Jason Glover and Janette Manrara had a great run on So You Think You Can Dance, making it all the way to the Top 8 dancers. The day after Jason and Janette were eliminated on the one hundredth episode of Dance, they opened up about their time on the show, the tour, and what the future may hold for them.
Jason Glover, a Contemporary/Lyrical dancer from Fresno, California, won over America and the judges with his strong solos and “puppy dog” face. He may have found himself in the bottom several times, but Nigel said Jason had the best solo in all five seasons of the show!
On Jason’s Dance profile page, he mentions that Michael Jackson is a huge inspiration to him as a dancer. When Jason was a kid, before he started dancing in a studio, his mom would play Michael Jackson tapes and he would mimic his movement. Just minutes before taking the stage during a live results show, Jason got the news that Michael had passed. “I think I kind of shut down the rest of the day because for me, that was my idol, that was my inspiration, that was the reason why I started dancing.”
The very first week of the competition, Jason and his partner Caitlin drew a Bollywood routine that made a strong impression on the judges and America. When asked if that put him at an advantage or disadvantage, Jason said, “I think it was nice to start off the competition with that right out of the gates with Caitlin. I think we performed it very well but on the other hand, had that come at a later stage, I think that it would have given people a chance to see a different side of us.” However, Jason has no regrets- “I don’t think I could have done any better…Overall, it’s been a great experience and I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Although not sure where the future will take him, Jason would love the opportunity to choreograph and perhaps be a choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance. “Just as long as I’m dancing, that’s the only thing that’s important to me,” Jason said.
Jason was emotional during his Top 8 exit. He said he was prepared to go home, but watching the clips package of his journey, paired with an emotional song, brought on the waterworks. Ever the optimist, Jason said that he and Janette discussed that the 100th episode was the time to depart the show if ever because “it wasn’t a goodbye, it was a celebration.”
Janette Manrara, a bubbly Salsa dancer from Miami, Florida, tackled every style of dance with a lot of personality. As a result, she won over the judges, and Mia Michaels and Nigel Lythgoe admitted that she was their favorite dancer.
In order to compete on So You Think You Can Dance, Janette left her bank job in the corporate world. “It was a major risk that I took but I think it was a risk worth taking. It’s just such a different life. It just feels more like home to be on stage dancing and getting ready and makeup and hair and all that than sitting behind a desk and filling out paperwork for other people. I just feel better.” Janette plans on pursuing dance as her career now. “My heart is in performing,” she stated.
Although Janette made every style look easy when she performed it, she mentioned that she struggled to learn a few styles including jazz and tango. With a lot of practice and help from her partner Brandon, she was able to carry off the routines on stage. Janette is hoping that her Cha Cha and Tango with Brandon make the tour. She would pick the Cha Cha because it was fun and uplifting, and the tango because she and Brandon were stoked to receive a standing ovation for that number. Nigel called their tango “the closest thing to perfection” that he’s ever seen on the SYTYCD stage!
When asked if being told she was the judges’ favorite as she was sent packing was a hard thing to hear or a nice thing to hear, Janette said it made it easier to leave knowing she had the support of the judges. She feels a great sense of accomplishment to be a Salsa dancer who won over a Contemporary choreographer.
As a huge Ellen DeGeneres fan, Janette “jumped for joy” when she found out Ellen would be on the show. When Janette proclaimed her admiration to Ellen, the Emmy winning talk show host said she was a fan of Janette. “It was amazing!” Janette exclaimed.
Despite being eliminated, Janette is leaving with her head held high. “I still accomplished something great and I still reached a goal that I think a lot of other dancers would love to, and might still, reach. It’s bittersweet.”