YEREVAN/CENTERVILLE, UTAH — Gev (Gevorg) Manoukian (born September 15, 1986, Temirtau, Kazakh SSR, now Kazakhstan]) is an Armenian/Russian hip hop and break dancer. He learned to ice skate before turning his attention to dance as his passion when he was 16 years old in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he has lived since 2003.
Gev danced in “High School Musical 2” and got his first big break when he became a top ten finalist on the TV hit show “So You Think You Can Dance.” This appearance brought him national attention, leading to a role in the MTV musical “American Mall.”
In November 2010, he performed at the 2010 American Music Awards with the singer Pink to her hit song Raise Your Glass. He has credits in Nickelodeon’s “Fresh Beat Band” and “Big Time Rush,” as well as “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Got Talent.” He has worked with various artists, such as Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Pink, Ludacris, Ellen DeGeneres and LeAnn Rimes to name a few. Gev can also be seen in National commercials, music videos, Nickelodeon’s “Fresh Beat Band,” “Big Time Rush,” ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars,” NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” etc.
Gev, your finest hour is connected to your participation in “Think You Can Dance.” What was the biggest challenge and most significant moment in it?
The biggest challenge on being on “So You Think You Can Dance” is dealing with the pressure. It was the biggest thing I had done up to that point and at times it was overwhelming. A lot of pressure came from trying to not make mistakes. The most significant moment was the opening of the show. When you are on that stage and the cameras are on, the lights, the audience are all watching you, you really feel the gravitas of the moment. It was an unforgettable experience.
I remember while in the US ten years ago, I was delighted to see hip-hop dance classes with lots of participants at universities. Is hip-hop still so popular among American youth?