Ellen Show Hip Hop Star Talks Lessons From America's Got Talent
February 16, 2012
Pacific Grove resident and master musician Carol Kuzdenyi touched off a viral YouTube video pandemic after her giggling niece caught the 63-year-old uncorking some pretty fluid hip-hop moves in a family kitchen.
Go ahead, Aunt Carol, brush your shoulders off.
The Food Blog broke the story as it really began to catch momentum with a post "Local Lady Dances Usher in Her Kitchen, Video Goes National", then I followed with a feature piece "Gray Hair Hip Hop" as she was preparing to appear on Ellen.
One of the coolest things to come out of it: How she hopes it might inspire other elderly types and kids alike.
“If I am the inspiration for women my age to dance or take music lessons or play chess, sports, anything,” she says, “that would be great. If this helps younger people have a different idea of older people, that’s important too. That’s what this is about.”
Last weekend her skills earned her an audition on America's Got Talent. I rang her to see what emerged from that experience. Here's what she had to say:
On nerves and faith: "I almost backed out, thought I couldn't do it. It was definitely a new experience, and you find out a lot about yourself when you are really challenged. I thought, 'I can do this.' I tried to enjoy it and not be scared. And it was great. I'm glad I did."
On her performance: "The said, 'Do up to 90 seconds and don't be noticeably short. We did 78. I did a lot of illusion moves. Maybe you'll see it on TV, because I'm really not allowed to talk about it. There's a second tryout coming up. All the contestants were really nice to talk to—I didn't expect that."
On training as many as three times a week with local Monterey Dance instructor Leo Sidorenko: "It was a lot of hard work. But even when I practice the piano a lot, I enjoy the work…I don't think I'll ever take a dance class after the one-on-one work with Leo. It's a whole other level."
On challenging herself: "The brain is involved in everything new. If it isn't—whether you're singing or dancing or playing music—you'll never change and get better."