Rowland ready for dancing duel
Rowland ready for dancing duel

More than a decade ago Destiny's Child brought a whole new meaning to hip-shaking with their hit tune Bootylicious. The noughties saw Kelly Rowland, Beyonce Knowles and Michelle Williams celebrated for their catchy tracks in equal measure to their dance moves.

So you can imagine the glee of the producers of Ten's new reality contest Everybody Dance Now when Rowland accepted an offer to travel to Australia to fill the position of one of the show's two "dance masters".

"I've been dancing since I was pretty much a kid, mostly hip-hop and jazz," the softly-spoken star said over the phone from her Sydney hotel room.

On the show, Rowland's hand-picked team of dancers will face off against rival dance master Jason Derulo's line-up in a series of duels.

Ten has been mostly bereft of dance competitions since the axing of So You Think You Can Dance in 2010.

But the network is hoping that Rowland and Derulo will attract their legions of fans, continuing the ratings-winning trend of international celebrity mentors flocking Down Under for talent contests.

"Any time there's an invitation to come to Australia I'm always excited about it. I love it here," said Rowland, who was in Perth for Supafest earlier this year. "When I was told about the whole feeling of the show I was really excited to be a part of it, especially because of the celebration of dance."

Rowland is no stranger to TV talent shows - she was a judge on Britain's The X Factor last year, but left after one season and has been replaced by Pussycat Dolls star Nicole Scherzinger.

The Grammy Award-winning recording artist was more than happy to discuss Everybody Dance Now. However, rumours of her reasons for quitting The X Factor in the UK, Destiny's Child reforming or Beyonce Knowles and her new baby were strictly off limits.

When hinted at, all she would divulge about her time on The X Factor was how she has learned to get the best out of her team. "It's all making sure they rehearse and they work hard and ensuring that they really want it," she explained. "As much as you want them to listen to what you say, it's just as important to listen to what the contestant has to say as well."

Hosted by Sarah Murdoch, Everybody Dance Now will start with more than 80 acts competing in a series of duels in front of a studio audience. There is no age limit on contestants, who can perform solo, in a duo or group and the dancers (aged from eight to 72) will only be required to perform in their own discipline.

Over five weeks, 22 acts will dance their way to a place in the finals in a series of heats and each pocket $10,000. They will then go on to compete for the ultimate cash prize of $250,000. The winners of each duel will be decided by a live studio audience until the grand final, which will be chosen by public vote.

"I think it's a unique format that's never been done before," Rowland said. "The different cultures of dancing and how people celebrate, it's really incredible, and there are so many new ideas I've never seen before.

"I've never seen bhangra or this other group, there were some young ladies from Indonesia who have a unique style of dancing as well."

Someone who has greatly enhanced Rowland's knowledge of dance since she started working on Everybody Dance Now is Perth-raised choreographer Jason Gilkison, who is the show's creative director.

"He's good people and very talented," Rowland said.

"Jason and I have already started to sit down and come up with ideas and different plans and things."

Being surrounded by so many creative types, surely it would be natural to assume some of their ideas will play some part in Rowland's solo shows? "Abso-freaking-lutely," she said. "I've already started asking them questions. Some things I'm enlightened to and some I have been inspired by."

The West Australian

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