The morning after the first eliminations of Season 9, Daniel Baker, Nick Bloxsom-Carter, and Janaya French hopped on a call with press to talk about their experiences on the show and their plans for the future.
Here are some of my takeaways from the call:
Will Daniel go back to the ballet?
He said he didn’t quit the ballet company for the show; he left to explore the commercial dance world. The Australia native hopes to further explore the commercial dancer world before returning to the ballet world. He also revealed that it was his friend – Season 7’s Alex Wong – that encouraged him to audition for Season 9.
Who was Nick’s favorite choreographer he worked with?
Nick’s favorite choreographers to work with were Leonardo Barrionuevo & Miriam Larici for this week’s Argentine Tango. He said it was such a dream and that they were great to work with. As for group choreography, he loved the Christopher Scott routine from last week. He had never heard of Christopher before, and now he discovered his genius.
What was it like doing almost an entire dance in a bath tub?
Daniel explained that since the tub was such a big part of the number, he and Alexa didn’t get to move around the stage as much as usual. He loved working with Dee Caspary and called him “a great inspiration.”
What do the dancers think of the new show format?
Janaya likes that they were together as the Top 20 for longer than any of the other seasons.
Nick agreed, saying “We were able to perform so many more times. We were on that stage a lot.” He likes that the judges know the results ahead of time so they can pay attention to their partner dances before making cuts, and Nick is glad he didn’t find out he was in the bottom until after the night’s performances.
Daniel would have liked the option to dance for his life, but he liked the fast pace of it.
What was the most challenging or surprising part of the SYTYCD experience?
Janaya said the mentality you have to have to make sure you come across as strong and confident on the show is very trying. “The last thing you want to do is disappoint America and the judges. I had to try a lot harder than normal to stay positive.”
Nick agreed saying, “You have to be mentally strong to do this show. If you have any shred of doubt it shows. There is no room for error on the show.”
Daniel felt that time restrictions was his biggest challenge. He explained how the dancers only have hours to master choreography, and doing a live show added to the stress and pressure of the show.
What are the dancers’ future plans?
Janaya plans to keep doing what she was doing before – auditioning in LA – but now with the experience under her belt of working with some of the industry’s greatest professionals. “This experience lit a fire under me,” she said. Janaya doesn’t mind that her SYTYCD journey is over, because now she can continue to explore the other genres she was introduced to on the show and take those kinds of classes.
Since Nick worked with Jason Gilkison so much on SYTYCD, he’s hoping to work with him on Burn The Floor. In the long term, Nick dreams of being a professional dancer on Dancing With The Stars.
Daniel will continue to explore the commercial dance world and hopes for an agent and audition opportunities. He is also choreographing a bit and has a few other gigs lined up.