SYTYCD Canada Top 20 Rituals

CTV found out what the Top 20 do before hitting the stage:

Amanda Cleghorn, 19, Mississauga, Ont.

I usually try to really focus and drain out everything happening around me. I concentrate on what I have to do and how I want to do it. I envision myself doing the best possible performance, focusing on the outcome I want – something my dad taught both my sister and me for dance. I breathe, stay positive, say “I can do it” and go for it.

Bree Wasylenko, 22, Toronto

Right before I’m about to go on stage, I stop whatever I’m doing, close my eyes and take deep breaths for 30 to 60 seconds, just to relax myself and to concentrate completely on what I’m about to do.

Charlene Hart, 22, Abbotsford, B.C.

I love my warm-up time. I like to take time to listen to my favourite, calming play list, and work through my warm-up routine. This includes lots of big movements to warm my muscles up – lots and lots of pliés with balances and relevés! This is the best way to warm-up and start that blood flowing. I like to find my core by lying on the floor and aligning myself visually and physically. This prepares me for my crunches and sets me up for all of my big movements. Then, I get into my big stretches and of course I have to end with my push ups. This is what I was known for growing up.

Claudia Primeau, 26, Montreal

I have to wear all my rings so before competing, I always check to see if they are all in place!

Danielle Gardner, 21, Surrey, B.C.

I like to wear my silver heart necklace.

Denys Drozdyuk, 25, Toronto

Before I perform, I always have to go through my usual warm-up. And no matter what style of dance I perform, I always go through my additional ballroom warm-up as well.

Edgar Gilbert-Reyes, 22, Calgary

I just always think very positively! Good energy brings good things!

Janick Arseneau, 20, Bathurst, N.B.

I always find myself doing the same thing before I go on stage – for some odd reason, I always get a sudden urge to go pee as soon as I’m about to go on stage, so you will find me doing my “really gotta go” dance moves. Then I jump around to get the blood flowing in my feet. Sometimes I get the shakes, so I start the “shake it off” dance. When the stress gets to me, I’ll talk non-stop, saying all sorts of nonsense. Besides that, I sometimes bite my nails or go over the choreography – over and over again.

Jeff Mortensen, 22, Edmonton

If there is a curtain, I always go to the centre of the curtain backstage and touch the centre fold and tell myself to have fun and not screw up. I always do a yoga warm-up and during that time I focus on my breathing and tell myself that I am prepared and my body will do what I want it to. Yoga rules!

Jera Wolfe, 19, Inverness, N.S.

I don’t really have a routine or specific ritual.

Jesse Weafer, 26, Aurora, Ont.

The only think I do before I perform is pray and thank God for the opportunity.

Jonathan Arsenault, 26, Kitchener, Ont.

I have two major rituals I do before I dance. If I’m wearing socks, right before I hit the stage I double check to make sure they’re are super hiked up so that they don’t fall down mid-performance. The other ritual I do every time I am about to step on stage is I check the zipper on my pants. I check it probably four or five times before I take the stage. Weird maybe, but it avoids embarrassment!

Julia Harnett, 27, Calgary

I try to focus on breathing: in through the nose, out through the mouth.

Kirsten Wicklun, 20, Vancouver

I always do a ballet barre before I perform, and then listen to my music over and over to get me in the mood of the piece. I definitely like to get pumped up and energized and then focus on what I am about to perform, whether that means getting into my character, or concentrating on getting my body ready for technical challenges.

Kloé Schultz, 20, North Bay, Ont.

I chew gum and remove it moments before stepping on stage.

Mackenzie Green, 20, Regina

I don’t have any rituals or superstitions before performing. However, I do knock on wood whenever someone says “break a leg.” Nobody really wants that to happen.

Nathalie Heath, 23, Surrey, B.C.

I never frantically run through choreography before hitting the stage, but instead close my eyes and take very deep breaths.

Sebastian Mersch, 21, Toronto

Before big performances, I do a little something called the “shake down” to loosen up some nerves. The “shake down” is an old improv exercise I did in high school.

Shavar Blackwood, 25, Toronto

I like to create a separate character for myself, depending on the kind of piece I am performing. I also go and meditate in the washroom beforehand.

Yonni Fournier, 27, Montreal

I close my eyes and clear my mind for ten seconds.