Movies & TV Shows

Umbrella Academy’s Diego Actor Learned To Dance Over Zoom For Season 3

David Castañeda breaks down the dance-off from The Umbrella Academy season 3, discussing the rehearsal process during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Umbrella Academy‘s David Castañeda reveals that he learned to dance over Zoom for season 3. The Netflix series, based on Gerald Way’s popular comics of the same name, premiered back in 2019 and follows the Hargreeves, a dysfunctional family of adopted siblings, all of whom possess superpowers, as they deal with time travel and the secrets of their father’s mysterious past in an attempt to save the world from a global apocalypse. In addition to Castañeda, who plays Diego/Number 2, the show stars Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, Robert Sheehan, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Justin H. Min, Ritu Arya, and Aidan Gallagher.


The Umbrella Academy season 3 was announced in November of 2020, but like many other productions at the time, the show became affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and was not released until June 22, 2022. Upon its return, audiences were treated to a surprising, albeit entertaining, “Footloose” dance-off in episode 1 between the Hargreeves and the newly introduced members of the Sparrow Academy, formed in an altered timeline where Sir Reginald chose to adopt six other superpowered children instead. Showrunner, Steve Blackman, previously discussed the number, a result of Diego being hit by Jayme’s (the Sparrow’s Number 6) hallucinogenic spit, and shared that through quarantine, the cast practiced with a choreographer to accomplish the “big bang” of an opening.

Related: The Umbrella Academy Season 3 Ending Explained (In Detail)

In a recent interview with TV Insider, David Castañeda also described the process of shooting the dance sequence in season 3. The actor talked about having to rehearse over Zoom and watch tutorials on how to perform certain moves, and noted how fun it was to finally practice in-person. He also discussed the difficulties of being on set for the scene with COVID protocols in place and how that affected filming. Read Castañeda’s quote regarding the dance-off below:

The dancing was quite exciting and nerve-wracking, especially because I’d never done anything professional in terms of choreo and work with a dance choreographer, John Heginbotham. But having to do Zoom rehearsals and learn video tutorials of how to make the moves and obviously watching Footloose and understanding the rhythm and then going and actually doing in-person rehearsals was fun. And once we got on set, the dancing was supposed to be delayed for about another six weeks, I believe, because of COVID protocols and the providence of Ontario didn’t allow, I think, more than 10 performers. Because obviously the Sparrows and Umbrellas together, we were somewhere around 13 — 14, if you include Mom, Grace [Jordan Claire Robbins].

Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison Hargreeves, Elliot Page as Vanya/Viktor Hargreeves, Tom Hopper as Luther Hargreeves, Aidan Gallagher as Number Five, David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves, Robert Sheehan as Klaus Hargreeves in The Umbrella Academy Season 3

Much of the filming of The Umbrella Academy season 3 seemed to have been impacted by the pandemic and COVID protocols. Adding to the already extended hiatus following its second season, the show’s shooting schedule had to comply with the procedures put in place, resulting in shorter days on set. Star, Tom Hopper, spoke about the length of filming last year, revealing that they were far from completion at the time, but mentioned, like Castañeda, that every moment on set was fun.

Steve Blackman and those involved with the series certainly know how to maintain that sense of enjoyment, one reason why fans have come to love the show and its cast of characters so much. Diego and his journey through three seasons has been another source of interest for audiences, and so his hallucination being a “Footloose” dance battle has made him all the more amusing. With the new episodes out now, fans can catch up on all of the fun and look forward to more of The Umbrella Academy with a possible season 4 in sight.

More: Everything We Know About The Umbrella Academy Season 4

Source: TV Insider

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