"SYTYCD" hopefuls at The Academy (Adam Rose/FOX)

5 People You Didn't Know Auditioned for "SYTYCD"

"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."


Mallauri Esquibel

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!).

Chaz Wolcott

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.

Sophia Lucia

We were truly shocked (and still are, tbh) that "Dance Moms" alum and pirouette world record-holder Sophia Lucia didn't make it all the way on Season 13 of "SYTYCD." But her career has continued to skyrocket since her appearance on the show, thanks in no small part to her huge fan base.

Jeremy Hudson

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

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.

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Photo by Brooke Fera

Enter the World of the Knicks City Dancers with 2 of Their Newest Rookies

Auditions rarely fail to deliver on suspense. But this? This was the nail-biter to end all nail-biters. Hayoung Roh and Chelsea McCloskey, both professional dancers based in NYC, had made it through what felt like endless rounds of cuts, both on Zoom and in person. Out of the nearly 500 dancers (from 30 states and nine countries) who'd answered the Knicks City Dancers' open call for video submissions, just 20 remained—McCloskey and Roh among them. "We were separated into six holding rooms, where we kept trying to figure out the math," Roh recalls. "How many girls are there in total? Who was called back?"

Finally, the women returned to the audition room to dance one last time—or so they were told. Instead, KCD head coach Alyssa Quezada dropped her bombshell: All 20 women had made the final cut. They would be 2021–22 Knicks City Dancers: the latest and greatest edition of one of the most prestigious NBA dance teams. "It was the biggest celebration and the coolest moment of my dance career so far," says McCloskey now. And that was just the oh-so-perfectly-dramatic beginning.

Chelsea McCloskey stands on her left leg while kicking her right leg up with her arms crossed, a smile on her face. She is auditioning for KCD. Chelsea McCloskey Photo by Tess Mayer


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