By Chaz Lipp

SYTYCD Season 11 Finalists; Photo: Fox

SYTYCD Season 11 Finalists; Photo: Fox

As auditions for the upcoming 12th season of Fox’s long-running hit So You Think You Can Dance continue, the Top Ten finalists from last year’s season 11 are in the midst of their live tour. The finalists performed in 60 cities beginning last October right up to the holidays. After a break, they took to the road once again with a second leg of dates that will wrap up in Fargo, ND on February 18 (the full itinerary can be found on Fox’s official SYTYCD site).

We checked in with two season 11 stars, Casey Askew and Bridget Whitman, directly following their January 25 performance in Phoenix (Bridget’s hometown).

Cinema Lowdown: So You Think You Can Dance originally premiered on Fox back in 2005. That means you two were around nine or ten years old when season one aired. Were you both fans of the show growing up?

Bridget: When I was younger I was in love with the show. I’d watch it every night. And then as I grew up, I paid attention to the show but I would record it more. I wasn’t like so antsy about having to watch it every Wednesday and Thursday night. During the last couple years, I would just kind of watch the finale week really.

Casey Askew; Photo: Fox

Casey Askew; Photo: Fox

CL: But you’ve always considered yourself a fan?

Bridget: I’ve always been a fan of the show. It’s really fun to see, because the dance community is so small, who’s on the show each year that you knew or grew up competing against. It’s fun to see how they’re doing and just kind of rooting them on.

CL: Casey, did you always make time to watch SYTYCD?

Casey: Yeah, I was a big fan of the show. Kind of like Bridget, towards the end you get busy during the week so it’s hard to watch it at a scheduled time. But I would always try to YouTube my favorite dancers each week and watch as much as I could. Ever since season one I’ve always followed along and been a huge fan.

CL: Bridget, you’ve been in the audience at some previous SYTYCD live tours, how would you describe the feeling of being part of the tour this time?

Bridget: Definitely surreal is probably the best way to describe it. I mean, to think any of us would ever be here performing, doing 77 shows – even being on the [TV] show. So we’re all really blessed to be here and I know we really appreciate everything, all the support from fans and family. It’s really kind of cool to think, “Wow, I was once in the audience watching this and now I’m up onstage.”

CL: How did being a part of SYTYCD season 11 effect your approach to dancing? What was your greatest take-away from the experience?

Bridget Whitman; Photo: Fox

Bridget Whitman; Photo: Fox

Bridget: : I think the biggest thing I learned from the show was trust. Not that I didn’t trust anyone, but it’s kind of like keeping an open mind as far as choreography goes. Or even just trust in yourself that you can do it. And it’s all about the confidence.

CL: Was your time on the TV show a confidence booster?

Bridget: I don’t want to say that I learned confidence on the show, because it’s more just trusting yourself that you can do it and trusting the choreographers; they’re going to be there for you and do what’s best for you. And just trust your love for dance. That’s mainly what I took away from it.

Casey: I think the biggest thing I took away from it is just the level of respect you need to have; not just for who you’re working with but who you’re working for. And just respect for dance itself. People in the dance industry take it very seriously as a job, so it’s important to respect yourself and also respect those you’re working with. If you do that you’ll never be without a job because choreographers love working with you if you’re respectful to them and you work hard.

Be sure to catch Casey Askew and Bridget Whitman, along with the rest of the season 11 Top Ten, as the tour continues! Follow the Season 11 Tour on Twitter and keep up on the latest So You Think You Can Dance news at the official site.

Chaz Lipp

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