“So You Think You Can Dance” steps through Austin

Jordan Rudner

The creators of FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance” are embarking on their 10th nationwide search for primetime-ready dancers, and they are starting in the Live Music Capital of the World.

Open-call auditions for the dance-based reality show will be held Friday and Saturday at the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts. Austin, the first stop on the show’s five-city talent search tour, will be hosting auditions for the first time. The show held auditions in Dallas last year for its ninth season.

Jeff Thacker, the show’s co-executive producer, said he has no idea what size crowd to expect, but he hopes the turnout will be large.

“We never have any idea what we’re going to get, honestly, because people travel from all over the state,” Thacker said. “But we always have a good turnout in Texas.” 

The show’s most popular auditions occurred in Memphis, when Thacker said he watched 13-and-a-half consecutive hours of auditions on the first day of tryouts.

“The police ended up closing five streets,” Thacker said.

If dancers successfully audition with Thacker, they are allowed to proceed to the second round of auditions in front of the show’s three judges. The guest judge for the Austin auditions is British actress Minnie Driver.

Thacker said the key to a successful audition is making sure to stand out from the thousands of other dancers he will see during the course of the day.

“It’s actually kind of easy — just be memorable,” Thacker said. “Don’t blend. Don’t leave us wondering who you were — if you were just the girl in the red top with dark hair, there will be fifty other girls just like you. We want the girl that goes for the huge split.”

Stephanie Del Paggio, Plan II honors and business freshman and fan of the show, said she expects Austin performers will bring an especially diverse range of dancing skills to the show.

“We have some really talented dancers at this school, especially since the music scene is so big here,” Del Paggio said. “But I feel like they will definitely incorporate the weirdness of Austin, too.”

However, Del Paggio said she would not consider trying out for the show herself.

“I tried dancing, but I failed,” she said. “I don’t actually think I can dance.”

Printed on Friday, January 18, 2013 as: 'Dance' holds season 10 auditions at Long Center