Occupation: Performer/Circus Performer
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Audition City: Vancouver, BC
Place of Birth: Edmonton, AB
Primary Style of Dance: Contemporary
Signature Dance Move: I guess from last season it would have been – as Tré Armstrong described – my “leg up and that head through.”
Favorite Song to Get Pumped Up and Ready to Perform to: Anything from the Florence and the Machine “Lungs” album
Favourite Dance Movie: White Nights
Couldn’t Live Without: I could not live without a pair of sunglasses. Cloudy or not, I have to have them on me.
Motto: Many years ago, my dad and I were watching a special about figure skater Elvis Stojko. His coach used to say to him, “Practice does not make perfect. It’s a perfect practice that makes perfect.” My dad still says this to me.
Jeff Mortensen says he has come a long way since his audition last year for Season 2 of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA. While the 22-year-old made it into the Top 40, he did not advance any further in the competition. Fortunately, a year of solid training has paid off and Jeff is now a member of Season 3’s Top 22. “I think the judges see that I have put in a lot of hard work over the past year, and the potential I see in myself, with a kick in the pants from them, can translate into even more growth.”
Insatiable energy as a youngster caused Jeff’s parents to enroll their son into a variety of sports. Gymnastics became his mainstay until his aunt, who Jeff calls a “hardcore Ukrainian,” pushed him towards Ukrainian dance. From that point on, Jeff says “the rest was history.”
Jeff’s dedicated enthusiasm for Ukrainian dance has created some exciting opportunities and also a few additional stamps in his passport. Performing on several tours with the Ukrainian dance company Shumka has meant stops as far as China, and in 2007, Jeff signed a contract with the captivating circus/dance company Cirque du Soleil as one of the main character’s in the Beatles LOVE show in Las Vegas.
When asked what makes Jeff most proud, it’s all about the family. “I am so proud of my family because we have created such a strong and loving support system and we never let anyone fall through the cracks. We are always in each other’s business and are still able to get together with an excess of laughter.”
Jeff jokingly warns that Canadians can expect to be introduced to the worldly style of Ukrainian dance this season along with a few “tricks” of his own. “I also want everyone to know that I work hard, play hard, and am always willing to learn something new.”