Corine Cohen: Thank you for doing this interview.What was it like working with Michael Jackson? What was he like and how was it teaching him some new dance moves?
Gary Edwards: Thank you, Corine! It’s great after all these years to finally be asked and be able to answer! Words cannot truly express the feeling I had when the Gurkha guards opened the double doors, and Michael Jackson appeared! Teaching The Family of Brunei and many of their visiting sportspeople and celebrity guests for five or so years had prepared me for almost anything, I never knew who would walk through those doors but, Michael Jackson!I later got to spend some time With Janet Jackson but the King of Pop!I felt a bit light headed, and my body seemed to separate from my mind!Michael was beyond incredible, a true legend, and an absolute gentleman. Needless to say, after ‘teaching’ Michael the basic Cha Cha, he was already putting his own twist on it!Michael was performing for a Royal Birthday Party, and he was intrigued to find out the fact that I was in Brunei to teach Dance.Safe to say the highlight of my career, the man was pure Genius!
Corine Cohen: How exciting! Michael was a legend! I have heard they were considering you to be a judge on DWTS. If you were a judge what would you do differently than Len Goodman?
Gary Edwards: I had a couple of meetings with DWTS, and I was asked if I was available.I have known Len most of my life, and I have always considered him a friend, we have similar personalities!Len’s ex-dance partner/wife Cherry Kingston referred to me as a Young Len while we worked together setting up the Monaco Dance Club.
I would be more tolerant of the Music and give more rhythmical license, I would however probably be even stricter on the fundamentals!
I would love to see the celebrities be able to dance after they leave the show!
Corine Cohen: You have great endorsements by Len Goodman and Mary from “So You Think You Can Dance” Would you change anything on DWTS if you were a judge?
Gary Edwards: Mary is a great friend too, look out for her this year!I’ve always believed that the ‘TV’ people should be in charge of the Show. I would love to see more involvement with the viewers.Maybe my experience with Brunei and the, guess who is coming through the doors involving a few viewers. I only found out years later who some of them were, especially two of Americas most successful Football players! Certainly if I were involved, I would want to get out in the community and promote the show more in the offseason and, of course, promote Dance for all! I’m a Patron of Wheelchair Dancesport.
The Tour is a great idea. The UK’s Strictly come dancing tour is very successful.
Corine Cohen: What is your favorite ballroom dance?
Gary Edwards: If you include Latin American then PasoDoble for sure!Otherwise the Foxtrot.Wait!Salsa and now the Bachata, I could go on!
Corine: If you could perform anywhere in The World where would it be and why?
Gary Edwards: Easy answer, India!I’ve danced in well over forty countries, but I’ve never danced in India!I spent a lot of time with the most famous Bollywood stars in the late 90’s, and I regret not following up on an invitation to appear in a Bollywood movie!
Corine: At Broadway Showbiz, we love all Ballroom but we also love Broadway dance like tap and tango. There was a lot of this in ” On The Town” which is closing on Sept 6th and in the past there was ” Forever Tango” with your friend Karina and also Maks, and they also starred in ” Burn The Floor” on Broadway. Have you seen the shows on the tour and what Broadway show would you love to work with if you had the opportunity?
Gary Edwards: Tap along with Ballet are two of the forms of Dance I’m not qualified in. I still love to watch them.The only Ballroom show I have seen recently is Ballroom with a Twist; I adore most forms of Dance, so I am very easy to please! When I first Danced in America I was , with my partner, opening act for Rita Moreno on a Holland America Line ‘half’ World cruise. I was referred to as Tommy Tune on many, many occasions!’On The Town’ was the supporting show onboard, and I loved watching them!
Corine: You seem to know all the dancers and judges. Can you tell me what they are like off camera?
Gary Edwards: I know Len the most, I adore the man! Len and Cherry came to my Dance school to do the Show when I was ten years old. We have been friends since lol! Bruno is Fabulously Fabulous! I got to know Bruno on Twitter first! Bruno followed me as did Marie Osmond and a lot of other celebs from DWTS and Strictly Come Dancing; he messaged me, and a friendship was born!I would love to Judge on the Show partly because of Bruno, we would be very, entertaining together!I will feel a little sad to see Bruno Judging and not being there giving him some banter!I have judged Julianne and Derek but I only know Derek well, he is very ‘cool’.
Mark is a very underrated talent, and I see Corky a lot on the Judging scene.Tony is a great guy, he has devoted his life to judging the show one day and certainly cares about DWTS. Karina is lovely, the best female Latin Dancer ever on the show.Cheryl is a Gem, so happy if she has a successful TV career now.The one person I think should be more involved is Louis Van Amstel, the talent he has been almost unsurpassed in Dancing, pure passion, talented guy!
Corine Cohen: What are you looking forward to in season 21?
Gary Edwards: Other than the hope of a last minute phone call, I always love to see the viewers response to the celebs. I honestly believe that the Judges can directly influence the viewers, and with their comments make or break a Celebrity’s season.Confidence of the Celeb is one of the most important attributes they need to have on the Show (and the competition floor.)
Corine Cohen: Derek Hough is coming back for season 21 how is his toe? I know he danced in his ” Move Live On Tour” which sold out at Radio City music hall. I sadly never got to see it but heard it was great.
Gary Edwards: I spent some time with Derek last week, and he certainly had no effects from his injury.He said to me that it was like going back in time to his competing days,my lips are sealed,we had a lot of fun!
I’ve been so busy this year I only got to see Ballroom with A Twist, I’m on the five-person board of The World Federation of Ballroom Dancers as well as the Director of BDFI USA and this week will Judge my thirty-fifth World Championship, I don’t get out much!
Corine Cohen: Tell me all about what is next for you? Why can’t ABC make you a judge you have all the credentials!
Gary Edwards: Great question, I have had such a blessed life it’s been difficult to decide which direction to go at this time of my life.
My only remaining goals are all TV related; I’m sure I’m still on DWTS radar, and I will make myself available to the UK show too! I’m not sure qualifications matter that much to the Show. Only Len can Judge a World Class Event and only in Ballroom, Latin or his specialty Exhibition I don’t believe any of the other Judges are qualified.
There’s never an excuse at an interview, but I don’t think I was at my best, when I had my meetings with the show,my best friend lost his battle with cancer the day after my first meeting and the Funeral was the day after my meeting with the Exec! Hopefully they come calling again, Bruno would love me on the show, and Len recommended me, even Some of the Dancers asked for me!
I love the Show and will always support it, I tweet rather a lot and certainly always stay positive regarding the Show.
Best and Many Thanks!
Hoping that Gary Edwards is chosen as a Judge on DWTS. Hope to interview Gary in person if he comes to New York!
DWTS will start it’s new season on September 14. Broadway Showbiz can’t wait to find out who the new judges will be.