“So You Think You Can Dance” recently announced the dancers who claimed a spot in the Top 20 for season 12. Press Pass LA had the opportunity to catch up with this year’s selection of dancers!
“This is my third time auditioning and I was almost tempted not to come back because of the long grueling audition,” said contestant Hailee Payne. “This has been my dream since season one. So, I was just like ‘you know what, give it one more go.’” With a focus in jazz dance, Payne is a part of Team Stage for season 12.
One unique aspect of this season is the dancers are divided into two different teams—being Street and Stage. Each stage dancer will be paired up with a street dancer to compete for the title of ‘America’s Favorite Dancer’.
SYTYCD alumni Twitch leads the Street team and alumni Travis Wall will lead the Stage Team. Since their time competing, both coaches have been successful within several projects.
The divide into two teams allows the opportunity for more street-focused dancers to make the show, including Liliana Frias. Frias has trained in the style known as ‘waacking’. “I learned [it] through a dancer in LA,” said Frias. “Waacking is like a movie. That’s what I think about when I do waacking because it’s like, scene—it starts and I’m dancing.”
Frias isn’t the only contestant adding a twist to the street genres. Asaf Goren—who will replace injured contestant Alain “Hurrikane” Lauture—refers to his style as ‘Hebrew Breaking’. “I use a lot of my culture—which means I use lot biblical signs and the Hebrew alphabet a part of my dance,” said Goren. “I want to change the world with my art.”
Are you excited about this year’s Top 20? Make sure to catch these talented dancers Monday nights on Fox!
Here are your Top 20 Dancers of Season 12: Alexia Meyer, Ariana Crowder, Burim “B1” Jusufi, Darion Flores, Derek Piquette, Eddie Eskridge, Edson Juarez, Gaby Diaz, Hailee Payn,e Jana “Ya Ya” Vankova, Jessica Rabone, Jim Nowakowski, Kate Harpootlian, Liliana Frias, Marissa Milele, Megan “Megz” Alfonso, Moises (Moses) Parra, Virgil Gadson, Yorelis Apolinario, and Asaf Goren.
The judges for this season are Paula Abdul, Jason Derulo, and returning judge Nigel Lythgoe.