The resident queen of scream on So You Think You Can Dance has some no-nonsense advice for those planning to audition for her TV show in Toronto this weekend.

“If you love the show and think you can bust a move, then by all means, show up. You never know till you try,” says Mary Murphy, who splits her time between a guest stint on SYTYCD Canada and a full-time gig as a judge on the original American version.

“But it’s a long day,”?she warns. “So stay hydrated. Bring lots of healthy snacks. And stay warm. I’ve seen too many dancers who waited in line all day, got up in front of us and had a terrible cramp.”

Murphy, a veteran dancer and choreographer, has lately seen her fame increase exponentially.
A show standout for her screaming comments and odd catch phrases (such as putting good contestants on “the hot tamale train”), she recently appeared in US Weekly and on Larry King Live, talking about a troubled past marriage. She’s also featured in a new Coca Cola ad now playing in movie theatres.

“I’m in a new stratosphere now,” says Murphy, who also finds time to appear on SYTYCD spinoffs in countries like Australia and Norway.

“But if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t be doing what I do,”?she adds.

She says fans on the street tend to mimic her scream or offer their own hot tamale train versions, complete with arm movements and sound effects.

“I think I disappoint people and journalists I meet because I won’t put them on the hot tamale train,”?she says.

“I want to keep it special. I don’t say it easily. You have to earn it.”

Murphy sees little difference between dancers who audition in Canada and those in the U.S.

“The talent is still there. But I was surprised at the number of hip hop and b-boys in Canada. And there does seem to be a lot of great ballroom dancers from Montreal, which also surprised me,” she adds.

Get your shoes on
Auditions for the third season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada begin Saturday in Toronto. If you think you’ve got what it takes to get on the hot tamale train, visit for details.

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