2011 So You Think You Can Dance Season 8 Top 20 revealed, Interviews (VIDEOS)

Fox Press release:

After thousands of auditions by some of the strongest dancers ever, the judges of So You Think You Can Dance tonight announced the 20 finalists who will compete to be named America’s Favorite Dancer.

This season’s Top 20 are Jordan Casanova, Alexander Fost, Tadd Gadduang, Marko Germar, Ricky Jaime, Wadi Jones, Mitchell Kelly, Chris Koehl, Caitlynn Lawson, Jess LeProtto, Iveta Lukosiute, Miranda Maleski, Sasha Mallory, Melanie Moore, Missy Morelli, Clarice Ordaz, Ryan Ramirez, Ashley Rich, Robert Taylor Jr. and Nick Young.



SYTYCD – Top 20 Contestant Photo Shoot Season 8!

So You Think You Can Dance | Myspace Video

On Wednesday, June 15 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the Top 20 dance for the judges and America on the season’s first two-hour live performance show. The Top 20 will be paired into 10 couples who will each work with a world-renowned choreographer to compose a dance routine representing their assigned genre. After each Wednesday performance show, the phone lines and online voting window will open and the fate of these 20 finalists – one of whom will be the named America’s Favorite Dancer – will be left up to the voting fans.

Then, on Thursday, June 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), America’s vote is revealed during the first live results show. The six contestants comprising the bottom three couples will be given a chance to perform solo routines in the hopes of convincing the judges to keep them in the competition. The judges will then decide which dancers stay and which two will be eliminated. Also that evening, catch British pop star Jessie J performing her latest single, “Who You Are,” from the So You Think You Can Dance stage.


From MTV’s The Seven:

From Hollywood junket:

Top 10 girls perform:

Top 10 guys perform:

Various Performances:



SYTYCD 8 Profile Spotlight: Jess LeProtto

Name: Jess LeProtto
Nickname: Jessman
Age: 18
Dance: Broadway
School: a senior at Passaic Valley Regional High School.
job/s: I sing at my local church and I’ve worked there for three years.

started dancing at age: 3

formal dance training: I danced at local dance studios for fifteen years. I was taught Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Musical Theater.

Wants to work with Choreographer/s: Tyce Diorio
SYTYCD dream partner: Lauren Froderman
SYTYCD dance inspiration: Evan Kasprzak

Jess LeProtto lives in his hometown of Little Falls, NJ. He is a senior at Passaic Valley High School. He has been dancing since he was 3 years old, and his specialty is Broadway.

SYTYCD 8 Profile Spotlight: Sasha Mallory

Name: Sasha Mallory
Age: 23
Dance: Contemporary

job/s: My job is dancing and teaching whenever and wherever I can.
other training/talents: Acting and speaking Gibberish.

started dancing at age: 5

formal dance training: Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop.

Wants to work with Choreographer/s: All of them.
SYTYCD dream partner: I can’t choose – I’d be honored to dance with any of them.
SYTYCD dance inspiration: Travis Wall

At age 5, Sasha Mallory began studying ballet technique at the Royal Academy of Dance. She trained at the Houston Ballet, the Boston Ballet and the Ailey School’s summer intensives. Her speciality is Contemporary, and she recently toured with pop star Adam Lambert.

SYTYCD 8 Profile Spotlight: Mitchell Kelly

Name: Mitchell Kelly
Nickname: MKelly
Age: 20
Dance: Contemporary

other training/talents: Acting and speaking Gibberish.

started dancing at age: 15

formal dance training: McClendon School of Dance, Tolbert Yilmez, Gotta Dance Atlanta.

Wants to work with Choreographer/s: Travis Wall, Tyce Diorio, tWtich Boss, Desmond Richardson.
SYTYCD dream partner: Lauren, Jamie Goodwin
SYTYCD dance inspiration: Danny Tidwell, Will

Mitchell Kelly attended Henry W. Grady High School. He began dancing at age 14, and has been dancing professionally for six years. His specialties are Contemporary and Jazz.

