"So You Think You Can Dance" just kicked off Season 15 with a fabulous audition episode. Unfortunately, as always, some of the gifted dancers we just met won't make it to the live shows. In fact, so many talented artists have tried out for "SYT," it can be hard to remember standout auditionees from the past who didn't reach the Top 20. But many of them have gone on to have fantastic careers. Here are five amazing dancers who you probably don't remember auditioning for "SYTYCD."
The gorgeous Mallauri Esquibel made it to Vegas Week during Season 2 but was, shockingly, cut right before the Top 20. "I was 18 and I'd just moved to L.A.," she told us. "This made me question whether I was even supposed to be a dancer." Thankfully, she stuck with it—and went on to dance for Twyla Tharp and Taylor Swift (and appear on our cover!).
Newsies fans know Chaz Wolcott from his time on the musical's national tour as Buttons. Last year, once the tour was over (R.I.P.), he auditioned for "SYTYCD," hoping to join Gaby Diaz for a tap-tastic season. Unfortunately, he was cut before the live shows. But that didn't put a damper on his dancing: These days, you can find him teaching at NYC's Broadway Dance Center.
You probably know Jeremy Hudson from his time performing with Lady Gaga, films like Hannah Montana: The Movie and Step Up 3D, or the cover of Dance Spirit. But on "SYTYCD" Season 2, he was the last guy cut before the Top 20. He still values the show as a learning experience, though—and it turned out to be a launching pad for a great career.
Ryan Kasprzak and his brother Evan both auditioned for Season 5 of "SYTYCD." While Evan placed third on the show, Ryan was cut right before the Top 20. He went on to audition for Season 6—and, once again, got the boot. But since then, Ryan's had a dream career, acting as assistant choreographer on the cult TV hit "Smash" and recently making his Broadway debut in the musical Bandstand.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.