By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
September 22, 2015
Raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and currently a resident of Los Angeles, Travis Wall has parlayed his success as a contestant on FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance” into a career as an Emmy-winning choreographer and co-founder of the dance troupe, Shaping Sound.
“I’ve been really fortunate to get to see a good part of the world through dance,” says Wall, 28. “One of my favorite places was Australia, which just felt like home. It was one of the nicest places and the people were so nice to Americans! I’m really looking forward to touring there next year.”
Q. Which city has the best dancers?
A. Toronto. Whenever I go there, it’s where I find the best dancers and I don’t know why that is. Maybe a little less distraction there? All the kids want to come to America to dance. They take it so seriously. In America, there’s the East Coast where I’m from — Virginia, North Carolina … Denver’s really good. Salt Lake City has amazing hip-hop and ballroom dancers. Southern California has its share of really talented dancers. But, if I had to pick one, I’d say Toronto.
Q. What else can you recommend about Toronto?
A. If I’m not where all the dance spots are, I love going downtown. Church Street is a lot of fun, if you’re into the gay nightlife. Toronto is a very big place and I like exploring. I go 45 minutes this way or that way and see what’s out there.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. I find myself in Maui a lot. It is my go-to place if I really want to escape and not work and not go out, there’s no place better. I could live there. I still occasionally love to go to Miami. I was 19 when I went to Miami for the first time and I loved the place! My favorite city on our tour last year was Austin, Texas. It was so much fun. I had heard a lot of great things about it. I never have two days off in a row, but I did in Austin! We went kayaking on the river and then did a barbecue there and then went to all these restaurants on Rainey Street. We had a great time.
Q. Is it difficult to stay fit when you’re eating on the road?
A. Yes! I have to be careful. I have a slow metabolism that keeps slowing down as I get older! (Laughs) I can’t really eat before our shows, because I’ll throw up. The shows are 1-1/2 hours of cardio. So I eat after the show, which I know is bad, but I don’t go to sleep right after. We get on the bus at midnight and don’t fall asleep until 3 or 4 a.m.
Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Meat Market on Lincoln Road in Miami and Prime 112 by the water. They’re some of the best steakhouses I’ve ever been to. There’s a place out here that’s my fave, Mastro’s in Beverly Hills. It’s so good when you want to indulge. The last time I went was when I was nominated for an Emmy.
Q. What was your first big trip?
A. I never traveled overseas as a kid. We didn’t come from money and didn’t do that. The first time was after I finished “So You Think You Can Dance.” I just got first runner-up and had two days before rehearsal. Catherine Zeta-Jones flew me to Bermuda to perform at her benefit. That was extraordinary. When I was 19, I finally took myself to Hawaii and have tried to make it a point to go back every year. It’s my favorite place. I just love it so much. The first time I went to Europe was for work. I went to London for a job and had two days before it started. So I took a quick trip to Amsterdam and that was incredible. It was everything I had imagined from my sheltered American life. It was eye opening and beautiful.
Q. When you have time off, will you catch up on your sleep or go out and explore?
A. I’m always running on empty, so I try to go to bed early and sleep as much as I can, but when I have a day off — especially during the summer — I try to go to San Diego or explore some place close to home.
Q. What would be your dream trip?
A. Wow. There are so many places I want to go. I’d like to do a full tour of Italy and visit Rome, Venice, Florence and Naples. … Before I’m 30, I would love to tour Europe for six months and go all over the place — Germany, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain. I’ve never been to Greece. Right now, I get so wrapped up with work and am so busy that it’s just a dream. But one day, I have to make it happen!
© 2015 JAE-HA KIM
DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.
EXTRA, EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT: