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Eldon Johnson: One of Two Men to Make it Through SLC “A Chance to Dance” Auditions

Because only two men made it through the Salt Lake auditions, it wasn’t hard to notice them. Eldon Johnson was highlighted a few times throughout the show, so for that reason, he stood out to me quite a bit. As I’ve done some researching on some of the dancers that made it through from Salt Lake City, he is one of the only ones I can find information on. Since I think we’ll be seeing him a bit more of him in the near future, I thought he’d be a good one to highlight.

Typing in the name “Eldon Johnson” on YouTube brings up pages and pages of videos. He is a very talented man. Here are a few of the top videos that I saw as I was watching him perform:

So who is Eldon Johnson? Well, he started getting professional dance instruction from the time he was 16, and his passion and talent took of from there. His first training was at the Winner School in Salt Lake City, and after two years, was offered a job dancing with the Odyssey Dance Theatre. After accepting that position, he continued to stay with Odyssey, and just completed his 15th year. He is now an instructor at Odyssey Dance Theatre, and has quite the resume.

In 2010, he was named the Best Individual Dancer 2010 at the Utah Best of State Gala and has performed all over the world. Some of the stages he has danced on have been in China, France, Mexico and Switzerland. He was a dancer in the hit Disney Channel movie, High School Musical and High School Musical 3. Eldon has worked with many famous choreographers and companies over the years.

In an article written by the Salt Lake Tribune, Eldon was quoted as saying the following about the SLC auditions that were featured in the premiere of A Chance to Dance:

They’re not looking for soloists, but people who work well together in a group . . . [The auditions have been] one of my favorite experiences I’ve ever had as a dance, and I’ve been doing it for 15 years professionally.

Because of his experience in the dance world, I’m not surprised a bit that he made it through. I mean, he knows how to work individually and with a group, and has worked with famous choreographers around the world, not to mention his experience traveling the world. He really impressed me last week, and I’m excited to see how he fares on the show. I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Eldon Johnson.

August 21, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is a journalism student at Brigham Young University in her senior year. She is originally from Littleton, Colorado, and hopes to move back there after graduation. Reality television is her favorite to watch, and has enjoyed writing about America's Got Talent and A Chance to Dance. She is a stay-at-home-mom who enjoys writing (especially blogs), cooking and sewing (while spending far too much time on Pinterest finding inspiration) and being outside with her husband and son.

SYTYCD Season 9 Salt Lake City Auditions Thoughts

Witney Carson
She has this sweet little girl quality to her, and when she dances it’s like she transforms into a grown woman. We haven’t seen all that many ballroom dancers thus far in the city auditions so it was a breath of fresh air to finally see that the dancers haven’t entirely disappeared.

Deanna “Dee” Tomasetta
Apprentice of Motiv8
– Student of Elite Academy of Dance
She made it to the end of Vegas Callbacks in Season 8 before being cut just prior to the Top 20 that was on the show.

Gene Lonardo
Glad it isn’t just me that felt that this guy just screams “Sonya Tayeh” all over him. He does have very strong technique and he comes across to me as more of an artist than dancer. Much like Ryan Kasprzak was a season or two ago… someone that dances you can toss them choreography and they will work with it, but an artist embodies dance in such a way that they use it to create a story, a painting, etc. This is Gene, however odd his intent was.

Lindsay Arnold
There was nothing that really drew me to her, not like with Witney and I shouldn’t be comparing dancers. Lindsay is a pretty face and has good talent, but for some reason I can’t see myself wanting to see more of her. Perhaps in another year or two, sure… but not at the moment.

Mariah Spears
This is probably one of the major surprises of the season, a sweet little girl from the mean streets of Arizona… dancing KRUMP! The only other dancer that was notated as Krumper was Russell Ferguson of Season 6 and he couldn’t have been more different from Mariah. She danced Krump and did it really really well. I was very happy to see her get through the choreography round because I really would love to see how she fares in Vegas

Dareian Kujawa
For the longest time I didn’t think that a really good dancer could exist that would have bad feet. I mean I’ve come across mediocre dancers and choreographers that have lousy feet, but that’s probably why they aren’t in major dance companies and are just barely making ends meet. So it’s not a good thing to have come across a dancer that is incredible, great lines, passionate, etc but then you look at their feet and it’s just “ugh”. I really like Dareian, he’s really good, but dammit he needs to figure out a way to clean up his feet otherwise they are going to prevent him from reaching his full potential. Finishing off the feet helps to clean up the lines and the overall image of the dancer as they dance.

