Nigel Lythgoe’s new dance reality series, “A Chance to Dance,” follows the British BalletBoyz Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt on their journey to create a contemporary company in America. On tonight’s finale, we’ll find out which dancers will join the Season 9 “So You Think You Can Dance” contestants on tour. We talked with Joni Tuttle, a ballet and contemporary dancer, about how she secured her spot on “A Chance to Dance” and what it was like working with the BalletBoyz.
Dance Spirit: Where did you train growing up?
Joni Tuttle: The Jacqueline Colledge School of Classical Ballet in Utah. I also took jazz, modern and contemporary. Right out of high school I joined Utah Regional Ballet, and danced with them for six seasons before moving to Portland, OR to join Northwest Dance Project. I had just moved back to Utah and was figuring out my next step when I heard about the “Chance to Dance” audition.
DS: The Ballet Boyz only had 28 days to put together the company. How did the time crunch affect the process?
JT: It definitely made it more intense, especially at the beginning: They did almost all of the cuts within the first five days. It’s hard to put a show together that quickly, but because we were so engrossed in the process, the muscle memory came quicker and easier.
DS: What was your favorite part of being on the show?
JT: The finale performance. I love performing more than anything and the movement we were given was very much what I love to do. It was an honor to dance the duet at the end of the show. Plus, being at the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet theater was amazing–it’s such a beautiful space.
DS: What do Michael and Billy expect technically from their dancers?
JT: They’re from The Royal Ballet, so they’re classically trained (they’re the most beautiful male dancers I’ve ever seen!). They expect a high level of ballet technique and dancers who can really move.
DS: What are your dance dreams?
JT: To have as many different experiences I can. Each one shapes me as a dancer.