Communication student Kalan Hauser wows ‘The Tonight Show’ audience with acrobatic mathematics


Photo courtesy of Kalan Hauser

Hauser appeared on the show in October.

Kara Peeler, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Kalan Hauser flew alone last month from his study abroad classes in Madrid all the way to New York City — to appear on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” 

The Communication junior, who dances for Refresh Dance Crew and Fusion Dance Co. on campus, was selected to appear on the late night show’s talent segment, “Show Me Something Good” on Oct. 10. Hauser walked in a handstand while reciting digits of the mathematical constant pi, while Jimmy Fallon and the roaring audience reacted with glee. 

The Daily talked with Hauser about his filming experience and what’s next for him. 

This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

The Daily: How were you selected to appear on the show? 

Hauser: It’s a really weird story. I posted a TikTok for Pi Day of me doing a walking handstand and then reciting digits of pi. It got around 2,000 views, (and) it hit the For You page for some people. That was that, until two weeks after, I get a comment under one of my Instagram posts by one of the recruiters or assistant production directors. They said that they sent a DM to me in my inbox for a great opportunity of some sort. And I was like, “This seems interesting, but also a little sketch.” So I went to go see what it was about, and they said that they saw my TikTok video and that they would really love for me to come onto the show and do the talent I showcased on TikTok. It was insane.

The Daily: What was the timeline leading up to the show? 

Hauser: It was so fast. They initially reached out to me, but they didn’t end up doing the segment the first time. But then they said, “Oh, like we decided not to do it. But we will let you know if we decide to do the segment again.” So I was like, they probably won’t reach out again. But then they ended up reaching out to me around this time, and they said, “Oh, we’re thinking of bringing it back, would you be able to come out for that?” And I was like, “Well, I’m in Madrid at this moment in time,” so I asked them if they would still be able to compensate me and everything, and they said yes. It was all done in a week process from when they reached out to me the second time to when I was actually there.  

The Daily: How were you feeling? 

Hauser: I was really nervous, waking up in the hotel room bed because I had a long flight from Spain that I didn’t sleep on at all. I was just like, “Wow, I’m gonna be on TV today. This is a little scary.”  But then I kind of got into the motions of everything — I’m used to performing, but to me, I had to pretend this was fake, like I had to think this is just a normal day. And even when I was on the stage, like I was talking to Jimmy directly: “This is just a normal conversation. The cameras are not on me.” 

The Daily: What was your reaction to appearing in a talent show but not for dance? 

Hauser: It’s not really what I’m used to. I was an ex-gymnast — growing up, I did gymnastics. But once I went to college, I transitioned over to dance. I think that was a reason I was a bit nervous, leading into like the actual live portion of it. Because I was like, I haven’t done this in a while, I’m a little out of practice. I don’t want to mess up. 

The Daily: How do you see yourself moving forward with entertainment? 

Hauser: I love being around people who love to do something as similar as I like to do. (Refresh and Fusion dancers) love the art form of dance, they love to express themselves, they love to grow and see progress. I’m just so excited to just continue my dance journey at Northwestern. 

I love entertainment, I love to entertain. I’d like to perform, but I also like to see what goes on behind the scenes. I love to see people happy and enjoy like them enjoying forms of entertainment and me being a part of that process. So (appearing on the show) was just one of those things that opened my eyes a little more in terms of, this is kind of the path I want to go on, involving myself with entertainment. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @karapeeler

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