People

Miles Faber - So You Think You Can Dance Canada 2008

Miles Faber

Age: 21
Occupation: Dancer
Hometown: Calgary
Audition City: Toronto
Place of Birth: Toronto
Nickname: Mile-High
Favourite Style of Dance: Popping and Boogaloo
Signature Dance Move: Chest pop
Couldn’t Live Without: “My shoes, man! I need my dancin’ shoes!”
Motto: “Forever learning, yo.”

Twenty-one year-old Miles Faber’s passion for music runs as deep as his love for dance. “If I could meet one person living or dead, it would be jazz drummer Buddy Rich, one of the best drummers of all time!” Playing guitar, drums, practicing his moves and watching his jazz musician father perform are what Miles deems to be some of his favourite pastimes.

With no formal training, this dancer’s first-ever class was taught by choreographer Tara Wilson, where he was introduced to hip-hop and popping.

Miles wants So You Think You Can Dance Canada viewers to know that “if you’re a b-boy, a funkstyle dancer, any type of dancer, you don’t have to be a one-trick pony. If you can dance, you can dance.” He firmly believes that So You Think You Can Dance Canada will put this country’s dance world into the spotlight, and ultimately help out all Canadian dancers trying to make it. “This awareness is a positive thing for all performers, especially the younger dancers who are the future.”

So far, Miles has found the most difficult part of the competition to be learning and performing all different styles of choreography. In order to become the winner of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, he believes he must “be able to adapt to all the different dance styles and rip it up come show time!”

Calgary-native Miles says he is proud of literally everything about his hometown, especially the Calgary Flames. Of Canada he states “I hear everywhere around the world that people love Canadians! That’s something to be proud of!”

The greatest inspiration in Miles’ life has been his friends and family. “You are who you surround your self with, and I am proud to be a part of my family and circle of friends. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive family.”

Miles’ advice for future So You Think You Can Dance Canada hopefuls is “Stay true to your form, stay humble, and don’t give up…ever.”

Natalli Reznik - So You Think You Can Dance Canada 2008

Natalli Reznik

Age: 28
Occupation: Student
Hometown: Toronto
Audition City: Toronto
Place of Birth: Israel
Nickname: J’adore
Favourite Style of Dance: “Something sassy.”
Signature Dance Move: “Doing tricks with partners.”
Favourite Music Video: “All Nite Don’t Stop,” by Janet Jackson
Couldn’t Live Without: “Cream de Lamer.”
Motto: “Listen to your heart.”

When she found out that she’d made it into the So You Think You Can Dance Canada Top 20, Natalli Reznik kept it concise with three simple words, “Ohhhh my God!” Natalli began dancing later in life, starting with ballet when she was 17 before picking up modern, Latin and hip-hop.

Natalli says her determination and hard work have helped her get this far in the competition, with the biggest challenge being perseverance. “I didn’t give up, and I pushed myself through the choreography.” Natalli says she is ready to put in the hard work to become Canada’s favourite dancer.

Israeli-born Natalli calls Toronto home, where she’s currently studying Fashion and Visual Merchandise at Seneca College. And this fashionista is excited to show the judges and viewers her unique personality and give them “nothing but the best.”

Her favourite style of dance depends on her mood, but Natalie likes to spice things up. “I enjoy something sassy with a big skirt, heels and a partner.”

Prior to becoming a So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Top 20 competitor, Natalli performed in Cirque de Soleil’s Love before joining Canadian pop sensation Nelly Furtado on her world tour for two years. Viewers should also watch out for Natalli in the upcoming movie Repo: The Genetic Opera alongside Sarah Brightman and Paris Hilton.

Natalli hopes to follow the career path of singer and actress Jennifer Lopez. “J. Lo started from the beginning, and made a name for herself.” And if she could perform with any artist along the way, Natalli says she would love to bust a move with Janet Jackson and Madonna. But, she says, the one person aside from Madonna that she would have liked to meet is the late King of Funk himself, James Brown.

Her advice to future So You Think You Can Dance Canada hopefuls? “Go for it – if you never try, you’ll never know.”

Nico Archambault - So You Think You Can Dance Canada 2008

Nico Archambault

Age: 23
Occupation: Dancer/Choreographer
Hometown: Montreal
Audition City: Montreal
Place of Birth: Montreal
Nickname: Nico
Favourite Style of Dance: Contemporary and Hip-Hop
Signature Dance Move: “From a handstand, I push back on my hands, roll onto my stomach and press back up on the top of my feet.”
Couldn’t Live Without: “A book.”
Motto: “The Red Queen’s Hypothesis: It takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place.”

Hailing from Longueuil, Quebec, dancer/choreographer Nico Archambault refused to let naysayers stop him from pursuing his passion for dance. “Despite the fact that I was told to forget about it – that I would never make it – I never stopped doing what I thought was right.” He feels his ability to “adapt to different styles, energy and vibes” helped him land a spot in the Top 20 for So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

Although Nico has been studying dance at Cégep du Vieux Montréal, the dance world is not his sole source of inspiration. Groundbreaking rock ‘n’ roll acts such as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Pink Floyd are some of the artists he deems as “genius.”

