Cat Deeley: The “So You Think You Can Dance?” Diva On Creating Her Signature Looks

The Emmy-nominated host looks back at nine seasons of the summer favourite.

Photo courtesy CTV

For nine seasons, Cat Deeley’s been the charming heart at the centre of the dance competition So You Think You Can Dance?. Already a fashion darling for her spin on top brands (from Zac Posen to Yves Saint Laurent to Vivienne Westwood), Deeley won over a new fan base last year, receiving her first Emmy nomination for hosting the summer favourite. Before a new crew prepares to show off their moves this season, Deeley looks back at nine years of It kids, killer looks, and drop-dead dance parties.

FLARE: How do you get ready before the show?
Cat Deeley:
I don’t have a stylist, so I dress myself. I go into the dressing room, and I have my hair and makeup team, and we will come up with entire scenarios. So, think Jerry Hall back in the day, she’s going out with Mick Jagger to Studio 54, she’s hanging out with Liza Minelli and Andy Warhol, she’s got huge glossy glamorous waves of hair that are falling over one side of her face, and she’s got bright red cherry red lips that look like they’re going to drip they’re so glossy. And then we all have a glass of champagne, they get me ready, and then I go out. 

F: Do you have a favourite summer tradition?
CD: Fourth of July I always have a barbeque in my garden for all the dancers from previous seasons and they all come around to my house. It always ends up with everyone getting into the pool and a dance-off at the end.

F: Do you participate in the dance off?
CD: Oh yeah! It’s my house and it’s my party and I’ll dance if I want to! I will never do it on TV because I’m absolutely appalling, but my enthusiasm makes up for my lack of talent.

F: What do you think the secret is to success if you want to be a world-class dancer?
It’s that certain star quality that some of them have. I think it has something to do with being genuine and being honest, being able to show your emotions, but not faking it. Some people just are filled with life–you can’t take your eyes off them. It’s not necessarily who’s the most beautiful or who’s the most handsome or the tallest or the thinnest.

F: You make hosting look so effortless. Is it ever difficult to fill the time?
CD: No, but it can be quite emotional. You get attached to people. But I’ve been doing live shows for a long time now. Pretty much anything that could happen has happened. Me falling over, dropping a mic, people swearing. If it’s all happened before it’s not as scary.

So You Think You Can Dance airs Wednesday at 8/7C on CTV.