Photo credit: Trae Patton/NBC
When World of Dance premiered this summer the biggest concern dance fans had was how juniors were going to compete against adults. Their fears were alleviated when Eva Igo, not only emerged as the top junior in her category, she came in second place behind world-renowned hip-hop duo Les Twins.
Her success on the show catapulted her into the spotlight and Dance Network was lucky enough to sit down with her and her mother, Dawn Igo, at the World of Dance Live tour stop in Thousand Oaks, California.
Like many other contestants, producers for the NBC series scouted Eva via social media.
“They saw “It’s A Man’s World” on YouTube and they DM’ed me on Instagram. I hadn’t heard much about and I saw it was hip-hop, Eva said. “We had no idea how big it was about to be.”
When mom and daughter got to Universal Studios they realized how big this show was going to be just based off the set alone. When they got there, they recognized some familiar faces like “Diana Pombo, Kyntay and ImmaBEAST.”
Photo credit: Justin Lubin/NBC
Preparation for the show was a bit of a guessing game since this was the very first season of WOD.
“I had a total of four solos prepared for the show, but did a total of six on the show. “In the Air Tonight,” we had to choreograph in LA with Tessandra Chavez” she explained. “Then “Alive” I did over FaceTime with my teacher, Michelle Larkin, and then got help from the supervising choreographers there — Tessandra and Kyle Hanagami.”
“It was over six hours of choreography, she was exhausted,” chimed in Dawn.
Eva is lucky to come from Larkin Dance Studio, which has had an incredible year when it comes to dance competition shows. Besides Eva’s success on WOD, Taylor Sieve came in third place on Season 14 of So You Think You Can Dance. Unfortunately, travel schedules have prevented the two dancers from crossing paths.
The popularity of WOD has also made Eva a bit of a superstar in her home state of Minnesota and beyond.
“People kind of recognize me more at the grocery store and my following on social media went up a little bit — actually a lot,” she laughed. “I’ve had a lot more opportunities.”
Even with her travel schedule increasing and the WOD Live tour, not much has changed for Eva, who started doing classes online in 2016 to accommodate her rehearsals and competition schedule.
Despite such a wave of success, the 15-year-old continues to be humble and she’s exactly the same person America fell in love with on the show. It’s even surprising to hear her answer to the question of how she might have approached Season 1 differently.
“Oh, that’s hard. I would have had confidence from the start,” she said. “I gained my confidence through the show.”
It was also the judges — Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and Ne-Yo — who helped her believe in herself along the way.
Photo credit: NBC
“JLo helped me to open up with the storyline. Derek helped me with the technical aspects,” she said.
“Derek is very uplifting. He made her feel like she really belonged there. She wasn’t feeling that before,” shared Dawn.
“It was a lot of pressure with Ne-Yo, but he really took me out of my comfort zone. It helped me have a variety of different styles,” Eva added. “It allowed me to have some subtle and intricate stuff to my solo.”
Eva isn’t allowed to say whether she’s returning for Season 2, which begins taping on Jan. 9, 2018, but she answered with an emphatic “definitely” when asked if she’s open to doing the show again. She’s also open to auditioning for SYTYCD when she’s 18.
“I watched Taylor at the live show and So You Think You Can Dance is a completely different vibe, but I would love to do the show someday,” said Eva.
Whether she’s on another television competition show or not, her time on WOD has opened her eyes to all of the possibilities in the dance world.
“All of the behind-the-scenes stuff with the cameras was really cool to see,” Eva said. “In the future, I would love to be supervising choreographer on a TV show and produce stuff like NappyTabs.”
And the dance world has no doubt that there’s more Eva Igo to come.
Don’t miss Dance Network and Popcorn Talk’s episode of ‘To The Pointe With Kristyn Burtt’ featuring Joy Womack: