So You Think You Can Dance
For months now, Fox has promoted the new season of So You Think You Can Dance as being unique because for the first time there will only be a top 10 dancing alongside all-stars. However, the reality series surprised fans by taking six men, making this the first year with a top 11.
Check out photos of the Dance All-Stars
TVGuide.com caught up with the group who can't wait to hit the stage. Plus, fan favorite Billy Bell returns for his second try in the finals after falling ill last season.
Meet the top 11 dancers:
Alexie Agdeppa, 26, a jazz dancer from Rowland Heights, Calif.
Like a dance virgin: "I started dancing at home very young. I was in front of the TV and watching one of Madonna's concerts. It was to 'Like a Virgin,' and I was rolling around on the floor following her, so my mom put me in dance classes and from then on, I loved it."
Billy Bell, 20, a contemporary dancer from Palm Beach, Fla.
Dance, take two: "In a way there's that extra sense of pressure. [Getting sick] really showed me how much I should appreciate the experience because you never know how quickly and suddenly it can be taken away from you."
Kent Boyd, 18, a contemporary dancer from Wapakoneta, Ohio.
Contemporary babysitting: "When I was young, my mom didn't want me around the house, so she put me in dance. I do have passion for it now, but when I was younger, my mom was like, 'Kent, you've got to get out of here!'"
Lauren Froderman, 18, a contemporary jazz dancer from Phoenix.
Don't peg her as just contemporary: "Some of the contemporary movement is really modern and staccato, and I'm more of a flowy-type dancer. I'm like an evolution of old-school lyrical."
So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley calls new judge "bonkers"
Ashley Galvan, 18, a contemporary dancer from Burbank, Calif.
Ahh, push it: "I started dancing at the age of 3. My older sister would play 'Push It' [by Salt-n-Pepa] and dance around. I was the flower girl at a wedding, and at the reception I took her moves and put them on the dance floor, which isn't good for a 3-year-old, so my parents put me in proper dance classes."
Robert Roldan, 19, a contemporary dancer from North Hollywood, Calif.
Boy power: "As a male dancer, growing up in that industry is very hard because you have friends that don't do that. Once you find a passion for it, people look at you differently and stereotype it. It sucks, but if you love what you do, you do it no matter what."
Jose Ruiz, 21, a break dancer from Miami.
Why he stands out as a B-Boy: "I'm humble, but I'm very confident. I'm smooth, but very explosive. That's like my dance style. I'm the only hip-hop style of dance that made it to the top 11. I really think that's going to point me out."
Ana "Cristina" Santana, 24, a salsa dancer from San Diego.
Grab the guac' and mix it up: "I like to incorporate belly dance into the salsa, with my upper body moving. I love to mix things. I think you can mix any dance style and it's crazy."
Melinda Sullivan, 22, a tap dancer from Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Inspired through art: "I'm an artist. I love all forms of art. I'm an actress, singer, I dance, I'm a musician; I want to be a Renaissance woman. I think art is needed in our society. Especially in a time of a lot of change in our country, I think it's something that can really be positive for our youth."
Check out clips of the Dance finalists
Adechike Torbert, 23, a contemporary dancer from New York.
Special talents: "I'm a pretty good jumper. I feel like the Michael Jordan of dance. I feel comfortable in the air and I'm just going to fly."
Alex Wong, 23, a ballet dancer from Miami.
Taking chances: "Not getting in Season 5 and being so close really crushed me. I had to give up my position at the Miami City Ballet to do this. It was difficult to give it up when I don't know what's going to happen. It's a leap of faith."
Check out behind-the-scenes video of the top 11 dancers at their first photo shoot: