Tatum informed the movie's music supervisor, Frankie Pine, that he'd be dancing to Ginuwine's ''Pony'' in their first meeting. ''That was his song, he danced to that song all the time, and he's got to dance to that song in this movie,'' Pine, a Grammy nominee for Soderbergh's Traffic soundtrack, recalls him saying. ''So I just made it happen.''
The film's lead choreographer, Alison Faulk, knew from her time researching what female strip club patrons respond well to that it's guilty pleasure fantasy skits which is why you get the fireman, the doctor, the cowboy, the officer, etc. in the film. But that's not what Mike (Tatum) is about. ''We wanted to really showcase this guy's the s---, an R&B dope dancer, and this is why everyone loves him,'' says Faulk, currently co-supervising choreographer of Madonna's 2012 world tour. She's known Tatum for years through his wife, Jenna Dewan Tatum, with whom she danced on Janet Jackson's 2001 tour and was roommates for five years. ''When we showed Jenna that routine,'' Faulk says, ''she was like [screams].''
While Faulk and her team associate Teresa Espinosa and assistant Luke Broadlick choreographed the number, Tatum is responsible for what is arguably the movie's most memorable lap dance. That move where he lifts a woman (Espinosa) in her chair, drops the chair, and carries her to the stage? All him. ''Teresa has danced for every artist on the face of the planet, and she said she was more nervous for that moment on film than she's been for anything in her whole career because she knew she had no control,'' Faulk says, chuckling. Tatum said he'd surprise her. ''She just knew she was gonna lie there and he was gonna do gross horrible things to her.''
Choreographer Alison Faulk, costume designer Christopher Peterson, and music supervisor Frankie Pine reveal inside stories behind the movie's eye-opening dance numbers