Granted this took a while and I apologize. PureSYTYCD.com was given the opportunity to ask the eliminated dancers: Nick Bloxsom-Carter, Daniel Baker and Janaya French (Alexa Anderson was not available for the conference call) a few questions about their experience on SYTYCD, their exits and endeavors for the future. Since this was a conference call with several media outlets when PureSYTYCD.com were able to ask their questions, Nick (who was sick) had to leave the conference call. Below are a few of the questions that were asked:
How has your experience on So You Think You Can Dance changed your approach, if it has, and your perception of dance?
Janaya French: I think it’s helped us to realize how important other styles are and how interesting they are. I was trained in all sorts of different things growing up, but it was more of a structured thing. I had a schedule and people telling me you have to do this style this time, this style this time. And now that I sit on my own in L.A., it’s hard because sometimes, like if I want to go to class, I choose to go to classes I love—the contemporary classes, the jazz classes, the ones that make me feel good.
Now, I just have more of a hunger to go to more hip hop classes though, that maybe even a ballroom call. I just want to know more things. That’s really why I’m sad that the experience ended so soon is because I wanted to get into the things that were so challenging like a bollywood or ballroom, anything of that sort. So I’m excited. It’s going to help me as I need branch out a little bit more. I need to be better about it, so I’m going to go and see how all of those different genres can help me in my career.
Daniel Baker: My approach has definitely taught me to listen and pick things up quicker, to know exactly what the choreographer is asking for, because you didn’t have that much time. So I guess more logical than … you just have to do … and quick to … like them. I have done a lot of that over the past couple of weeks.
Since this is the first season where there is no “results” show, the eliminated dancers were then asked: How all three of you like the new format.
Janaya French: I kind of like the new format. It’s hard, because we didn’t get to experience the old format, so there’s not really much that we can compare it to, but for what we had to experience, we were together as the top 21 within any other season, which is really nice. We got to meet … people and you got to do too much rest than usual. So that part was nice. I didn’t mind it at all.
Nick Bloxsom-Carter: Yes, I also agree. This format was very nice to us dancers, because we were able to perform so many more times, more than once, more than twice. We were on that stage a lot. So I really enjoyed it.
Daniel Baker: I kind of like it. It’s a shame I didn’t get the chance to dance for my life, but it seems like the judges already had their minds made up to—you know, it’s one less chance that America gets to see you dance, but I like the fast pace of it. I don’t know if it felt too rushed, because I wasn’t watching it at home. But I wonder what America thought of the new format. So America seems to not like change, no matter what show it is.
As a counterpoint I asked Daniel and Janaya: Because of the current format where everything is done in one day with the eliminations at the end of the episode, it’s kind of difficult for the television audience to be able to vote on you guys performances because of the one-day format. Had the show been on a two-day format as in previous seasons, do you think that would have benefited you in any capacity?
Janaya French: I agree; it would have been different to have two days. In past seasons, it’s kind of a luxury of time. You get—it’s less in one episode. I feel like it was a crazy world, like, I don’t understand how they’re going to fit so much more in this episode when we did the exact same time frame last week and all we had to do was our duets once.
So it was a lot of stress in like the time crunch so it had to go fast. We don’t get as long as packages, so America doesn’t really get to know us quite as well. We don’t get to show our personalities as long, which is kind of a bummer. I mean I went into this with less camera time. I feel like I kind of just popped up in the top twenty and not many people knew who I was so it was hard to go from the bottom and try and show people who I am.
You only get an hour, so you don’t really get the packages that everyone else usually gets. You don’t get the time, the luxury of time, but it still worked out and it would be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out. With less and less people it becomes less stressful, because there’s less they’re trying to like throw in one in like the one episode. So it would be interesting to see.
I also took the time to ask Daniel: What brought you back to So You Think You Can Dance knowing that you had auditioned previously and now you have to get back into the grind?
Daniel Baker: Well, I was getting older. I’m still young, but it happens so fast, and if I wanted to play … I felt I had to do it while I was young and I still have my hair and … the industry. I just wanted to try it while I was young and I can always get back to ballet. So I was just going to take the next year to see if I’m capable of working in that industry and then if not go back to ballet. I just thought it was time to … go back to the show, and my friend Alex Wong, we had both auditioned Season 7, and then I decided not to go. Then, we were just having a conversation and he said, “Oh, you should go back.” I thought about it for a while and I thought it was my time to come to…
Another interviewer had asked: So what are you doing to relax or have fun, just for even a day before you jump back into the mix?
Janaya French: Right now, I’m at a beach house with my family in Long Beach. They have been here all week. They watched me for the past two weeks of the show. So it’s nice to come to where it’s not my home quite yet. I don’t have to go back to reality. I’m just hanging out with family and then I go to the beach and lay out so … I’m looking forward to.
Daniel Baker: I’m renting a car and I’m driving to Mexico just to get some space into my head and figure out what’s next.
Nick Bloxsom-Carter: I’m sitting at home in Oak Park with my family. My brother is actually making breakfast, not for me though. I got to eat alone. No, but I do mind to be able to tell I’m sick and this show, like now that my body is done with all the stress it’s relaxed, but that means I’m getting more sick. So I’m trying to get over that, so I’m definitely trying to rest.
And finally: Do you guys have any future plans or hopes for where you can go from here?
Janaya French: I just hope that with this experience it’s, obviously going to help. I was already out in L.A. trying to audition with jobs that way, and so I hope that networking with the people I got to work with on the show, I never would have had the chance to work with in such an intimate setting if it weren’t for this opportunity I was given. So like from here on out I just hope I have more opportunities to work with them and to work with more people. I’m going to go back to what I was doing, because I’m still going to dance, but nothing about this changed my mind about that. If anything, it kind of lit a fire underneath me to realize that this is exactly what I want to do. I’m excited to get back into things and see where my career takes off from.
Nick Bloxsom-Carter: Yes; as far as what I’m doing, I was going to school, studying business management and ballroom dance. So I am definitely going to keep auditioning and since I’ve worked with Jason Gilkison so much, I’d love to work with him on Burn the Floor. Definitely more ballroom … Burn the Floor, maybe, Dancing with the Stars as a pro, but that’s later in the future. I’m definitely going to keep training, but I’m also going to work with my business management to try to start in production as well and seeing producers of shows and producers of things. Now that I’m a dancer and I’m learning the other side of it, I can have the best of both worlds and I know what people need to put on a good show here.
Daniel Baker: For me, I’m just exploring the commercial dance world and hoping to get an agent this week and go on auditions. I have a job or two lined up in the future and I am also choreographing to the New York Choreographic Institute, which is part of the New York City Ballet, coming up this year. So I’m kind of excited about that. Then I just want to see where all that takes me.