Meghan Trainor “Me Too” dance video choreographed by Gianna
Check our exclusive interview with world-renowned choreographer Gianna Martello, who is best known for her work on Lifetime’s hit series “Dance Moms”.
Martello has been choreographing routines for the Abby Lee Dance Company (ALDC) since she was 16 years old. She has been a part of the faculty at the ALDC for 11 years, and has been a guest instructor and judge around the world on competition circuits. Her award-winning routines have earned her regional and national titles, as well as overall awards and choreography awards.
Martello’s choreography can also be seen in music videos for Meghan Trainor, Todrick Hall, Kendall Vertes, Alexx Calise and MackZ.
Clip from the show featuring Gianna Martello
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Artistic, loyal and sociable.
When did you start dancing?
I started dancing when I was four years old. Literally everyone in my family danced so I was just born into it!
What’s it like being on Lifetime’s “Dance Moms”?
It’s like being on “Survivor”! I get thrown concepts, music and kids and we have to create a miracle in 2 days! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the kids and moms, the crew, and of course Abby!
How did you get on the show?
I grew up dancing at the Abby Lee Dance Company – I had a select competition team just as you see on the TV show. There were five or six of us that Abby took under her wing and took to competitions all over the US. I remember living at her house in Orlando one summer and going to every single national competition that came through there in the month of July.
Who are your best friends on the show?
I don’t know about best friends, but I do have five or six additional new mothers… Abby included! And I have five or six best little sisters!
How do you manage the success that has come with being on “Dance Moms” (like people recognizing you on the street and the social media reaction)?
It still blows my mind that people want a picture with me. I’m just a girl from Pittsburgh who likes to choreograph and create. I’m not even on camera that often… how do these people know who I am?! Social media wise, I actually now have my notifications turned off. If I got a message every time someone liked my picture on Instagram, my phone would be dead. However, I do read everything. If there is something negative toward me or the girls, it immediately gets deleted and the person gets blocked. I have no time for any of that.
Do you have any advice for aspiring dancers?
Whatever it is you want to do, don’t let a competition or someone tell you that you can’t. A dance competition outcome is the opinion of three people. If it was a different weekend or different city, the results would be completely different. What one judge likes, another may hate. If it feels good and you love it – stick with it.
I was not the one in my group that placed first every weekend, but it didn’t matter to me because I LOVED what I was doing. Being in a rehearsal or on stage just felt right; it was where I had to be.
What style dance do you like best?
Lyrical or contemporary. I like playing with musicality and storytelling but always keeping the pieces really technical.
What has been the best thing that has happened to you since being on the show?
Probably getting to wake up and do something that I love. Not that many people go to work and say they LOVE what they do. Also, being able to be bi-coastal. My family is still east coast and we shoot the show on the west coast. I get to go back and forth every few months; I could not be more grateful that I get the best of both coasts all the time!
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Do YOU. Whatever that is.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
Cold brew iced coffee, my phone, Anastasia contour, Lululemon leggings and Discover Weekly on Spotify.
What is your favorite song? Why?
I could list you 20 right now! ‘Manhattan’ by Sara Bareilles, ‘I Can’t Feel it Anymore’ by William Fitzsimmons, and ‘Colly Strings’ by Manchester Orchestra. They will all make you cry!
Who is your role model?
Anyone who is successful because they never stopped working. Someone that 100% deserves everything they have.
Name one of your strengths.
Being able to multi-task and work quickly. I think thats a Gemini thing…..
How do you spend your spare time?
Being so lazy! I could lay in bed with my computer on my lap playing music for DAYS.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I’m a huge fan of healthy food. Veggies on the grill are the best! I wasn’t the kid that hated healthy food, I was actually the kid that hated candy.
And your favorite cheat food?
Tortilla chips dipped in ANYTHING.
What music we can find on your iPod?
Usually something really sad that you can dance to. I rarely have popular music on my iPod.
Do you have any future plans you want to share with us?
Possibly permanently moving to the west coast. I’ve been wanting to make the move since I was 18. I may finally do it!
What hidden talents do you have?
I’m really good at editing music… I taught myself!
What is your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Sunday Funday! Waking up to no alarm clock, going to brunch, relaxing on the beach for the day (not a tourist one, something calm) and then maybe heading home and going out to dinner or drinks. (I’m saying dinner and drinks because I usually have Mondays off as well!)
How would you describe your fashion style?
I always try to keep up with what’s in style. When I’m working it’s ALWAYS Lululemon leggings, a baggy tank and tennis shoes. Going out it’s always black ripped jeans, booties and a leather jacket. I don’t load on tons of accessories, but my four David Yurman bracelets will always be on my left wrist.
Who is your favorite designer?
Alice + Olivia!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Definitely living in Los Angeles, hopefully still teaching and choreographing: TV shows, movies, tours… I want to do it all!
I would also love to have my own clothing or jewelry line. I’m obsessed with all things fashion just as much as dancing.
What do you think of social media?
I love it and hate it. You couldn’t filter your pictures when I was growing up – people saw how you REALLY looked. I think kids get a little too out of hand with it sometimes though. The spam and the negativity some kids are writing needs attention. I remember it was all just starting when I was a teen. Having AIM was a HUGE DEAL in grade school; you spent house constructing the perfect away message!
Where we can follow you?
Favorite book: Kris Jenner… And All Things Kardashian
Favorite quote: You’d loose your mind trying to understand mine.
Favorite movie: The Holiday
Favorite TV series: Gossip Girl
Favorite restaurant: Izakaya, Lemonade, Urth, Mad Mex… I could never pick!
Favorite food: Sushi …. or anything spicy!
Favorite travel destination: So far London, but there are too many places I haven’t been yet!
Favorite sports team: Steelers, Penguins… anything Pittsburgh!!
Favorite actor/actress: Ed Westwick and Jared Leto!