Amber Williams & Chase Thomas
Both of these dancers went straight to the Vegas Callbacks in Season 8 and were sent straight to Vegas Callbacks once again for Season 9. If you have forgotten, Amber was a rather quirky personality and dancer that wore all green that was at the San Francisco auditions. Chase Thomas was at the Salt Lake City auditions wearing almost nothing with the back story of his girlfriend cheating on him and eventually married an art history major. Both were phenomenal dancers and no doubt are even stronger this go around.

Adrian Lee
YouTube Channel
YES! He’s BACK! Well kind of, I’m not fond of his routine, but I do love his technique. I remember him from Season 7 when he was in Vegas Callbacks and he was paired with Lauren Froderman for the Broadway number and I remembered just how much fun it was to watch. If you have forgotten, the Broadway number had several measures that gave the couples a chance to show what they can do on their own before heading into the choreographed section… Adrian and Lauren totally shined. I really hope he makes it past Vegas and onto the show this go around.

Rachel Applehan
– Part of Damsels Dance Company in Denver
Jazz/Burlesque… I wanted to see more dance in it, and what little there was I was ok with. It is possible to have a lot more dance into the audition and still have it be sexy/sassy and burlesque-related. Not seeing the choreography as the judges had I am going to have to trust their comments and believe that she was really good in some spots and sloppy in others.

June 20, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

SYTYCD Season 9 Music: Salt Lake City Auditions

Intro to auditions music: M83 – Outro Outro - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.

Opening of the Utah auditions: Outasight – Now or Never Now or Never - Now or Never - Single

Witney Carson Interview Music: Goldfrapp – Strict Machine Strict Machine - Black Cherry

Witney Carson Audition Music: Bond – Libertango Libertango - Shine

Lynn Gravvatt Interview / End of Audition Music: Carpenters – Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem of World Contact Day) [1989 Remix] Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem of World Contact Day) [1989 Remix] - Carpenters Gold (35th Anniversary Edition)

Dancer’s dad auditions & she judges him: The Black Eyed Peas – Boom Boom Pow Boom Boom Pow - The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)

Deanna “Dee” Tomasseta Interview Music: LMFAO – Get Crazy Get Crazy - Party Rock

Deanna “Dee” Tomasetta Audition Music: Blaire Reinhard – I Can’t Make You Love Me I Can't Make You Love Me - I Can't Make You Love Me - Single

Montage of “unique” dancers: Madness – One Step Beyond One Step Beyond - One Step Beyond...

Gene Lonardo Audition Music: Jahcoozi – Fish Fish - Pure Breed Mongrel

Lindsay Arnold Audition Music: Deadmau5 – Ghosts N Stuff Ghosts N Stuff - Ghosts N Stuff - Single

Montage of Ballroom Auditions: Sweet – Ballroom Blitz The Ballroom Blitz - The Best of Sweet

Mariah Spears Audition Music: Kardinal Offishall feat. The Clipse – Set It Off Set It Off (feat. The Clipse) - Not 4 Sale

Murphy Yang Audition Music: District 78 – I Won’t Dance (Official Step Up 3D Mix) can be downloaded via District 78’s America’s Best Mixtape

Choregraphy Round: Jennifer Lopez – Papi Papi - LOVE? (Deluxe Edition)

Montage of people going to Vegas after Choreography Round: Martin Solveig & Dragonette – Hello Hello - Hello - Single

Lead In Music to Day Two Salt Lake City Auditions: Jack White – Sixteen Saltiness Sixteen Saltines - Blunderbuss

Dareian Kujawa Interview Music: Cindy Alexander – Turning Into You Turning Into You - Every Rise & Fall

Dareian Kujawa Audition Music: Michael Grimm feat Jack Mack and the Heart Attack – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long I've Been Loving You Too Long - I've Got Dreams

Johnny Ahn Interview Music: Dan the Automator feat Hieroglyphics – Don’t Hate the Player Don't Hate the Player (feat. Hieroglyphics) - Don't Hate the Player - EP

