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Tabitha D'umo (née Cortopassi; born September 11, 1973) and Napoleon D'umo (born October 17, 1968), known together as Nappytabs, are Emmy Award–winning married choreographers who are often credited with developing lyrical hip-hop. They are best known for their choreography on the television show So You Think You Can Dance and for being supervising choreographers on America's Best Dance Crew for the first five seasons. They own Nappytabs urban dancewear and have been working together in the dance industry since 1996.
Born: March 11th, 1973
Quotes: 28 sourced quotes total (includes 12 about)
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Somehow Napoleon and Tabitha have this ability... to put emotion into hip-hop routines and it really is a real talent.
When you can tell the story of the song through your movement, it's brilliant. It comes across as so honest and not fake.
This is one of the great things about this show is that we've really explored a totally new thing which is lyrical hip-hop and [Tabitha and Napoleon] nail it... It shows you that hip-hop [has] completely become a really legitimate beautiful genre in and of its own and you can tell such beautiful and heart breaking stories.
Usually their choreography's a bit cotton candy...
What better work can you ask for than to be with her?
Dance from your heart. If you dance from your heart, you'll always love it.
I guess it's the first season... where I've been effected emotionally by hip-hop routines.
Be proud of what it is that you’re doing and you’ll do a better job.
...it’s your work ethic that is going to get you far, no matter what you do.
Let other dance styles inspire and influence your own and remember that there are no boundaries. Dare to be original.
Honestly, I thought of him as a good-looking jock kind of guy, and I didn’t think he was very artistic or very smart.
Why would you want to be back-up dancer when you could be the actual star? Let's show the world that we're stars. Let's perform like stars.
Maybe it's because Laurieann Gibson is my choreographer and I'm really close with her but it's the interpretation of hip-hop that I thought was a little bit contrived.
Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the journey, and the hard work and the sacrifices and opportunities it takes to get somewhere, because it will all make you better at what you do when you arrive.
I think the future of dance is where we came from, where the dancers are the stars and I see in the next ten years dancers being these huge stars and the movie musical coming back.
We work together so much; it's weird doing even an interview separately, … [a]nd when we teach we vibe off each other. I'll start a joke, and Tabitha will finish it. I'll start choreographing, and she'll continue. We don't plan it like that; it just happens.
Ask yourself why you [dance]. Don't do it for the wrong reasons. You have to love it because it's a tough business and you're not always going to get to do the cool jobs and those things. So if your heart is in the right place, you will find happiness within the dance.
Dance is not an internal thing. You have to be able to give to somebody else visually watching or they won't care. If they don't leave with some type of emotional feeling—whether it be you cry, or you laugh, or you jump in the air for joy—then it becomes movement and we haven't done our job.
I am crazier about him than ever... We have been working together for so long. We know how one another operate and have such a good rhythm. If we are apart, I miss him because I need his feedback. I welcome his input even if it is different than mine because it always gives us a better product.
Somewhere in the world of dance we started thinking about steps way too much: technique, steps, technique, steps. You can do all the technique you want, the regular public doesn't know. All they know is how you perform and what you tell them and what you make them feel; and when you make somebody feel something, it is undeniable.
I don't know how they do it but [Tabitha and Napoleon] love each other so much. They're this husband and wife duo that work together all the time and yet I've never seen them have an argument. I've never seen them kind'of roll their eyes at each other. I've never seen anything like that. They are the perfect example of a fabulous marriage.
I think they're all equally hard. They all have their own techniques and when you don't train in that technique then it's difficult. Y'know, especially for somebody in a ballroom who's use to stepping heal-to-toe and they get into a jazz routine and they're up on relevé the whole time. So everything has its own technique and when you get use to one way, it's difficult to switch.
One of the biggest complaints about season 4 is the time the judges spent heaping endless praise upon the choreographers rather than discussing the dancers, but in the case of hip-hop choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo [sic] (i.e., [NappyTabs], now and forever), that praise was well-deserved. The couple brought a lyrical storytelling sensibility to their routines that transformed hip-hop from hard-hitting abstract steps to something far more emotionally engaging.
There's a life to dance that has to happen and it was seen years ago with Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and the life and the feeling they had in a performance. And when you watch them and you see them and you start to sway with them and you start to move with them and you miss that sometimes and that's what needs to happen with dance again.
This time in dance, this era, is probably one of the most entertaining times. It's got this whole new style of hip-hop which encompasses 20 different styles within it. There's no boundaries to it so people are taking it to the next level. And I think as an audience, everyone is saying Whoa, that is energetic. That is gymnastics, that is dancing, and that's entertainment combined in one. And that's a beautiful thing.
I love the So You Think You Can Dance show. I love it. I think it’s some of the best hours on TV. I think those dancers are extraordinary and, more so, I think those choreographers are uniformly amazing[...] And so I got two of who I think are the best choreographers on SYTYCD — Tabitha and Napoleon — to be involved in some movement elements. Because I think when dance is mediocre, it’s painful. But when dance is really impressive, it destroys.
If you fall out of love with what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to move on. And failing once doesn’t mean you’ll fail every time. You will fail, however, if you don’t learn from your mistakes. Fight for what’s important to you, but be conscious of your approach when speaking up. If you speak out of anger, odds are, your message won’t be heard as clearly. And never let the envy you might feel for another turn into jealousy or hatred. Instead, use that energy as motivation to work harder.
We see people who dance really well and can't perform all the time. It's in our community, our dance community. It's like that because we've been doing back-up dancing for so long. We're always in the background of the movies and we're always behind the artist so our job is not to outshine the artist. Well now, with all these dance television shows, we're getting a chance to be the artist. We're on the forefront. We're the Gene Kellys and the Fred Astaires of this generation and it's our job to make people feel something and to really perform.