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Winning Dances on TV, and at School

Michelle Reyes, Staff Reporter

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Before the screaming crowd, metallic streamers and confetti filled the stage, the anxiety was building up as the two finalists, Jaja Vankova and Gaby Diaz, awaited the most anticipated results. “After traveling across America and auditioning thousands of dancers, America’s favorite dancer is Gaby!” announced ten year So You Think You Can Dance host, Cat Deeley, at the finale of Season 12. “All I could do was cry, and my heart was beating really fast, but it was definitely a moment I’ll never forget,” stated the team stage winner after the show.

The winner was from our hometown: a 19-year-old Cuban-American Miami native, Gaby Diaz, who had auditioned not once, but twice, this season at the four time Emmy nominated dance competition program So You Think You Can Dance. She initially auditioned with a tap routine in Dallas, Texas but did not make the cut until her second audition in Detroit, Michigan where she wowed the judges and the audience. In fact, Gaby was not the only winner on the show from Miami, last year’s season 11 winner, contemporary dancer, Ricky Ubeda, was also from our beloved city and even danced with Gaby as they became good friends.

This 2015 season was the first to introduce the new concept of Team Street versus Team Stage; the new method of audition and competition gives those who are not very experienced in technique and training an opportunity to prove themselves on the show. As Junior Croc, Lauren Cooper put it, “I love the new concept of teams because it pushes these dancers out of their comfort zone, makes them more competitive and helps them grow a lot as dancers.” Crocs could relate to their hometown hero since Diaz graduated in 2014 from New World School of the Arts High School. In fact, she began her dancing career at the Roxy Performing Arts Center, merely five minutes away from our campus!

This month, some Crocs also got their shot at their own dancing dreams as the dance team auditions were held. The results were as follows:

Captain: Caroline Schwabe

Co-Captains: Isabella Oliva and Nicole Machado

Britney Banalewicz

Jessica Banalewicz

Karen Carcamo

Giuliana Coto

Ashley Garcia

Erika Grenier

Daniela Liy

Karina LopezMata

Bernice Machado

Kayla Martinez

Ashley Mendez

Elizabeth Palma D’Souza

Angeles Salgado

Congratulations to SYTYCD winner Gaby Diaz,

and to the 2015-2016 Croc Dance Team!

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Winning Dances on TV, and at School