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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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So You Think You Can Dance: The Girls

Danielle Cato

Danielle Cato
Age: 24
From: Hampshire

Although now a contemporary dancer, Danielle's background is in ballet. After beginning lessons aged five, it was clear she had a gift, and at eight, Danielle was made a Royal Ballet Junior associate, and continued to train at the school until she was 17.

  • Danielle's dream was always to become a professional ballet dancer, but her career faltered when, as a teenager, she suffered a series of ankle injuries. Although heartbroken, Danielle didn’t give up on dance, and at 17, gained a place at Laine Theatre Arts to study jazz, contemporary and tap.
  • After graduating from Laine, Danielle immediately landed the role of Iris in Fame, performing in the show both at the Shaftsbury and on tour. Danielle has also appeared on stage with Queen's Brian May in the hit musical, We Will Rock You.
  • Danielle describes herself as very family orientated and says she's never happier than when she's relaxing at home with all of them. She is very grateful to her parents for their support throughout her career.
  • Although naturally humble and shy, Danielle feels she's growing in self confidence. "I'm just a normal girl from a loving family who is determined to do my best in everything I do and to keep my passion to dance alive," she says.
Bethany Rose Harrison

Bethany Rose Harrison
Age: 20
From: Devon

Inspired to dance by her older sister, Bethany Rose began training at the Arts Education School in Tring at 13. Now living in London, Bethany Rose part-funds her dance classes teaching ballet twice a week to underprivileged children for the charity Whack.

  • Bethany Rose reached the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent last year with dance group Ruby Girls and dreams of becoming a recording artist in the future.
  • Now living in London, Bethany Rose often returns home to Devon to visit her parents, who run a pub there. Bethany feels her parents have invested a lot in her, and is desperate to make them proud.
  • During her time at Arts Ed, Bethany Rose shared a dorm with last year's winner Charlie Bruce. Bethany almost made it to the finals in last year's show, and has been training hard since. This year, she is even more determined to prove herself.
  • Although trying to make it as a dancer has often been a frustrating process for Bethany Rose, she is ever resilient, and says: "I just feel this is the right place for me to be and I finally fit in somewhere."
Katie Love

Katie Love
Age: 24
From: Worcester

Coming from a theatrical family, it was through her local Worcester amateur dramatics society, stage managed by her dad, that Katie got her first taste of performance. Katie went on to train in dance and theatre performance at Doreen Bird College, where she was scouted by an agent, and then went on to form her own theatre company, Default Theatre.

  • Since starting ballet lessons at the age of two, Katie has progressed into an energetic teacher and leader. In 2009, she received funding in order to direct, choreograph and produce her own show, Dangerous Fields, which was performed at Stratford Circus.
  • This is the second year Katie has auditioned in front of the judges, and now she's made it through to the live shows, she can't wait for the challenge, "It's a great opportunity to finally put my skills into practice and be exposed to new challenges and essentially, critique... I want to better myself" she says.
  • Katie took part in all-England dance contests from a young age, often making it through to the finals. She loves competition, and so feels that So You Think You Can Dance provides her with exactly what she's looking for.
  • With her vibrant pink hair, Katie's style is unique, and she likes to keep her dancing the same way. "I don't fit into a box", she says, "I do love contemporary... it allows me to move my way".
Katrina Lyndon

Katrina Lyndon
Age: 20
From: Plymouth

Katrina left her home in Plymouth at 13 to train at The Royal Ballet School in London. During her time there, she performed at such venues as Buckingham Palace and the Royal Opera House, and was awarded the school's Moreton award for Choreography. Katrina has also danced competitively, and was a Young British Dancer of the Year finalist in 2008.

  • Having finished training in London, Katrina now works at her mother's contemporary dance school in Plymouth, choreographing and teaching young children.
  • Although confident in her technique and ability in ballet, Katrina hopes the competition will teach her to be more headstrong and confident in her performances.
  • Katrina shares her love of dance with her grandfather, who has been her father figure for many years. After training away from home for many years, Katrina hopes that being on the show will give her grandfather a chance to finally see her perform.
  • Katrina has always loved other styles of dance, and even spent several months at Central School to gain broader experience. She hopes the live shows will be her chance to prove her versatility, and: "to grow and improve in different styles of dance".
Rithiely Pereira

Rithiely Pereira
Age: 19
From: Sao Paolo, Brazil

Having spent much of her childhood in Sao Paolo, Rithy feels that she shares an innate Brazilian passion for music and dance. After moving to Switzerland aged 10, Rithy joined her dance group Culture Shock as the youngest member and has taken part in competitions with them all over the world.

