Season 5 finalist Janette Manrara has been touring around the country with the Dance finalists for the past couple months. We caught up with Janette at the Los Angeles stop of the So You Think You Can Dance Tour 2009.
When the tour is over, Janette will miss the fans the most. “They are so nice to us. They wait outside for two hours to greet us. It will be tough not to see that anymore. I will also miss being on stage in front of everyone.”
We talked to Janette just days before her 26th birthday. She said she’s big on surprises and mentioned that Jason Glover is going to plan something for all the dancers to do to celebrate Janette on their day off.
Janette had to sit out a show because she has been sick. She has had bronchitis and a bad cough. Since she is sleeping on a tour bus every night and up late at meet and greets, she’s not getting the rest she needs to make a full recovery. Janette dances several numbers with Brandon Bryant throughout the evening, so she is constantly encouraging him to drink orange juice and take vitamins and Echinacea to remain healthy.
One of the dances that Janette performs with Brandon is the fastest disco in So You Think You Can Dance history. Janette said she was scared when she learned that she would have to recreate that dance 40 times on tour. “It’s by far one of the hardest and fastest dances and the lifts are crazy,” Janette said. The disco is one of the first performances of the night and Janette mentioned that her stamina has increased and she is not as tired after completing the routine now.
During Janette’s Season 5 elimination press call she mentioned that she wanted to dance the Argentine Tango on tour, but we noticed it was omitted from the tour. Janette revealed that “the tango was in the very first show but the producers took it out because the intimacy of the dance didn’t translate in an arena setting. Brandon and I are connected the entire dance and it wasn’t reading big enough. We were bummed that it was taken out, but the show was three hours with the tango so that and three other routines had to be taken out. We did get to perform it in our hometown of Miami though.”
While on So You Think You Can Dance, Janette proved to be good at any style thrown at her on the show. As a result, she’s thought about venturing down another genre of dance in addition to Latin ballroom. “I really like jazz and jazzy contemporary work like the stuff that Sonya Tayeh or Brian Friedman choreograph. It’s upbeat and it might be something I’d like to try and get into.”
When the Season 5 finalists were in L.A. for the tour, they had the opportunity to attend the Season 6 Top 16 performance show taping. Janette went to dinner with the dancers and got to know them. She gave them the following advice: “Literally breathe and take it one day at a time. Don’t play the guessing game or mind games. Try to relax.”
What’s next for the Miami firecracker? “I signed a lease to move to L.A. at the end of November. I will also perform in the Dizzy Feet Foundation show. I have plans to teach at many different studios. I’m signing with an agency and I’m really happy. I want to do lots of TV and film. No more sitting behind the desk at the bank for me!”
Stay tuned for our next interview with runner-up Brandon Bryant.