#SocialDisDancing: A Look at Bailey Muñoz's At-Home Dance Life
From the most famous choreographers to the newest of dance newbies, we’re all going through the same pandemic-related struggles right now. So, how are the pros coping with it all? To find out, we’re doing
an interview series, #SocialDisDancing
, in which we catch up with some of your favorite dancers to see how they’re step-ball-changing their way through this unprecedented moment in dance history. This week, we chatted with
Dance Spirit Winter 2020 cover star and “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 16 winner, Bailey Muñoz.
(Be sure to check out Bailey’s takeover of
our Instagram today for an inside peek at his day in the #SocialDisDancing life.)
Where are you right now?
I’m at home in Las Vegas, NV, with my mom, dad, and younger sister. We’ve been home almost two months now. It’s felt like a zombie apocalypse here in Vegas. The strip is the main attraction, but nowadays there’s nobody there, and at night, all of the lights in the hotels are off.
What were you up to right before social distancing was advised?
I was lucky enough to wrap up a few projects right before the lockdown started. I got to be a part of Disney’s Descendants Remix Dance Party with NappyTabs, Khalid’s new music video for “Eleven,” and a project for Netflix. The weekend when everything started closing, I was supposed to fly out to Canada to dance in a showcase at the Hit the Floor competition. I was also supposed to be on the new “The Masked Dancer” show, but that’s on hold for now.
What have you been up to at home?
Before the quarantine, my motto was to do something different every day, and that’s still true. Whether it’s playing sports or working on my craft of dance, I think it’s important to learn something new. I honestly don’t remember the last time I’ve had time to just sit down and read a book! I really want to look back on this quarantine and see that I bettered myself and made the best of the time.
You and your dad have been up to a lot on TikTok these days…
I taught my dad everything he knows! He’s an amazing dancer, and making videos is our bonding time and always fun. I just recently downloaded TikTok while in quarantine. I’d been sleeping on it! But everyone had been telling me to go on it, and it’s actually a really cool app. It’s dope that anyone can blow up on it.
I also celebrated my 20th birthday in quarantine, on April 26! I spent it with my family, but I wanted to do something creative and fun to spread positivity. We got food from Buca di Beppo, one of my favorite restaurants, and I ended up doing an IG Live where I had viewers answer questions and then I gave away prizes.
Have you been teaching or taking class?
Both! I taught a Zoom class for a dance school in Sacramento. And I’ve enjoyed taking IG Live classes from Randi Kemper and Hefa Leone Tuita, Ava Bernstine-Mitchell, and Nika Kljun.
I also had my first judging experience: a virtual competition for Vitality Dance Tour. Besides watching the dance, I had to voice memo comments, tally up the score sheets, and list notes—all within the duration of the routine. I had to do something like 300 submissions within two days, which was crazy. But I ended up really enjoying it!
What’s been hard for you about social distancing?
I’m a dancer who feeds off the energy of others, whether it’s a dance event or just a class. I’m also a big foodie, and going out to eat is my guilty pleasure, so I really miss being able to do that!
What’s been helping you cope?
My family, 100 percent. They’ve always been my support system and my best friends. We’re somewhat used to hanging out together all the time, but when I went on “SYTYCD” and toured after, that was a lot of time away from them. In a way, this is time I’m getting back to spend with them.
I’m also so grateful to have graduated high school last year. I really feel for the class of 2020.
Have you picked up any new hobbies?
I’ve been quite the little baker, especially considering how terrible I was before all this. But I’ve been experimenting with cookies, pancakes, and cooking for my family.
What have you been binging?
I’m the worst binger! Especially the first few weeks of quarantine, I think I watched everything there was on Netflix. I’m on “All American” and “Never Have I Ever” now, and just finished “Ozark.” I love all the comedies with Adam Sandler in them. I sort of want to start “Grey’s Anatomy,” because I used to watch it sometimes with my mom, but I just found out it’s 16 seasons. I guess it’s now or never, though!
Who’s the first person you want to see after social distancing?
D-trix. He said after the quarantine we have to collab, and I want to get on that.
First dance class you want to take?
Jazz funk with Nika Kljun.
First place you want to go?
I was supposed to go to the Philippines in January, so I’d really like to be able to make that trip. They were so proud when I won “SYTYCD.”
Any last words of advice for your fellow dancers?
Even in quarantine, my advice stays the same: My motto ever since I was younger is that with dreams, it’s not how bad you want them, but how hard you’re willing to work for them. And I live by the quote, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”