Hundreds of young hopefuls were pointing, bending and stretching as they waited for a chance to become Canada’s next best dancer at the “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” auditions at the Winspear Centre yesterday.

One of those in the crowd was Laurie Alston, a local dance teacher trained in ballet and contemporary dance. At the age of 30, this is Alston’s last year of eligibility for the show.

“It really is my last chance,” she said. “I’m doing this for me because it’s my turn.”

Edmonton was the second stop for auditions in a cross-Canada search for talented dancers to be a part of the hit television show. Auditions were held in Vancouver last week and over the next month, there will be stops in Saint John, N.B., Toronto and Montreal.

After preliminary judging rounds in each of the five audition cities, finalists will head to Toronto for weekly challenges in a variety of dance styles. Each week, Canadian viewers will phone in to vote for their favourite dancer.

Last season, Montreal’s Nico Archambault was awarded $100,000 and named Canada’s Favourite Dancer out of the 2,500 dancers who auditioned. Jean Marc Genereux, one of the show’s judges, said he expects even more talent from dancers this season than last.

“Every year we raise the bar,” Genereux said. “This year, we want to be amazed by Edmonton. We know we’ll find talent in cities like Toronto and Montreal because they have large numbers, but we want to find big talent in places like Edmonton and Saint John, too.”

Alston plans to bring everything she’s got to the audition. Her dream is to make it to the finals in Toronto.

“All I can do is do my best,” Alston said. “I just really love to dance.”

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