The morning after Ashley Rich and Chris Koehl were eliminated from Season 8 of So You Think You Can Dance, they hopped on a press call to talk about their time on the show and their plans for the future.
After getting mixed reviews of their Wednesday night Salsa, did they expect to go home?
Chris said, “I definitely didn’t see it coming but I think we both gave amazing solos and worked hard in every routine. Someone had to go and it happened to be me. Both Ashley and Chris talked about how they’ve come along way and put their all into each dance and their solos.
The couple’s most memorable dance was their Broadway routine behind bars. Ashley commented that they were one of the “cutesy” couples, so it was fun to play out the mature dance. Even though the Salsa sent them home, Ashley loved the Salsa. “I thought of it as another challenge and was lucky to be given it,” she explained. Hip Hop dancer Chris did all he could to prepare for genres outside his style. “I went out and tried to get as much training in every style I could. I crammed with Ballroom teachers,” he shared.
If you’re interested in auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance in the future, Ashley and Chris offered up this advice. “I auditioned three times and had to find what I needed to have to make the show. I needed confidence, not only in my dancing but in the other person. You’ve got to believe in yourself,” Chris told us. Meanwhile, Ashley’s advice is to “Never give up and always put your best foot forward. Stay true to yourself. The good thing about dance is that you don’t have to be like everyone else; you can bring your own special thing to it.”
After months of auditions and four weeks of competing on the show, Chris said, “The greatest thing I learned is how much more I have to offer. I didn’t realize how much I could put out. The show brought a new challenge that was so foreign to my body. I don’t think I knew that I had it in me.” Ashley is thankful for the experience and said, “I have just grown as a dancer in every way. I have a lot more confidence, and I’m not nervous to try anything new. I feel like I can tackle any style of dance now.”
SYTYCD has inspired both dancers to explore more genres outside their style. “I can’t wait to move forward,” Chris shared. “Contemporary is something I want to expose myself to more. Each Contemporary performance on the show made me feel something and made me cry. I’d also love to work with Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo and Travis Wall.” Ashley hopes to delve more into Ballroom. “I’m not going to change my style, but I would like to learn more about Salsa because I had a blast doing it.”
At the end of Thursday’s results show there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Ashley explains, “We’ve been with each other 24/7. We all love each other and we’ll probably be best friends for life. When you’re plunged into this situation you kind of have to become best friends. It’s been an amazing experience seeing all these dancers improve every week and being around these great choreographers is such a blessing.” Chris added, “When you’re in a competition like this, there’s so much stress and everybody does everything to lift each other up. It was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had. Even the people that left week one I feel like I’ve known for years.”
We wish Ashley and Chris the best of luck. Next week, the Top 12 perform in a pivotal week to see who gets a coveted spot in the Top 10.