Lance Savali on working with his gran vs Chris Brown and how TikTok has changed the dance game

  • 28/06/2023

Lance Savali has spoken fondly of working with Chris Brown as well as his 78-year-old grandmother, and revealed how social media has changed the dance industry in recent years.

The 31-year-old dancer and musician has worked with many high-profile US musicians, but said working with his nanna Elisabeth has been his most exciting campaign yet. 

Appearing on AM on Wednesday, Savali shed some light on the current state of the professional dance industry, revealing that while he's represented by an agency in the US, it's more about being an established talent these days - or being popular on TikTok.

"People just create relationships with you and they know how you dance. The auditions don't really happen anymore - people just, like, know of talent and they just say, 'I want you, I want you'," Savali said.

"TikTok has changed the game. I love it. People want to be a star on TikTok now rather than being behind artists - the game has definitely changed. And people on TikTok can make more money than professional dancers, I would say, from my knowledge.

"As I'm getting older, I feel like I'm turning into a hasbeen in dance. So I'm just kind of, like, really focusing on my own music. I'm still dancing [but only at a] bare minimum. I'm just happy being here in New Zealand and working here, doing a couple projects here and there."

Although he is working on multiple projects, Savali said dancing with Brown is his "main job". Despite Brown's history of violent offences - most notoriously, his beating of then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009 - Savali insists the 'Kiss Kiss' hitmaker is a pleasure to work with.

"What I enjoy about working with Chris Brown is that he encourages individuality, so it's like he wants us to be a star. And he's a frickin' amazing dancer. It's like a low key, unspoken battle on stage. So we just go hard," he said.

Lance and Elisabeth Savali promote Odd Company.
Photo credit: supplied

Savali is about to return to the US for work, but recently collaborated with his grandmother while in New Zealand on a promotional campaign for an RTD alcohol brand - a project he is particularly excited about.

"Before I head off I did a really cool campaign with my nanna for Odd Company. It's super sick. This is probably the most excited I've ever been about a campaign I have worked on," he said on AM.

"My nan is the best. I grew up with her - she looked after me, her and my grandfather. 

"She was so good on set. She didn't really know what she was getting into, she just said, 'Lance, if it's for you, I do. I love you.' And she was a star. I was the one making the mistakes - like, I'm going to release a blooper reel to promote our new 'granny pack'. But she actually nailed it. It was so good!"

The 'granny pack' is an Odd Company-branded fanny pack designed to hold two cans of the company's drinks - one for the wearer and one for their gran.

The company said its campaign - that encourages having a drink with gran - was inspired by research that found Gen Z people want to spend more time with their grandparents compared to millennials or Gen X.