SYTYCD 8 Profile Spotlight: Tadd Gadduang

Name: Tadd Gadduang
Nickname: Taddpole
Age: 25
Dance: Hip Hop
School: I’m in my Sophomore year of college working toward my degree in Psychology.

other training/talents: I’ve been involved with the Filipino Martial Art of Kali since I was about 6 years old. Also, around the same time I started dancing, I decided to teach myself to play the piano simply because I was bored one weekend.

started dancing at age: about 15

formal dance training: trained for twelve years at Centre Stage School of Dance in Marietta, GA. Then furthered my training at Rhythm Dance Center in Marietta, GA.

Wants to work with Choreographer/s: Pretty much all of them!
SYTYCD dream partner: Again, all of them if possible! But it would be amazing to share the stage with Gev Manoukian from Season 4! He’s a good friend of mine and one person who really influenced me to start B-Boying.
SYTYCD dance inspiration: Yet again, all of them! Seeing all of these amazing dancers and people persevere and reach such heights is truly inspiring at the highest level.

Tadd Gadduang began dancing at age 15 as a hobby, but eventually realized his passion for it after graduating from high school. With no formal dance training, he considers what he does “urban dancing.” He is currently in his sophomore year of college studying psychology.

SYTYCD 8 Profile Spotlight: Missy Morelli

Name: Missy Morelli
Age: 20
Dance style: Jazz
School: Currently enrolled at Pasadena City College, but took a semester off.
other training/talents: I’m a really good cook!

started dancing at age: 3

formal dance training: danced at a dance studio from the ages of 3 to 18.
Wants to work with Choreographer/s: Wade Robson hopefully! I would die.
SYTYCD dream partner: I would love to do a sassy tango or something with Pasha.
SYTYCD dance inspiration: Lacey Schwimmer!

Missy Morelli has been living in Los Angeles for the past two years as a professional dancer. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old, and her dance specialty is Jazz.

SYTYCD 8 Profile Spotlight: Melanie Moore

Name: Melanie Moore
Nickname: Mel
Age: 19
Dance style: Contemporary
School: Fordham University as a freshman.

Previous job: used to work as a babysitter. For a year.
other training/talents: trained singer as well as a painter/artist.

started dancing at age: 2 1/2

formal dance training: trained for twelve years at Centre Stage School of Dance in Marietta, GA. Then furthered my training at Rhythm Dance Center in Marietta, GA.

Wants to work with Choreographer/s: Stacey Tookey or Mandy Moore
SYTYCD dream partner: Nick Lazzarini
SYTYCD dance inspiration: Travis Wall

Melanie Moore is a freshman at Fordham University in New York. She has been dancing since she was 2 years old, and her specialty is Contemporary.

SYTYCD 8 Profile Spotlight: Nick Young

Name: Nick Young
Nickname: Nick, but my baseball nickname is “Bird” because one time before a game I was dared to eat birdseed. I ate it all.
Age: 19
Dance style: Tap
School: I graduated from high school last year and decided to take a year off to work and audition for So You Think You Can Dance!

Previous job: teach and choreograph for my mom’s dance studio. I have been doing choreography since i was 16, but i started teaching just this past year.
other training/talents: played baseball, football, and soccer all the way through high school, I took gymnastics for a couple years to learn how to tumble and build up muscle, and I LOVE to sing harmonies while others are singing or the radio is playing.

started dancing at age: 4

formal dance training: trained in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz as a wee lad, and as I got older, I started getting into Lyrical and Contemporary as well as continuing my training in the former styles

Wants to work with Choreographer/s: Stacy Tookey or Tabitha and Napolean D’umo. Or Tyce Diorio. Or Travis Wall. Or Sonya Tayeh. Or Mandy Moore. Or Wade Robson…. I’m awful at this game…
SYTYCD dream partner: Definitely Allison Holker. The emotion behind her dancing is something you don’t see everyday, and would love to experience first hand. Whenever she steps on the stage, you cant help but to take your eyes off of her, from her entrance to her exit, and everything in between.

Nick Young graduated from high school in 2010. He has been dancing since age 4, and his favorite style of dance is Tap.