Turbo, real name Issac Baptiste, may well be one of the UK’s most versatile male street dancers. When he auditioned for Got to Dance on Sky One some dancers might have been sceptical – being a hip hop dancer on TV can draw criticism from the community that you’re watering down your art in place of audience pleasing tricks.
But Turbo killed it with both performance and technicality in his audition, especially because he has numerous hip hop titles to his name that even dance purists cant dispute: Stylefest 2010 Champion (after entering in house, krumping and new style categories!) House Dance Champion, numerous Throwdown Champion titles, an honorary Boy Blue Entertainment dancer and a list of commercial appearances that stretches back before TooMuchFlavour existed.
Unlike some competitors on Got to Dance, Turbo isn’t playing up to the camera – what you see on your screen really is Turbo.
We caught up with Turbo after his class in East London for a quick interview about his time on Got to Dance.
Turbo (Issac Baptiste) Got to Dance 2011 interview
Has it sunk in that you’ve got through to the final?
It hasn’t sunk in that I’m through to the live finals – I was on cloud nine, now I’ve floated down to cloud four!
You got a red star from Adam Garcia, how do you feel about that?
To be honest, I’m always ready for any piece of criticism I’m about to get, whether it’s negative or positive.
Video: Turbo (Issac Baptiste) Got to Dance 2011 semi final performance
The audience on Twitter were showing mad love for you, what have you got to say to your twitter fans?
To all of those that have been voting and showing their support on Twitter, Myspace, Facebook all of those social network sites THANKYOU so much! Without your votes I can’t fulfil what I do and it’s making want to perform even more and even better for you guys.
We know that already people have been expressing interest in you for sponsorship deals, is that something you’re interested in?
If there are any promo deals out there then I’m definitely interested. Not on an ego trip or in a big-headed way because that’s just not me at all, but if I think it’s something that fits in with me and who I am then of course I’m open to negotiations!
There’s been some debate about whether or not there should be a separate junior category as it’s unfair to pit children against adults. Do you have an opinion on that?
On the positive side of it, those who are younger, below the age of 16 competing against those over 16 shows they have strong determination and strong passion no matter what age, size, colour, shape, which means they’re willing to go up there on the stage and say “I don’t care, if you can do it I can do it” which is great. On the negative side, not me being negative but with regard to the public and those who believe that there should be a category system in it, I can understand that fully, as I understand it can make it hard to vote but that would be a decision for the producers of the show.
The Live Final is on the 27 February, which gives you a couple of weeks to prepare so what can we expect to see?
I tell you, I really feel for the people in the last weeks because they have less time to prepare so I’m grateful to have a bit more time. As for what to expect, for those of you who liked my audition piece, get ready to see my audition piece times fifty! I’ve listened to what the judges said about my moves being intricate and sometimes hard to pick up on camera so I’ve gone back to the drawing board with the original plans and added in plan B, plan C, D, E, F and G.
There is a tension between choreographing for a live audience on stage and things that look good on camera, and the judge’s comments in the semi-final hinted that perhaps they felt they weren’t getting the same thing as the people at home.
I understand their comments but what I wanted to do was show everyone that I have more than just one style. I was showing that I can fuse the original style of my audition with other styles and now that they’ve seen I can do that I can work on showing them something that’s
explosively dynamite C4 and try to blow them away.
Any final shout-outs?
Thank you to my family and supporters, all the people that have voted for me, much love, respect, chicken and seasoned rice.