Dancer Kyle Robinson Takes It Off On Tonight’s “Parks And Recreation”

We learned recently from Travis Wall that they’re looking at other networks to bring us a second season of the reality show All The Right Moves but, thankfully, Wall and his fellow dancers Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson have been keeping very busy with their dance company Shaping Sound as well as a plethora of individual projects.

Robinson, for one, is focusing on his dancing. But he is also pursuing acting, which we can witness on tonight’s episode of NBC’s Parks and Recreation where he plays a Lincoln impersonator slash stripper who entertains at the bachelorette party for Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler).

We talked to Robinson earlier this week to talk about his Parks and Rec gig and how his work in dance and acting are complimenting each other.

AfterElton: Tell me what you’re doing on Parks and Recreation this week.
Kyle Robinson:
I am hired as Abe Lincoln, my character name. The episode is called “Two Parties” and essentially it’s Ben (Adam Scott) and Leslie’s respective bachelor and bachelorette party. So I was busy working with all the ladies in the cast at the bachelorette party. I’m not sure how much information I can give away…

AE: Well, bachelorette parties tend to have things like strippers. Will we see some of that in what you are doing?
KR: [laughs]

(l-r) Aubrey Plaza, Amy Poehler and Retta (seated) watch Robinson take it off

Photo credit: NBC

AE: You often perform shirtless when you dance but his is an acting role. How was that different for you?
I didn’t find myself too self-conscious since I’m playing a citizen of the town of Pawnee who is a stripper on the side. It’s more like going in and having fun and being that guy who the ladies all swoon over when he comes into the room. I was aiming for that. It’s just a guy who is making some money on the side. I just thought this is a total character and I’m just going to ham it up, because I feel like if I were to be doing this I would definitely want to go in there and lay something down.

AE: Do you wear a top hat and a beard as Abe Lincoln?
It was full-on! Top hat, beard and a vest but no shirt under the vest. It was pretty official.

AE: Parks and Rec is a comedy, but there’s also drama out there. As far as acting, do you find yourself leaning more towards one than the other?
I would love to do more dramatic roles, but at the same time I do have a lot of fun goofing around and being silly. If you ever talk to my Mom, when I’m around the house I’m a complete nut doing a little Irish leprechaun gig just for the hell of it. I’d love to do a sitcom sometime in the future.

AE: When we saw All The Right Moves you were working on your acting. How’s that going?
It’s been going great. I’ve been taking a scene study class for about a year with Jeffrey Marcus, and he has smaller classes. That’s the class you actually saw on the reality show. I find myself to be a lot more confident in making choices in terms of character and intention. I’m really making strong, bold choices and just going for it.

(l-r) Kyle Robinson, Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini and Teddy Forance of All The Right Moves

Photo credit: Oxygen

AE: Would you be up for another season of All The Right Moves? Was it easy having the cameras all around, or is it more intrusive?”
It was a little intrusive having the cameras around. I don’t know how I feel about a second season. If we did it I’d want to focus more on our dancing and what that creation process is actually like. I know audiences want to see the drama, but I feel like we could show them something new and something different by focusing on the studio and not so much of the tit and tat of the day-to-day of our lives.

AE: Has acting impacted your dancing since you may think differently about how you approach character or situations?
Yeah, a little bit. I think I’ve always been pretty thorough in my relationships and my connections on stage. I feel I really take the time to try to develop a full relationship if I’m doing a duet or a group dance. I think with acting, the dancing has actually helped me be more in my body and not feel like I have to force action. I can rely on my body and rely on my natural movement since that’s what I know. It actually helps me in connecting to the intention and the emotion.

AE: You guys are planning a new Shaping Sound tour later this Spring and the cameras aren’t following you guys around.
It’s actually really nice not having the cameras around for the creation process. We haven’t completely dived into creating our show yet. We’re still very much workshopping it, but it’s been very nice to not have that camera awareness. But that’s just me.

Parks and Recreation airs tonight at 8:30 on NBC. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleRRobinson.

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