Johnny Ahn & Whitney Hallam Audition Music: Rodolfo Guerra Y Su Sincopata Latina – Mueve El Cuerpo Mueve el Cuerpo - Demasiado Corazòn

Adrian Lee Audition Music: Otis Redding – Try a Little Tenderness Try a Little Tenderness - The Very Best of Otis Redding

Montage of dancers going to Vegas: Afrojack & Shermanology – Can’t Stop Me (Club Mix) Can't Stop Me (Club Mix) - Can't Stop Me - EP

Rachel Applehan Interview Music: Marilyn Manson – Slo-Mo-Tion Slo-Mo-Tion - Born Villain

Rachel Applehan Audition Music: Jessie J – Mamma Knows Best Mamma Knows Best - Who You Are (Platinum Edition)

Montage of bad auditions from day 2: Nicki Minaj – Starships Starships - Starships - Single

Leroy Martinez Audition Music: Chris Brown – Yeah 3X Yeah 3X - Yeah 3X - Single

Montage of people going to Vegas after Choreography Round Day 2: The Wanted – Chasing the Sun Chasing the Sun - The Wanted

June 13, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

Allison Holker in Chance to Dance on Ovation

Pure SYTYCD got the chance to be able to attend the auditions for a new show on the Ovation TV channel called Chance to Dance. The show is produced by SYTYCD’s own Nigel Lythgoe and also includes Allison Holker.

A Chance to Dance follows Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, two former London Royal Ballet dancers and creators of the renowned BalletBoyz Dance Company, as they search the United States for undiscovered dance talent to form this new dance company. And there isn’t one winner… A Company of Dancers will get A CHANCE TO DANCE.

Pure SYTYCD sent Natalie to cover the Salt Lake City Chance to Dance auditions. Here’s her writeup of the experience along with a number of great pictures from the auditions and a short video outside while the dancers wait for their “Chance to Dance.”

Wake up early. Put your favorite dance clothes on. Look at yourself one last time in the mirror and tell yourself you can do it. Drive out in the middle of nowhere. Wait in line for 2 hours with a clip board waiting to check in. Wait in line for another two hours, stretching and free styling, for the people who decide if you’ll get the chance to dance.

I recently had the opportunity to attend the auditions for a new TV show called ‘A Chance to Dance-An exciting new dance competition series from father-son producing team Nigel & Simon Lythgoe.’ While shows like ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and ‘Dancing With The Stars’ pick one winner, ‘A Chance To Dance’ will find the best of 24 and narrow them down to 8, that will perform as a company.

The judges of this new show are Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, or “The BalletBoyz” as they have become known. They will also be joined by, SYTYCD contestant and all-star, Allison Holker, who I also had the chance to meet at the auditions in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I asked them if they will look more for someone who fits into the group versus a star like they look for in SYTYCD? They responded with the easy, both. They will be looking for someone so stands out in the initial stages of auditions and as things progress closer to the final 8 they will look for those that work well in a group. Another difference is that America will not be sharing their opinion by casting a vote. “We are not a democracy,” was there response to my inquiry.

The judges mentioned that all styles of dance will be a part of the show, but I only witnessed about 30 seconds of auditions and those seconds were ballet and contemporary, being led by Allison Holker. Unlike our other favorite dance show, the contestants did not try out by preparing a solo to perform for the judges. They were all taught choreographed routines practiced in typical company class room fashion.

The different audition style rattled some, bringing them to simply walk out of the auditions in the middle, and leave. Others seemed to really be in their element, keeping up with Allison as she taught the routines quickly, with her telling the rest to keep up. The BalletBoyz sat in front of all the dancers talking with show producers, looking up occasionally to see how things were getting along.

Before they let the dancers in to start the auditions, Allison was seen dancing around the studio going over the upcoming choreography in her jeans and ankle boots, drinking her Starbucks, while The BalletBoyz worked with the production team and camera men to get the camera angles right for filming.

Witnessing a panicked, overbearing crew run around like chickens with their heads cut off, all trying not to be the one to mess up and get in trouble, was certainly a new experience. Everything always looks so simple when you see it on TV. But there is a lot more to it than we see in the final cut.

Keep an eye out for “A Chance to Dance”, set to premiere on August 17, on Ovation. You’re guaranteed to see a lot of amazing dancers, looking for their chance to dance.

Here are some of the other shots from the Chance to Dance auditions in Salt Lake City.

