Top 4: Mary Murphy and Dan Karaty's weekly recap. CTV.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-21.
- Comment made by judge Mary Murphy about Tabitha and Napoleon's hip-hop choreography on season four. "Church" was performed by dancers Courtney Galiano and Stephen "tWitch" Boss the day before the finale.
- I love the So You Think You Can Dance show. I love it. I think it’s some of the best hours on TV. I think those dancers are extraordinary and, more so, I think those choreographers are uniformly amazing[...] And so I got two of who I think are the best choreographers on SYTYCD — Tabitha and Napoleon — to be involved in some movement elements. Because I think when dance is mediocre, it’s painful. But when dance is really impressive, it destroys.
- Pastorek, Whitney (August 28, 2009). Exclusive: Neil Patrick Harris on judging 'Idol' and bringing 'So You Think You Can Dance' to the Emmys. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2010-06-30. Retrieved on 2009-09-11.
- Neil Patrick Harris responding to the interview question 'Will there be musical numbers [on the Emmys]?'
- We enjoy our work so much and we enjoy each other's company and depend on each other. Working separately does not work.
- Wolfson, Julie (September 9, 2009). Talking about the Impact of Dance with Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo of So You Think You Can Dance. LAist.com. Archived from the original on 2010-06-30. Retrieved on 2011-07-22.
- Napoleon talking about working with Tabitha.
- I don't know how they do it but [Tabitha and Napoleon] love each other so much. They're this husband and wife duo that work together all the time and yet I've never seen them have an argument. I've never seen them kind'of roll their eyes at each other. I've never seen anything like that. They are the perfect example of a fabulous marriage.
- Cat Deeley (interviewee). (May 2010). "So You Think You Can Dance" host Cat Deeley dishes on her colleagues.mp4 Los Angeles: Los Angeles Times. Event occurs at 4:20. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- Honestly, I thought of him as a good-looking jock kind of guy, and I didn’t think he was very artistic or very smart.
- Somehow Napoleon and Tabitha have this ability... to put emotion into hip-hop routines and it really is a real talent.
- "The Top 6 Perform". Judge: Nigel Lythgoe. So You Think You Can Dance (FOX). July 21, 2010. No. 20, season 7.
- One of the biggest complaints about season 4 is the time the judges spent heaping endless praise upon the choreographers rather than discussing the dancers, but in the case of hip-hop choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo [sic] (i.e., [NappyTabs], now and forever), that praise was well-deserved. The couple brought a lyrical storytelling sensibility to their routines that transformed hip-hop from hard-hitting abstract steps to something far more emotionally engaging.
- 'So You Think You Can Dance': 25 Best Performances Ever. Entertainment Weekly (June 15, 2011). Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved on 2011-06-04.
- Maybe it's because Laurieann Gibson is my choreographer and I'm really close with her but it's the interpretation of hip-hop that I thought was a little bit contrived.
- "The Top 8 Perform". Guest Judge: Lady Gaga. So You Think You Can Dance (FOX). July 27, 2011. No 18, season 8.
- Comment Lady Gaga made after watching a performance choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon.
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