An 18-year-old firecracker, Shauna Noland came out of nowhere to make the top 20 on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance (Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET, Thursdays at 9), only to get cut weeks later. In a conversation with TVGuide.com the day after learning her fate, the contemporary dancer opened up about the end of the road, her partners and what really made her cry.
TVGuide.com: Do you think you deserved to go home?
Shauna Noland: At this point, no one really deserves to go home. But they have to get rid of two people, so it was just my time to go.
TVGuide.com: Some of the other dancers, like Lacey and Hok, were featured frequently in the audition episodes, but not you. Why do you think that is?
Shauna: If I could figure that out, I'd be so happy. [Laughs] I have no idea. From Day 1 of auditions, they know what they're doing and I think they sort of had it all planned out. Who knows why they didn't show me?
TVGuide.com: Do you feel that affected your connection with the audience?
Shauna: Yeah, I do think so. When it first started, everyone was like, "Who's the blonde girl?" It definitely would have helped if I had been seen in the auditions, but there's not much I can do about that now.
TVGuide.com: How much work went into preparing for your final solo?
Shauna: For me, doing a solo is very mental. I like to have a plan of where I'm going to go on stage for what parts, but I don't actually plan out my solo, because I think that when you're up on stage dancing for your life, it brings out a lot more emotions than it would at the studio choreographing it. I feel more, like, real and in the moment when I just improv on stage and let my emotions speak for me.
TVGuide.com: You have a few signature moves, like the spiral spin with the leg raise. Did you learn or create that?
Shauna: The leg turn I started doing when I was probably about 13. It was something I was playing around with at the studio and I just thought it was fun. My teacher thought it was cool and told me to practice it to get it consistent. From then on, I just worked on it and slowly started doing more turns, adding to it, and putting it at the end of different turn sequences.
TVGuide.com: What were rehearsals like with your first partner, Jimmy, and your second partner, Cedric?
Shauna: Rehearsals with Jimmy were awesome. We were both comfortable with the styles that we got, so that really helped because we were just having fun. With Cedric, it was awesome as well, but the styles were harder.
TVGuide.com: And how was your chemistry with them?
Shauna: I didn't really know Jimmy before we got paired together, so that was kind of rough. We almost got closer after he got kicked off the show, which was unfortunate. He would call me all the time and ask how I was doing. And with Cedric, I had gotten to know him before we were partners, so that helped.
TVGuide.com: What was your favorite dance on the show?
Shauna: I don't know. Broadway wasn't really my style of Broadway, hip-hop wasn't really my style of hip-hop, contemporary wasn't really my style of contemporary.... I felt like a lot of it wasn't really me and didn't show a lot of who I was. But based on that, my favorite would probably be hip-hop or contemporary.
TVGuide.com: Who was your favorite choreographer?
Shauna: Tyce [Diorio]. He does a great job making the dancers feel comfortable doing his work and understanding it.
TVGuide.com: What style was the most difficult for you?
Shauna: Definitely the mambo. It's the total opposite of what I'm used to. I'm used to ballet arms and posture and it's all bent. It's hard.
TVGuide.com: Which body part hurts the most?
Shauna: My feet. [Laughs] They're kind of a disaster right now, I have blisters everywhere and my toes are all split and one of my toenails is about to fall off.
TVGuide.com: So no sandals anytime soon?
Shauna: No sandals. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Who were you rooming with?
Shauna: Lacey, Jamie and Lauren. We had a blast — it was an awesome room.
TVGuide.com: How long did you cry after you found out you were going?
Shauna: I had totally prepared myself for it. I don't know why, but I had a strange feeling that I was going to go home, so when they said it to me, I actually was fine. I was smiling and thinking, "Bummer, but oh well." But as soon as the [video montage] played, I started crying — only because they put it to such sad music! I went up to [executive producer/judge] Nigel [Lythgoe] afterwards and said, "Can we change that music? Because it made me cry."
TVGuide.com: Has it sunk in yet?
Shauna: Yeah, I'm a realistic person, so I'm not going to dwell on it. I'm a strong believer that things happen for a reason, so I know that it's just time for me to move on and do other things.
TVGuide.com: Such as?
Shauna: I'm going to continue auditioning and dancing. Being at the premiere of Hairspray and talking to all those people really made me realize how much I want to do other stuff, too. I think I'm going to start getting into acting and singing a lot more as well.
TVGuide.com: Now that you're gone, who do you think will win?
Shauna: At this point, I have no idea because everyone is so different and they're throwing a lot of twists, like last week with Jessi and Jesús. No one knows what's going to happen.
Now read our Q&A with Dance castoff Cedric Gardner.
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