Nico finds the camaraderie amongst dancers the most surprising part of his So You Think You Can Dance Canada experience. Wary of competition, he is touched to be surrounded by like-minded contestants who, as he says, “all came here for the love of dance, and were willing to help everyone as much as they could.”

As a longtime dancer, Nico is used to the physical intensity of competing. He has found waiting to be his biggest challenge, “because when you wait, you have the time to think, and with the thinking comes the doubting…”

Nico feels that winning So You Think You Can Dance Canada will require a great deal of hard work, determination and showmanship on his part. When asked what viewers can expect when they see him perform in the Top 20, Nico promises “passion, energy, entertainment and honesty…all this with a sexy vibe I guess!”

Romina D'Ugo - So You Think You Can Dance Canada 2008

Romina D’Ugo

Age: 22
Occupation: Actor
Hometown: Toronto
Audition City: Toronto
Place of Birth: Toronto
Nickname: Ro, or Romi
Favourite Style of Dance: Salsa
Signature Dance Move: “More important than any technical dance move is having intention behind the eyes.”
Favourite Music Video: “Nothing Compares 2 U,” by Sinead O’Connor and “Everybody Hurts,” by R.E.M.
Couldn’t Live Without: “My mp3 player…I NEED music in my life.”
Motto: “Be grateful, live deeply in every moment…breathe.”

Romina D’Ugo is no stranger to the stage. A Toronto-born actor, Romina is a graduate of Sheridan Institute’s Musical Theatre – Performance program.

Even though she knew the So You Think You Can Dance Canada experience would push her to develop her skills, Romina didn’t anticipate it being such a life-changing endeavour. “It challenged me to push through my fears and transform them into personal achievement and growth.”

Her hard work paid off, as Romina was named part of the So You Think You Can Dance Canada Top 20. “I felt pale and weak, but when I heard those words I thought I was going to leap out of my skin!”

Romina looks to her family and friends for inspiration, crediting her Mom for forcing her to take dance lessons. “Having such a smart and talented family forced me to excel in everything I did, from being a straight-A student to a hard-working entertainer.” But it was her sisters that kept her dancing; being the youngest, Romina looked up to everything they did. At age nine, she started taking jazz classes and picked up tap and ballet a year later, traveling across the country participating in dance competitions. She went on to attend Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, majoring in dance, before attending college.

But it was a couple of years ago that Romina fell in love with her favourite style of dance, salsa. After going to a salsa club with her sister, Romina quickly realized this was for her and found herself a partner. “The passion I feel when I dance salsa is like no other.”

If she could perform with any dancer, Romina would kick her heels with one of Broadway’s best, Chita Rivera. Playing her dream role though is foremost on her agenda: “I would love to perform the role of Velma Kelly in Chicago on Broadway, with Chita Rivera sitting in the front row!”

Aside from aspiring to achieve Chita Rivera’s success, Romina also looks to the careers of theatre veteran and actress Bebe Neuwirth and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. The fact that all three women have performed the role of Velma Kelly in Chicago is just icing on the cake. “I’m a little obsessed!”

Romina plans to bring that “jazz hot” flare to this year’s competition. “Viewers can always count on me for 100% hard work and passion in everything I do.”

Tamina Pollock-Paris - So You Think You Can Dance Canada 2008

Tamina Pollock-Paris

Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Hometown: Toronto
Audition City: Toronto
Place of Birth: Toronto
Favourite Style of Dance: Hip-hop
Signature Dance Move: “My model walk, better known as my ‘pump’!”
Favourite Music Video: “You Want This,” by Janet Jackson
Couldn’t Live Without: “Make up for sure!”
Motto: “Don’t be afraid to do EVERYTHING you love!”

When she was told she made it into the So You Think You Can Dance Canada Top 20, Toronto native Tamina Pollack-Paris felt honoured to be considered one of Canada’s top dancers. “I can’t wait to see what the competition has in store.”

A hip-hop dancer with some training in jazz, ballet and Irish dance, Tamina relies on her “personality, sass, attitude, and of course my ‘pump’” to get her through the competition. Tamina attended the Interplay School of Dance, and keeps busy taking classes at various dance studios in Toronto.

Supported by her family and friends, Tamina says her father is the greatest source of inspiration for her. “Whenever I’m in doubt, he always helps me realize why I’m here and what I’m here to do.”

One thing Tamina plans to do is make her own dance career path, one that includes applying her business degree; Tamina is currently attending Ryerson University majoring in Business Management.

If given the choice to work with any artist, Tamina would love to perform with Janet Jackson. “She has so much presence and swagger without even trying.” Another one of her favourites includes Paula Abdul. “In the ‘Cold Hearted Snake’ video they were just killing it – so sharp and clean.”

Tamina says her perseverance will allow her to become Canada’s favourite dancer, but knows it will also take the ability to adapt to different styles of dance. “I will have to become a chameleon and adapt to whatever the choreographers throw at me, and turn up the performance level 250%.”

