Interviewed by Morgan McMurrin
Name: Mallory Butcher
Hometown: Mount Vernon, OH
Occupation: Commercial Dancer
Going from a high school cheerleader to a professional dancer in NYC isn’t an easy task, but it’s definitely possible–just ask Mallory Butcher. She’s gone from dancing on the sidelines to strutting it in music videos and on MTV. Find out how her cheer background helped get her to where she is today and what life is like as a commercial dancer!
Mallory: They’ve all been really great because each one’s been so different.
AC: How so?
Mallory: In the Lenny Kravitz video, I got to play an over-enthusiastic fan (which wasn’t hard to do with him around), whereas in the video with Lil Mama, the choreography was highlighted more, so I was able to showcase myself as a dancer. And then the Prince Royce video was really fun, because it was young in spirit and I got to do something I hadn’t done in years–rollerskate!
Check out Mallory’s fierce dance moves in the video “Sexist” by Yahaira featuring Lil Mama
Watch Mallory skate her way into Prince Royce’s heart in the video for “Stand by Me”
AC: What’s the atmosphere onset usually like?
Mallory: It’s a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, but overall it’s fun because you meet a lot of really great people and get to watch how the whole production brings a video to life.
AC: Your job sounds like so much fun! Have you ever been star struck by someone you’ve worked with?
Mallory: I wouldn’t exactly say star struck, but I was definitely excited about working with Lenny Kravitz. I’ve loved him and his music since I was young!
AC: Do you have any tips for cheerleaders when it comes to picking up dance choreography?
Mallory: Practice, practice, practice. Challenge yourself to take classes that are difficult or uncomfortable for you. It’ll make you work harder to pick up the movements. Also, when you go to tryouts or are learning a new routine, tell yourself that you’ll pick up the choreography the first time around. Then start focusing on how the movement is broken down for style, nuance and performance.
AC: You’re currently starring in the off-broadway musical, “One Ride.” Can you tell us a little bit about that and how you got involved?
Mallory: I was sent to the audition through my agency (DDO Artist Agency). When I first heard of the project, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, because it was based on the story of a rodeo cowboy (in honor of Chris LeDoux). The movement vocabulary was based off partner dancing (two-step, waltz, lindy, etc.) and all the music was country. However, I ended up embracing the message of the musical and can honestly say I’ve had the time of my life, and I look forward to it going on tour in 2011.
AC: Before “One Ride” opened, the cast actually got to perform a couple of its numbers in the middle of Times Square. What was that like?
Mallory: It was great! I danced on Broadway, literally! It was a very memorable experience for me–the crowds of people, the live bull-riding, the amount of cheering. I had my 15 minutes of fame and it was awesome!
AC: That’s so exciting! Besides dancing in music videos and musicals, what are some other projects you’ve been involved in?
Mallory: I’ve been really fortunate to be involved in a variety of artistic opportunities. I’ve done commercial work for MTV, Fanta, PUMA and Propel Enhancement Water, danced professionally in contemporary modern dance companies, been a lead actress in a web series and went on a national tour with a variety show.
Learn how to do the MTV Soda Pop Dance:
AC: Sounds like you stay pretty busy. Growing up, did you always want to be a dancer?
Mallory: Funny enough, no. I’ve always loved dancing–I’ve been dancing since I was 3, but I never thought I’d make it a career. I was actually planning on becoming a dance therapist. However, that all changed when I interned with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company the summer before my senior year. I took classes with the company, heard how they made their careers in dance work and even performed with them in their Fall for Dance Festival. It was a pivotal moment for me, and I suddenly decided that I had to try [to make it my profession]. I’m thankful that I had all the right people in my life to support me and my decision. Being a dance therapist is still a goal for me, but for now I’m very happy being a dancer.
AC: Dancers always get to wear fabulous costumes. What’s one of the craziest outfits you’ve performed in?
Mallory: [Laughs] Don’t forget, I’ve been dancing since I was three, so I’ve had my share of crazy costumes. But recently I’d say it was on the Most Interesting Show in the World tour. The costumes were over-the-top, big and bright. They’d designed huge feather belts for each of us to wear in the opening number, which made us look like peacocks.
AC: Seeing how you’re a former cheerleader, what’s one of your favorite cheer memories?
Mallory: I don’t have a specific cheer moment that stands out, but I always loved going to camp, learning new cheers and dance routines, competing and growing close to the girls on my squad.
AC: How do you think your cheer background has helped you as a dancer?
Mallory: Being a cheerleader involves learning how to be a part of a unique family, just like being a dancer. We all support and encourage each other to be the best we can be in everything we do. Both require discipline in training, as well as having a fun, charismatic personality that you convey through energy in hopes that it will become infectious to your audience.
AC: Thanksgiving’s coming up–what are you looking forward to eating?
Mallory: Everything! But if I had to pick one thing in particular, it would have to be turkey. I was a vegetarian for five years and just started reintroducing meat back into my diet, so I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy turkey on Thanksgiving again.
AC: What’s coming up for you?
Mallory: Honestly I’m not sure, but I’m excited to see the possibilities of what might be coming up. For now, more classes and more auditions!
5 Fun Facts About Mallory
* Reeses Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite snack.
* I think crying is therapeutic.
* I’m a neat-freak and like everything in its place.
* I love the rocker chic look on girls.
* I don’t really like to cook because I don’t have the patience for
Photo Cred: Simon Gerzina, Robbie Gantt, Quinn Baston