By John Burton
RED BANK – As a professional dancer, Nick Mishoe has performed for many audiences – but never one like this.
“When I think of the whole scope, I pretty much freak out,” Mishoe said about what he and his dance partner are so worried about.
They are due to perform Tuesday, Aug. 12, on live TV at Radio City Music Hall on NBC’s reality talent show, “America’s Got Talent.”
“This is huge. I never performed for 50 million people before,” he said.
Mishoe, a 33-year-old borough resident who owns and operates the Academy of Dance Arts at 59 Chestnut St., and his dance partner, Rachel Kivlighan, have been working with choreographer David Middendorp on a routine called “Blue Journey.” The number, like much of Middendorp’s work, combines contemporary dance movements with digital screen animation.
Mishoe called the opportunity to perform the work on a huge stage in front of a national audience “an awesome experience.”
The dancer first worked with Middendorp – whom he calls a “creative genius” – when they were both with the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam a few years ago.
Middendorp brought Kivlighan, an Orlando, Fla.-based ballet dancer, and Mishoe together, working with them on what became their audition piece for “America’s Got Talent.” The audition, which aired May 27, was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, site of the Academy Awards ceremonies. Until he performs at Radio City next week, that theater is the largest space in which Mishoe has ever performed.
Despite some tough words for the duo during their audition from celebrity judge and shock jock Howard Stern, they were able to advance to the next stage of competition.
Mishoe attributes their success on the show to Middendorp’s efforts. “He’s definitely the driving force. He has a whole way of dancing,” Mishoe said. “I never moved that way before.”
Mishoe studied dance at North Carolina University School of the Arts, and has worked with the Boston Ballet as well as the Dutch national company.
He and his wife, Shayne Gottdenker Mishoe, took over the Academy of Dance Arts six years ago, providing lessons for children and adults in a variety of dance types. In September, the Mishoes will move the studios, first established in Red Bank in 1996, to a newly renovated site at 70 Apple St. in Tinton Falls.
Dance has always been – and remains – Mishoe’s life, he said. “For me, I love the challenge of dance, using my body to convey different emotions and to challenge myself to find new ways to move.”
He also hopes his upcoming TV appearance will benefit the academy. “The possibility and opportunity are huge,” he said. “I believe in the facility we have here and the work we do.”
But winning the top $1 million prize on “America’s Got Talent” would be pretty good too, he said.
Mishoe and Kivlighan’s appearance will be a two-night affair; they will perform live on Tuesday, while taped background segments on the contestants will be shown Wednesday, which is also judgment night. An NBC camera crew was scheduled to visit Mishoe’s studio on Aug. 6 to tape the segment. The pair will learn Wednesday, Aug. 13, if they will advance to the next level of the competition.