He’s mates with Goldie Hawn, was Ryan Gosling’s personal dance instructor and boasts a slew of international dance awards.
But will Dancing with the Stars NZ judge Julz Tocker become more famous back home for helping send Gilda Kirkpatrick packing with a score of 5 on Three’s reality show?
“I know the audience will think the lower scoring is harsh, but we are looking at detail in the minutiae,” Tocker told Spy.
“As the weeks go by I want to be giving out nines and tens and I can tell I will be. It is a very real point system — with Gilda it was three mistakes: she was out of rhythm, she made a mistake with her toe heel lead and then showed it on her face. So, she was scored accordingly.”
Tocker was once a pupil of dancer Carol-Ann Hanna.
He left Wellington for fame overseas, winning plenty of awards internationally. He rejected a role on UK Strictly Come Dancing, to hold out for the US version of DWTS. On top of that, he writes and acts, appearing in two indie movies last year.
Tocker and fellow judge Rachel White are professional dance partners, great friends and co-own studio Just Dance in LA.
Among his celebrity mates are actor Hawn, dancing royalty Derek Hough and former Fresh Prince of Bel Air star Alfonso Ribeiro. He worked with Gosling on Oscar winner La La Land and choreographed pop star Ciara.
Yet he says returning to New Zealand for DWTS is a career highlight.
“Coming home and spreading my love of dance in New Zealand, it doesn’t get any better. The judges, the contestants, the excitement, one million viewers — by population standards that is many more times than the viewership in the States.”
When not working on the show, the 30-year-old spends time at Les Mills Britomart and at his favourite night time haunt, HeadQuarters at the Viaduct.
And he confirms to Spy he is currently single.
He has hooked up with fellow dancers in the past but is now looking outside that industry.
“You can’t not in the dancing world; the long hours in rehearsal, the intimacy of all the moves — trust me it is a given. I used to date dancers all the time, these days I have learned that a girlfriend in another field can give a lot more to a relationship.”