So You Think You Can Dance is at it again searching across the nation to find America’s Favorite Dancer and kicked off their search in the town that knows how to party – New Orleans. Former dancers and SYTYCD judges, Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, were joined by guest stars, Wayne Brady and Jenna Elfman.
Here are the first dancers of Season 11 to get their tickets to Los Angeles:
The first to audition set the bar high in the bayou. Shelby Rase, 18, from Covington, LA got the first ticket to the second round of auditions.
Tanisha Belnap, 19, the sexy ballroom dancer from Payson, UT was the second to audition. After she basically did a back flip in heals, there’s no way the judges couldn’t give her a ticket to move on.
Next was Megan Marcano, 22, from Houston, TX. Marcano had an inspiring story to share after being on her own since age twelve when she was split from her siblings and moved from home to home. Despite the challenges, she was able to graduate high school, get a scholarship to attend college and is now supporting herself by working full-time. Marcano moved across the stage with ease and wowed the judges.
Trevor Bryce, 18, from Orlando, FL is a technical dancer that resembles last season’s winner, Flik-shun, but with a twist of ballet. Nigel called it “One of the greatest solo performances [he’s] see on So You Think You Can Dance.”
Novien Yarber, 22, from Huntsville, AL returned after not making it last season and was able to turn his luck around.
Ballroom dancer, Marquet Hill, 18, from South Jorden, UT returned with a new dance partner, Brooklyn Fullmer, 18, from Provo, UT. Nigel was blown away by their routine and Mary put them on the “hot tamale” train.
Caleb Brauner, 21, from Blue Springs, MO was back again after not making it last season, this time with more to dance for. During Brauner’s auditions last year, his father went on stage to dance with him and it meant to world to Brauner, especially after his father passed months later. He performed a light-hearted routine that got him to the choreography round, but his execution wasn’t strong enough to get him a ticket.
Some were able to past the choreography round then the judges headed up North to Chicago.
Nick Garcia, 18, the Latin ballroom dancer from Miami, FL took a risk by doing a solo routine but was still able to get a ticket. Following Garcia was his childhood friend, Rudy Abreli, 18, from Miami, FL who got himself a ticket and the nickname “Dance Warrior” from Mary Murphy.
After falling apart during the New Orleans choreography round, Caleb Brauner hit the windy city to audition a second time. This time he took his quirky style and turned it into something more serious. Brauner’s performance brought nearly everyone to tears and, after completing the choreography round, finally got a ticket.
Justin Bieber and his choreographer, Nick DeMoura, introduced a new Dance Crew element to the show. Bieber presented viewers with two of the best dance groups from across the country and fans can now start voting for their favorite dance crew.