Exclusive Interview with Sean Lew, Jaxon Willard and Flip’s Fred Hamel from World of Dance
A great big thank you to all the World of Dance fans for submitting questions for this week’s interview with the advancing artists from premiere episode of season two. I got lucky and had some one-on-one time with Sean Lew, Jaxon Willard and Fred Hamel from Flip so I got to ask quite a few of the questions. See how these amazing dancers felt going into their performances and what to expect as they advance to the Duel Round.
Sean, we’ve got lots of fan questions for you so let’s start with a couple. One fan wanted to know if it made you feel anxious at all to show the world what you created and to put yourself out there like that because your piece was so personal?
Sean Lew: It did. It made me really nervous because I thought, creating that piece, like you said, it was very personal to me and it was also personal to Kaycee. When you portray a story that’s just so personal to yourself and relay it to others, you don’t want to give the message in a way where people will take it wrong. You really want to portray it clearly and make sure that people would understand what we’re trying to say rather than them taking it the wrong way.
So I was very nervous for us to put out a piece for the first time on World of Dance that was something so deep and so meaningful to us and that it wouldn’t reflect us the same way with the audience, but thankfully it did.
And you know, that was the main purpose. The main focus was just to really focus on making sure that the message that we’re trying to portray comes out clearly. I mean, I think it turned our pretty great. I’m very thankful for that.
It was really a beautiful piece. Can you explain a little bit about the meaning behind the choreography? What did the dance mean to the two of you? Was it about something that you went through personally?
SL: Yes. So you know, in any industry, actually just in the modern society for me that we all live in as kids or adults, it’s hard for us to surround ourselves with people that we know we can really, truly trust or truly love. And you know, me and Kaycee, we had personal experiences with some bad situations where we had to honestly understand how crucial it is to have respect and honesty in our lives, and what it means to have the people that you love stick around your life rather than letting them just fade away and letting them just walk away.
I think that there have been a lot of times where people believe that it’s better to just say things behind others rather than in front of their faces. And for me, I think it’s just that as long as anything is said with consideration of each other’s feelings, the truth – it’s not going to break you guys apart. It’s just going to bring you guys closer because it’s what matters the most and it’s what you seek for the most.
I think that the blindfolds were kind of the limitations of our fear and it represented the way we fear each other, and the way we fear the truth, and the way we hide from it. And then the moment we take it off, it was just that sigh of relief, and us realizing what’s necessary and what’s important and what’s not necessary. It was something that we just need to understand in our lives.
Jaxon, your piece was very personal as well. Can you talk about the meaning behind your choreography and how it felt coming on stage knowing you were sharing so much of yourself?
Jaxon Willard: Yes. So before I was ready to go on stage, I would have to prepare myself mentally and emotionally because I wanted to show them something super honest and super vulnerable. So, for me, I’ve always thought that being honest and being able to move people is better than showing them all these cool tricks and stuff. So I just really want to be genuine and just show them who I am and how I feel.
How was this whole experience for you Fred?
Fred Hamel: It was really an amazing experience, just being able to perform with all of these amazing crews and to perform in front of the judges. They are just iconic. It was really, really a great experience and we’re glad – we’re happy with the performance that we did and we’re really glad to have the chance to prove again in the duels that we have what it takes to compete in this competition.
Fred, can you tell me a little bit about the styles represented in your choreography? I thought I saw some Waacking in there.
FH: Yes, in our performance we try to incorporate a lot of foundations, the foundation hip-hop, [etc]. In this set, we had a lot of waacking, as well as some Voguing. So yes, that’s what it was.
So let’s talk about what can we look forward to in the next round. Let’s start with Fred. What is Flip bringing to the Duel Round?
FH: Yes, well, for the next round, we really want to maybe bring more – I would not say aggressive, but maybe more of the mean side of us, the Flip that we did not show in this particular round. We really want to bring the more battle side because it’s a duel. You really have to show that you can compete with another team and we want to show that we’re powerful enough to be in this competition.
And how about you, Jaxon, what can we look forward to from you in the Duel Round?
JW: It’s like – I think, for me, it’s just a lot of motion; vulnerability is strength, so I just really want to embody that and just really show what I got.
How about you, Sean? What can we expect from you and Kaycee?
SL: For the next round, we’ll definitely be matching the intensity of it being the duels. Because we’re going head to head with someone, I think that it’s important to kind of make it feel like battle. So I think that me and Kaycee, we’re going to try to approach it in a way that has little bit more intensity, and a little bit more fight, and a little bit more of a – you know, just a battle environment. So we’re definitely going to try to go into a different style and you know, surprise some of the audiences and judges. And so we’ll see what happens.
Let’s go to another fan question for you Sean. What is the best part about you and Kaycee dancing together, for you?
SL: The best part about dancing with Kaycee [is] just having the natural trust with her because generally, when you’re dancing with someone and put that much into a piece… it’s just really important that you have that much trust with someone and that you really understand who this person is, not just [within] the dance, but as a person.
I think, for me, it creates a feeling like no other whenever I’m dancing with her because it creates this sort of genuine energy that you can’t really experience with anything else. And it definitely motivates you to just become better – not only a better dancer, but a better person. So it’s really, really a great experience. You should try dancing with her sometimes.
Thanks again dancers for your time! We all look forward to watching you bring it in the duel round! World of Dance airs Tuesdays at 10/9c.