Television & My Career

June 30, 2013

Adé Chiké Torbert, Maria Kochetkova, and Allison Holker talk about TV’s impact.





Since finishing in the top four of
So You Think You Can Dance Season 7, Adé Chiké Torbert has performed on Broadway in Fela! and NBC’s SMASH Season 2, and Dancing With the Stars. He appears in an upcoming film with Cuba Gooding Jr., Something Whispered. 


“Being on So You Think has given me a certain visibility. I can walk into an audition and some people are already familiar with my work. But it’s a blessing and a curse. The show forces you to wear a label. On the show, I was Adé Chiké the contemporary dancer. But I do everything.”


“Right after So You Think I got a gig on Saturday Night Live with Nicki Minaj. I had just signed with an agent on Tuesday, and I was booked for SNL that Thursday. I didn’t even audition! Having an agent has really helped with weeding out some projects. It’s so cool that I now have the ability to be selective.”


Photo by
Mathieu Young, Courtesy FOX.





A principal with San Francisco Ballet, Maria Kochetkova appeared on the short-lived NBC competition show
Superstars of Dance in 2009. After she won the gold medal in the solo category, her Twitter followers spiked, and now the number has surpassed 188,000, likely the most for any ballerina. “Masha” guests at galas near and far, and is also working on film projects.


“I definitely got a lot of attention during Superstars of Dance. I think it’s great that ballet was out there, especially for people who have never seen ballet before. If you think about sports, first people see it on TV and then they watch the game live. It would be great if the same thing could happen in ballet. In Russia, there is a special channel where you can see the latest premiere or debut at the Bolshoi every week or two.”


“I was the first ballet dancer on Twitter [in 2007]. Living in San Francisco, where the social network companies are based, I was curious. I get a lot of replies—when I’m dancing in New York and Moscow and London—from people saying they were at the show. And in cities where I haven’t appeared yet, people write and say they would like for me to dance there someday.”


Photo © Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB.





She may have a home in Los Angeles, but Allison Holker lives on TV. First competing on
So You Think You Can Dance Season 2, this self-proclaimed contemporary dancer returned to the show as an all-star on Seasons 7, 9, and 10. She’s also appeared on Dancing With the Stars, Ovation’s A Chance to Dance, Oxygen’s All the Right Moves, and VH1’s Hit The Floor. In 2008 she gave birth to a daughter, Weslie. 


“So You Think
is truly what gave me the career that I have today. The show puts you under excruciating circumstances—I’ve had to learn new styles in a short time and perform them to the best of my ability. Now when I get a job anywhere else, I feel prepared for anything.”


“Season 2 was during the days of MySpace. But back then, you weren’t allowed to use social media at all during the show. Then, when I was brought back as an all-star, they said, “You have to have Twitter!” I didn’t even know how to use it. But now, all of my followers [close to 53,000] come out of So You Think. I have a lot of young girls who want to be contemporary dancers—convention goers and comp kids. And I talk to a lot of moms who ask how I’m able to work and be a mother.”


Photo by Mathieu Young, Courtesy FOX.