Meet the Season 8 Top 20

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.

On Wednesday, June 15 at 8/7c, 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 at 8/7c, 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.

The SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Top 20 finalists are:

(Click on their names to read their Q&A)

Jordan Casanova

Dance Specialty: Jazz

Hometown: Chino Hills, CA

Currently Resides: Chino Hills, CA

Age: 18

Jordan Casanova lives in her hometown of Chino Hills, CA. She graduated from Ruben S. Ayala High School in 2010, and has been dancing since she was eight years old.

Alexander Fost

Dance Specialty: Contemporary

Hometown: Alhambra, CA

Currently Resides: Alhambra, CA

Age: 21

Alexander Fost was Mr. Dance USA in 2006 and also won the Mr. Dance International in 2007. A year later, he earned a spot with the Los Angeles Youth American Grand Prix, and went on to dance with the Media City Ballet, San Pedro Ballet and the Festival Ballet Theatre companies.

Tadd Gadduang

Dance Specialty: Hip Hop

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Currently Resides: Salt Lake City, UT

Age: 25

Tadd Gadduang began dancing at age 15 as a hobby, but eventually realized his passion for it after graduating from high school. He is currently in his sophomore year of college studying psychology.

Marko Germar

Dance Specialty: Jazz

Hometown: Dededo, Guam

Currently Resides: Canoga Park, CA

Age: 22

Originally from the South Pacific island of Guam, Marko Germar moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to pursue a career in dance. He has had nine years of studio training.

Ricky Jaime

Dance Specialty: Contemporary

Hometown: Miami, FL

Currently Resides: Tampa, FL

Age: 19

Ricky Jaime graduated from Newsome High School in Lithia, FL, in June 2010. He would like to be a member of a professional ballet company in California, New York or Europe.

Wadi Jones

Dance Specialty: Breaking

Hometown: Ossining, NY

Currently Resides: Ossining, NY

Age: 24

Wadi Jones was born in St. Ann’s, Jamaica, and moved to the U.S. in 1988 at age three. He is passionate about art, poetry and music, and he is inspired by his older brother.

Mitchell Kelly

Dance Specialty: Contemporary

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Currently Resides: Atlanta, GA

Age: 20

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

Chris Koehl

Dance Specialty: Hip Hop

Hometown: Garland, TX

Currently Resides: Garland, TX

Age: 21

Chris Koehl began teaching himself Hip Hop at 14 years old. Over the past few years, he has divided his time between training at local studios, in college classes and teaching dance.

Caitlynn Lawson

Dance Specialty: Contemporary

Hometown: Moses Lake, WA

Currently Resides: Moses Lake, WA

Age: 18

Caitlynn Lawson will earn both her diploma from Moses Lake High School and her associates’ degree from Big Bend Community College this June. She has been dancing since she was three years old.

Jess LeProtto

Dance Specialty: Broadway

Hometown: Little Falls, NJ

Currently Resides: Little Falls, NJ

Age: 18

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

Iveta Lukosiute

Dance Specialty: Ballroom

Hometown: Klaipeda, Lithuania

Currently Resides: New York, NY

Age: 30

A native of Eastern Europe, Iveta Lukosiute moved to the U.S. in 1997. She has been dancing since she was six years old.

Miranda Maleski

Dance Specialty: Contemporary

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Currently Resides: North Hollywood, CA

Age: 19

Miranda Maleski moved from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, to Los Angeles at just 18 years old. She has been dancing since age three, and her dance specialty has evolved over the years.

Sasha Mallory

Dance Specialty: Contemporary

Hometown: Bakersfield, CA

Currently Resides: Bakersfield, CA

Age: 23

At age five, 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. She recently toured with Adam Lambert.

Melanie Moore

Dance Specialty: Contemporary

Hometown: Marietta, GA

Currently Resides: New York, NY

Age: 19

Melanie Moore is a freshman at Fordham University in New York. She has been dancing since she was two years old.

Missy Morelli

Dance Specialty: Jazz

Hometown: Arvada, CO

Currently Resides: Studio City, CA

Age: 20

Missy Morelli has been living in Los Angeles for the past two years as a professional dancer. She has been dancing since she was three years old.

Clarice Ordaz

Dance Specialty: Jazz

Hometown: Whittier, CA

Currently Resides: Whittier, CA

Age: 19

Clarice Ordaz is a student at California State University, Long Beach. She has trained in many styles of dance since age two.

Ryan Ramirez

Dance Specialty: Contemporary

Hometown: Morgan Hill, CA

Currently Resides: North Hollywood, CA

Age: 19

Ryan Ramirez is pursuing her dream of becoming a well-known dancer and choreographer. She has been dancing since she was four years old and choreographing since age 11. She considers dance her language, and is the happiest and most free while performing.

