The week before Season 6’s finale shows, Mollee Gray and Legacy Perez received the fewest votes and had to leave the competition. On a press call the morning after their elimination, Mollee and Legacy opened up about their experience on SYTYCD.
Mollee Gray, an 18 year old jazz dancer from Orem, Utah, grew up participating in both dance and gymnastics. When she turned 15, the schedules began to conflict and she chose dance because she thought it would provide more of a career path for her. However, Mollee got her first big break when she was 13 years old as an ensemble member of High School Musical. “I was just a little teenager and I went into this audition and it just was supposed to be a little tiny film that no one was really going to know, but I was like, ‘Well, might as well start my career off early.’ And then I ended up booking a job and it ended up being a huge world phenomenon. So I was very, very lucky and very grateful to have got a jumpstart so early in my life for this career.” Mollee has appeared in all three HSM movies.
Throughout the few months that Mollee has been dancing on SYTYCD, she has grown and matured before our eyes. Mollee described the transformation saying, “I think when we got in the Top 10 and split our partnership, when I was able to do more mature movement with like the lyrical jazz and doing the jive, and having more mature partners such as Russell, I felt like I leaped forward a ton in the competition.”
Of all of the dances Mollee did on the show, her Viennese waltz (that she performed the night before her elimination) struck a chord with her. “My favorite dance that I think I’ve ever done in my entire life was the Viennese Waltz with Jacob because he was the most amazing partner I think I have ever worked with and his personality – he was so uplifting. And then the storyline was amazing. Jason’s choreography just worked out so well. It was just honestly a dream come true and it was the most magical experience I have ever been through.”
So You Think You Can Dance has been a great experience for Mollee, who learned during Vegas auditions that the show is more than just a dance competition. “Technique will get you far, but it won’t get you to that top spot. It also depends on your personality and what America thinks of you…I definitely learned a lot about myself and I’ve grown as a person and I learned a lot through this whole experience.”
What’s next for the young jazz dancer? Mollee hopes to act, sing, and dance. She’s been acting for 7 years, singing for 5 years, and dancing for 13 years. “I feel like I have the title of a triple threat because I’ve been training in dance, singing, and acting, so I hope that my future involves anything in the entertainment industry whether it be Broadway or movies – just anything I can be performing in.”
The Top 20 are a tight-knit group of dancers, and Mollee ended her phone conversation saying, “Everybody in the Top 20 are really my best friends, and everybody deserves to be in the finale. So I’m proud of everyone and make sure America votes because it really does count to all the dancers.”
Legacy Perez, the 28 year old b-boy originally from Miami, Florida, proved that b-boys can be emotional too. While on the show, Legacy found a new style of dance that moved him. “I love contemporary because it comes from the heart and it makes it so that the movement doesn’t have to be perfect, the ‘why you do it’ has to be perfect.” Of the many routines Legacy performed on SYTYCD, his favorite dances he did were both of his contemporary pieces. Legacy explained that the dances were less about technique and more about connecting with the story and the emotion behind the dancing. “It was more of the feeling – and what it made me feel when I danced – that made it more enjoyable than anything else.” He plans on taking his new found love and knowledge of contemporary dance with him. “I want to be able to incorporate contemporary in my breaking and choreograph something amazing that has not been seen by the world yet.”
On the other hand, the most difficult dance Legacy took on was the Viennese waltz. “It was so slow and melodic and beautiful, and it’s everything against what I normally would do. And I think the actual opportunity to take that obstacle and make it get amazing and make the dance feel like it’s supposed to be helped me out in my last solo.”
As a b-boy, has Legacy lost any “street cred” by putting himself out on the line and getting emotional in his dancing? Quite the contrary. Legacy told us that he’s gained respect in the b-boy world. He said that his fans “text me and they write to me on the internet saying to me, ‘Thank you so much, you’ve inspired me to take classes and become a better dancer.’ And to me that’s like the ultimate [praise] because b-boys usually [find it] very difficult to adapt, and the fact that people are actually wanting to do it because they see somebody opening that doorway is very exciting for me.”
Legacy said he was surprised he made it all the way to the Top 8. “Going into the competition I didn’t even think I would make Top 20,” Legacy admitted. “Everybody is technical and they’re able to pick up choreography with ease…What I had to bring to the table [was] dancing with my heart and my passion. And I was surprised that I made it this far and I’m glad that I made it this far because I was able to show people that it can be done and inspire people in their lives to do whatever it is that they want to put their mind to.”
What’s next for Legacy? “I want to pursue acting for sure…I want to choreograph and later on after that get into directing. I think my b-boy creativity has opened up my mind to making pieces that are going to be different and impacting.”
Lastly, Legacy “would love to say thank you everybody – whoever voted and whoever didn’t. But as long as they got a piece of something from all of our dances and as long as they were inspired in some way, I want to just thank them for watching and making it possible for all of us to still be here and have another successful season with the show.”
Congrats to Mollee and Legacy on making it to the week before the big finale! If you’d like to learn more about these two dancers or anyone else in the Top 20, visit the contestant profiles.