Metro Atlanta didn’t have a single representative on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” over its first seven seasons.
Then the floodgates opened last year with two finalists, including winner Melanie Moore from Marietta. This year, for season nine, three more locals made the finals, with Duluth resident Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer landing in the finals, just missing the $100,000 prize.
The top 10 dancers, including Spencer, will perform their best dances from the show, plus a few originals, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
“I haven’t been home since I started the show,” Spencer says in a phone interview earlier this month. “I’m crazy excited coming back.”
Spencer, a 2008 Creekside High School graduate, stood out from his very first audition at the Fox Theatre earlier this year. He improvised a pop-and-lock robotics routine that mesmerized the judges. In the past, most solo dancers like him typically stumbled when they were forced to learn choreography and work with partners.
Not Spencer. He was a quick learner. He kept picking up dance moves and stayed out of harm’s way week in and week out as more experienced dancers fell on the way side.
“I surprised myself,” Spencer says. “I never thought I’d make it that far.” Whatever he lacked in technical skills, he made up in personality and passion.
Nigel Lythgoe, the creator and co-judge on “So You Think You Can Dance,” said on the show that Spencer was an “inspiration.”
“You deserve to be here, young man,” said Lythgoe during the finale performance show. “You Cyrus have improved so much as a dancer on this show. You’ve almost been starved of dance. Here you are with a banquet in front of you and you are gobbling everything up.”
Spencer says the concert is packed with 43 dances. He takes part in 13 or 14 of them, including a solo.
“So You Think You Can Dance” debuted in 2005, an “American Idol” for dancers. It has survived nine seasons but ratings have slipped sharply, endangering the show’s future.
Spencer, in the meantime, plans to move to Los Angeles and take ballet and contemporary dance classes. Many key West Coast choreographers, he said, want to work with him. “I want to create new styles of contemporary dance,” he says.
Here was his original audition:
If you want to know more about him:
“So You Think You Can Dance”
7:30 p.m. Saturday. $39.50-$65. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800, www.cobbenergycentre.com.