Ashley Rich

Dance Specialty: Contemporary

Hometown: Antioch, CA

Currently Resides: Emeryville, CA

Age: 22

Ashley Rich trained at a local dance studio from age three to 18. For the past two years, she has been employed as a dance teacher in her hometown. She is a talented cook who also enjoys baking.

Robert Taylor Jr.

Dance Specialty: Hip Hop

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Currently Resides: New York, NY

Age: 31

Robert Taylor Jr. graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a bachelor’s degree in dance. His credits include television shows, music videos and the national tour of “Hairspray.” Taylor is honored to have once performed for Michael Jackson. He has trained with numerous professionals and has performed in some of the country’s most prestigious dance shows.

Nick Young

Dance Specialty: Tap

Hometown: Franklin, WI

Currently Resides: Franklin, WI

Age: 19

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

Keep up with the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Top 20 at:

FINALIST TWITTER FACEBOOK
Jordan Casanova @D8Jordan facebook.com/D8Jordan
Alexander Fost @D8Alexander facebook.com/D8Alexander
Tadd Gadduang @D8Tadd facebook.com/D8Tadd
Marko Germar @D8Marko facebook.com/D8Marko
Ricky Jaime @D8Ricky facebook.com/D8Ricky
Wadi Jones @D8Wadi facebook.com/D8Wadi
Mitchell Kelly @D8Mitchell facebook.com/D8Mitchell
Chris Koehl @D8ChrisK facebook.com/D8ChrisK
Caitlynn Lawson @D8Caitlynn facebook.com/D8Caitlynn
Jess LeProtto @D8Jess facebook.com/D8Jess
Iveta Lukosiute @D8Iveta facebook.com/D8Iveta
Miranda Maleski @D8Miranda facebook.com/D8Miranda
Sasha Mallory @D8Sasha facebook.com/D8Sasha
Melanie Moore @D8Melanie facebook.com/D8Melanie
Missy Morelli @D8Missy facebook.com/D8Missy
Clarice Ordaz @D8Clarice facebook.com/D8Clarice
Ryan Ramirez @D8Ryan facebook.com/D8Ryan
Ashley Rich @D8Ashley facebook.com/D8Ashley
Robert Taylor Jr. @D8Robert facebook.com/D8Robert
Nick Young @D8Nick facebook.com/D8Nick

Also be sure to follow SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE host Cat Deeley (@catdeeley) and judges Mary Murphy (@hottamaletrain) and Nigel Lythgoe (@dizzyfeet) on Twitter.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE was created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and comes from 19 Entertainment Ltd. and dick clark productions. The series is executive-produced by Simon Fuller, Nigel Lythgoe and Barry Adelman. Become a fan of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/soyouthinkyoucandance and follow the series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/danceonfox.

Comments

59 comments on “Meet the Season 8 Top 20“

  1. vista - wrote:

    I always thought that dancing for your life proved that you want to be there. And dancing as if your life depended on it was key to moving on.

    This year dancing for your life is just a catch phrase. I think the judges already have thier mind made up to who they want to keep. I am so dissappointed. I know that I am venting right now, but I want the judges to go back to when you didn’t dance for your life you got sent home; regardless if you were good on all your performances or not.

    7/9/2011 8:21 AM UTC

  2. dee - wrote:

    i’d enjoy the show more if they would hold the freakin cameras still. you miss stuff by them trying to be creative with the cameras. very frustrating.

    7/14/2011 4:52 PM UTC

  3. Scott - wrote:

    July 14- is the red haired back up dance to Nicole, the same person from Broadway doing American Idiot?

    7/14/2011 4:54 PM UTC

  4. JOHN KELLY - wrote:

    HI MITCHELL KELLY THIS YOUR UNCLE WE ARE PROUD OF U AND KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK SAD WE HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN 18 YEARS

    7/14/2011 6:11 PM UTC

  5. Maggie - wrote:

    Please bring back Benji Schimmer as one of the All Stars.

    7/15/2011 4:09 AM UTC

  6. Doris Crawford - wrote:

    I do not understand why Ryan had to go home before the top 10. I voted for her like 100 times! I wanted her to stay. She is my favorite! I was bumbed when she didn’t make it last year and now I am double bumbed that she is off the show. Also I’d like to know what happened to Kate. I want her to be an allstar. She did one show last year when someone got hurt I believe but haven’t seen or heard of her since.

    7/15/2011 10:59 AM UTC

  7. Shelby - wrote:

    Sasha is amazing! I am praying that she wins and don’t know what i’ll do if she doesn’t! Please vote for her!

    7/19/2011 4:46 PM UTC

  8. sarah - wrote:

    I LOVE CAITLYNN
    i really wanted her to win

    8/12/2011 10:15 AM UTC

  9. Mabel - wrote:

    I got the strong impression that the winner was already decided. This was based on constant comments made by the judges about Melanie. Sasha was off the chain. She, like Sasha did not fair well on one dance. America got it wrong!

    8/14/2011 4:01 PM UTC

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