Dreams Come True As SYTYCD Returns | Inside Dance

Dreams Come True As SYTYCD Returns | Inside Dance

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Dreams Come True As SYTYCD Returns

By Kristyn Burtt

The return of So You Think You Can Dance after its unplanned pandemic hiatus brought out some very familiar faces at the Producers’ Auditions in Los Angeles in March. Some of the dancers planned on auditioning for the FOX show in 2020 before the shutdown while others decided that 2022 was the perfect year to make their career dreams come true. 

Lauren Yakima is familiar to dance competition viewers for her impressive run as a contemporary soloist on the third season of World of Dance, but with sister Amy Yakima winning season 10 of So You Think You Can Dance with Fik-Shun, the show has always been on her radar. She did “question for a second” whether she was going to audition, though, because she was in the middle of touring with Jojo Siwa. It was her mom, Mary Beth Yakima, who convinced her to do it, and Amy made sure to give her “good energy” and notes on her solo. 

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She also feels that her time on World of Dance gives her a slight edge when it comes to understanding how to dance on-camera. “Being a solo dancer on World of Dance is giving me a bit more confidence,” Lauren shared. “It’s still nerve-wracking and my stomach is flipping, but I have more preparation in remembering to just focus on myself, not the camera.”

Tapper Ryan Maw already has appearances on TV shows like High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and Julie and the Phantoms under his belt, but it was season 12 winner Gaby Diaz and season 14 winner Lex Ishimoto — both great tappers — who inspired him over the years. Maw wants to shine a light on the genre and has a big question for Hollywood. “When is tap going to get back onto the big screen?” he asked. “One of my personal goals is to get tap back into the mainstream.” And one way he hopes to do that is as a contestant on the 17th season of So You Think You Can Dance.

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For 25-year-old Tristen Sosa, the journey has been a longer road than for other contestants who are trying to get on the show for the first time. His younger siblings, Stephani and Ezra Sosa, competed on season 16, and he realized that after auditioning twice before it was time to give it another shot. “Ever since the pandemic and the silence of nothing going on in the world, I really wanted to come back for dance and my love for it — this is a rebirth,” he revealed. With Stephani by his side at the audition, the duo performed a fun Cha-cha with “lots of cool tricks.” But the most important reason for Tristen showing up at the audition the third time around was to be an “example” for his ballroom students. “I want to show them that when opportunities arise, you have to take them and try your very best because you never know what is going to happen,” he advised. “The more risks you take in life, the more chances you have to fulfill your dreams.”

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Photos: Lauren Yakima (Nick Field), Tristen Sosa (David Apodaca)

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