  • Most recently, Rithy has been working on a Belgium dance tour Natalia Meets Anastasia and has performed in a Swiss dance movie written and produced by her ID8 teacher.
  • Always on the move, Rithy also keeps up to date with the latest dance styles by attending classes in Los Angeles each year.
  • The 19-year-old also loves to sing and act in her spare time. Her dream is to dance for a big music act like Britney Spears or Lady Gaga.
  • Rithy says she has never ending energy, and on top of her performances, is also Assistant Director at The American School of Dance, teaching a group called ID8 and she also co-manages a group called Legacy.
Stephanie Powell

Stephanie Powell
Age: 27
From: Poole

Quick to choose her speciality in dance, part-Latino Stephanie attended Latin and ballroom lessons at the age of 12, competing until she was 16. After a break from dance to complete her A-levels, she attended Birds College in Sidcup to gain her degree and study a range of dance genres.

  • Since her time at Birds, the 27-year-old has travelled to Las Vegas as principal dancer in Simply Ballroom, has worked on Dirty Dancing, played Cha Cha in Grease and even danced alongside Cheryl Cole.
  • Stephanie has an enormous amount of gratitude for her parents, who sacrificed a lot of time and money so that she could pursue her dream. She feels winning the show would allow her to repay them for all their hard work and support.
  • On top of her dancing, sporty Stephanie loves yoga and spending time at the gym. In the past, she has run a marathon in memory of a friend who passed away.
  • For Stephanie, the live shows will provide an opportunity to broaden her dance vocabulary. "I am so looking forward to that challenge of pushing my dance boundaries. A dancer never stops learning" she says.
Charlotte Scally

Charlotte Scally
Age: 19
From: Watford

A self-confessed girly girl, Charlotte loves the glitz and glamour of dance and it was disco dancing that gave her what is now her passion in life. Charlotte also took Irish Dancing lessons as a child and competed in the style in both the UK and Ireland. Charlotte is at URDANG Academy in the second year of her three-year course.

  • Auditioning for the show was a last minute decision for Charlotte. She never expected to come this far and can’t wait to learn from the choreographers on the show.
  • As well as training at URDANG, Charlotte works in her local pub with friends three times a week.
  • Charlotte dreams of starring in the West End in shows such as Flashdance or Fame. She is particularly inspired by Sheridan Smith in her role in Legally Blonde.
  • Feeling she’s always remained in the shadows, Charlotte has often found it hard to stand out from the crowd. However, she hopes the live shows will give her time in the spotlight, "I am ambitious and determined to do well" she says.
Paige Smith

Paige Smith
Age: 18
From: Wolverhampton

The 18-year-old fell in love with dancing and sparkly costumes as a child. Whilst she has no formal dance training, Paige is now taking a BTEC in dance at Walsall College and hopes to continue studying to degree level.

  • Much of Paige’s spare time is devoted to dance classes and competitions, and she holds many titles to her name, including European Champion in disco freestyle.
  • Naturally shy, it’s dancing that brings Paige out of her shell, and her experience on the show so far has given her the confidence boost she’s been waiting for.
  • Paige knows the standard in the show is high, but despite her lack of training, hopes her passion will drive her through the competition.
  • Paige’s love of dance comes from her father, who passed away three years ago. She believes he would be delighted with what she’s achieved. With her close-knit family behind her, Paige says she’s looking forward to: "Entertaining the public and making my family, friends and home town proud".
Kirsty Swain

Kirsty Swain
Age: 29
From: Sutton, Surrey

Inspired by Madonna videos at the age of four, Kirsty went on to spend the rest of her childhood and teenage years dancing at various schools including the Brits School and Laine Theatre Arts. Kirsty has trained in a variety of styles, including jazz and contemporary and has also studied musical theatre, singing and drama.

  • Upon graduating from Laine, Kirsty appeared in a panto alongside Frank Bruno and began to audition for as many shows as she could. "You name it, I auditioned for it," she says.
  • Kirsty was diagnosed with partial deafness aged 12, and only has half her hearing. This has never stopped her and she dances by feeling the vibrations, and listening to the beat.
  • In her jam-packed career, Kirsty has travelled the world performing on cruise ships, taught jazz at the Royal Academy of Dance and has appeared in the big screen musical Mama-Mia, featuring Meryl Streep.
  • Kirsty feels So You Think You Can Dance might be her last chance to achieve her ultimate dream; a lead role in the West End. "When I saw the show last year, I thought that it was made for me... prove you can dance by showing off variety and style" she says.
Alice Woodhouse

Alice Woodhouse
Age: 23
Lives: Lancaster

Alice grew up in Lancaster and began dancing as a young child. As a teenager she studied professional dance at Phil Winston’s Theatre Works in Blackpool and has since worked across the globe, performing on world cruise ships as well as in the US and Paris.

  • The 23-year-old contemporary dancer is the fourth generation of performers in her family and describes get-togethers with her relatives as "showbiz parties with everyone taking their turn to perform".
  • During a stint in the US Alice worked on Spirit Of The Dance in South Carolina and had to learn how to Irish dance in just one week.
  • Alice has also spent some time working in Disneyland Paris, and had the time of her life performing for several months in the stage version of High School Musical.
  • It was through her American friends that Alice first heard about So You Think You Can Dance and was ecstatic when it came to the UK; "[This] tuition is very hard to find," she says.

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