Now for a video showing some of the dancers outside waiting to audition for Chance to Dance:

May 17, 2012 I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?

SYTYCD Salt Lake City Audition Music

There’s no way Salt Lake City audition music can top the New Orleans audition music. But it can try and I’ll enjoy the attempt…

Opening: “Beast” Nico Vega - Nico Vega - Beast-Nico Vega

In the line: “Move Like You Gonna Die Soon” Cobra Starship - Hot Mess (Deluxe Version) - Move Like You Gonna Die-Cobra Starship

Bryan Boyer (b-boy with the short red hair with black stripe): “Everyone Nose” N.E.R.D. - Seeing Sounds - Everyone Nose (All the Girls Standing In the Line for the Bathroom)-N.E.R.D.

Tristy Mirci (25 car accidents in 3 years) interview: “Stickshifts and Safety Belts” Cake - Fashion Nugget (Deluxe Version) - Stickshifts and Safetybelts-Cake

Tristy Mirci audition: “Already Gone” Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted (Deluxe Version) - Already Gone-Kelly Clarkson

Hayley Cloud (orange shirt, herniated disk – my favorite so far): “I Just Don’t Love You Anymore” Jann Arden - Time for Mercy - I Just Don't Love You Anymore-Jann Arden

Megan Kinney (Caitlin, from last season’s, sister, they went to Vegas together): “Everybody Knows” Elizabeth & The Catapult - Taller Children (Bonus Track Version) - Everybody Knows -Elizabeth & the Catapult (I just knew it!)

Genise Ridiaz (pink shorts, curly hair): also “Everybody Knows,” (which could have been the Sharon Robinson version, but wasn’t Sharon Robinson - Everybody Knows - Everybody Knows)

Montage of the girls: “Tik Tok” Kesha - TiK ToK - Single - TiK ToK-Ke$ha

Ariana Rowley (burlesque dancers with Voodoo Darlings) interview: “Lady Marmelade” Bruce, johnson - Le démon de midi - Lady marmelade-Bruce Johnson

Ariana Rowley strip routine: “Something Sweet Now” -Dave Tweedie & Oona Garthwaite (you know the deal – we’ll post a link when one’s available)

Iveta Lukoslute (Lithuanian blonde, “money growing on trees”): “Have You Ever Been in Love” Céline Dion - One Heart - Have You Ever Been In Love-Celine Dion

Choreography: “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” Pitbull - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) - EP - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) [More English Extended Mix] -Pitbull

Vegas montage: “Say (Half Past Nine)” -Hot Chelle Rae (Here’s the song on YouTube till we can find a download)

2nd day, in line: “Hummingbird” Born Ruffians - Red, Yellow & Blue - Hummingbird-Born Ruffians

Pascal Nayigiziki (really delusional spasm dancer): “Weight of the World” -Dave Tweedie & Stephen Bradley

Couple montage: “Partners in Crime” Poets & Pornstars - Poets & Pornstars - Partners In Crime-Poets & Pornstars (not “Wherever We Go” Newsboys - Go - Wherever We Go-Newsboys like I thought at first)

Ashleigh & Ryan Di Lello (married couple, former competitors) interview: “You Are the Best Thing” Ray LaMontagne - Gossip In the Grain - You Are the Best Thing-Ray LaMontagne

Ashleigh & Ryan Di Lello audition: “Poker Face Lady GaGa - The Fame - Poker Face-Lady GaGa

Leigh Asay & Josh Murillo (she lost a toenail, auditioned before and he pulls faces): “Just Dance” Lady GaGa & Colby O'Donis - The Fame - Just Dance-Lady GaGa

Vegas montage: “I’m Alive” -Tina Parol (not on iTunes, but try her song “Who’s Got the Money” Tina Parol - Who's Got Your Money - Single - Who's Got Your Money in the meantime).

Alright, so there was a lot of really good music in this audition episode. But I missed some of it, especially the montages (girls, going to Vegas, 2nd day opener), so I need all the help I can get.

You can see all the SYTYCD music listed here.

October 6, 2009 I Written By

SYTYCD Salt Lake City Auditions Discussion Thread

This is the last audition episode. While they’ve been fun (especially New Orleans), I’m excited to move on to Vegas week tomorrow night. Will Salt Lake end the Season 6 auditions with a hoot or a holler?

I Written By