When asked what she plans to bring to the competition, Tamina simply says “Fire!”

Vincent Noiseux - So You Think You Can Dance Canada

Vincent Noiseux

Age: 22
Occupation: Dancer
Hometown: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC
Audition City: Montreal
Nickname: Vincent
Favourite Style of Dance: “I cannot pick one. It really depends on the mood I’m in and how I’m moved by the choreography!”
Signature Dance Move: Sharp movement
Favourite Music Video: “Rhythm Nation,” by Janet Jackson
Couldn’t Live Without: “A toothbrush and clean underwear!”
Motto: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself!”

Since the age of the 13, Vincent Noiseux has dreamed of dancing for Janet Jackson and still regards her “Rhythm Nation” video to be his favourite. It was also at that age when he was introduced to contemporary and hip-hop dance, styles he now considers to be his strongest.

Vincent would most like to emulate the career of fellow Canadian dancer Kelly Konno of Triple Threat Dance, who has toured abroad with Janet Jackson. Vincent admires Konno for “sharing her passion and her knowledge with young dancers. I’ve had the chance to meet her and she is such a nice person.”

Vincent is surprised by the number of excellent dancers he has encountered during his So You Think You Can Dance Canada experience. He says he has been “blown away by the amount of talent.” This young dancer is extremely proud of his own focus and discipline.

Vincent feels that Canadian dancers must work harder than their American counterparts because the industry is “a lot smaller.” Still, this Montreal-area native is most proud of Canada because “it’s such a beautiful place filled with different people from different cultures.”

Vincent is overjoyed to be a member of the Top 20 for So You Think You Can Dance Canada. When asked of his reaction to the news he says, “I think I froze on the spot…I was hoping so much that I would get it and that I had done enough to impress the judges that I couldn’t believe what they were telling me. I’m still in shock but it is so exciting and thrilling!”

Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson - Dancing With the Stars 2008

Warren Sapp
PROFESSION:
Former Defensive Lineman

BACKGROUND:
Recently retired defensive tackle and Superbowl Champion Warren Sapp played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders during his 13 year career. His 96.5 career sacks are the second-highest career total sacks for a defensive tackle in the NFL. Warren was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1999, played in seven consecutive Pro Bowls and won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003. This Fall, Warren will co-host Showtime’s Inside the NFL and will be a studio analyst and game commentator for the NFL Network.

Kym Johnson
ACHIEVEMENTS:
Former Australian Amateur Ballroom and Latin champion
Finalist U.K. Ballroom Championships at Blackpool
Burn The Floor world tour
Dancing With The Stars Australia – Seasons 1, 2 and 3

STATS:
Style: Latin and Ballroom
Nationality: Australian
Based in: Sydney
Status: Not currently competing, recently danced on the DWS National Tour

BACKGROUND:
Kym reached the finals in Season 4 with partner Joey Fatone, where they finished second. She partnered talk show host Jerry Springer during Season 3, where they finished the competition in 5th place, and also partnered Mark Cuban (Season 5, 7th place) and Penn Jillette (Season 6, 12th place).

Kym began ballroom dancing at the relatively late age of 15 when she was dragged along to lessons by her brother who decided it would be a good way to meet girls. She soon got the bug and it wasn’t long before she was dancing competitively. In December 1998, she and then partner Tomas Atkocevicius came second at the Australian Dancesport Championships in the Open Amateur Modern ballroom.

Kym performed on the world tour of the modern ballroom stage show Burn the Floor. Kim further grabbed Australia’s attention when she appeared on Dancing with the Stars (Australia), and as a result she also appeared in TV ads and dipped into the world of modeling with a sexy shoot for FHM magazine.

Other highlights of her successful career include dancing at Elton John’s 50th birthday party and appearing in the hit movie Strictly Ballroom.

Misty May-Treanor and Maksim Chmerkovskiy - Dancing With the Stars 2008

Misty May-Treanor
PROFESSION:
Olympic gold medalist

BACKGROUND:
Beach Volleyball champion Misty May-Treanor and partner Kerri Walsh captured their second Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and became the first team ever to repeat as back-to-back champs. The victory also marked their 108th straight match win. Misty and Kerri were distinguished as AVP Team of the Year for four consecutive years (2003 through 2006). Misty was also named Most Valuable Player in 2005 and 2006, Best Offensive Player in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and Best Defensive Player in 2006.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy
ACHIEVEMENTS:
2005 Yankee Classic Professional Latin Champion
2004 Manhattan Dancesport Professional Latin Champion
2003 Ohio Star Ball Latin Champion
Ranked 2nd in the US

STATS:
Style: Latin
Nationality: Russian
Based in: New Jersey
Status: Maks no longer competes with former partner, Elena Grinenko.

BACKGROUND:
During Season 2, Maks and his partner actress Tia Carrere finished in 6th place. In Season 3, Maks partnered singer Willa Ford into 7th place. Maks made it to the finals in Season 4 with Boxing Champion Laila Ali, finishing in 3rd place, and made it to the finals again in Season 5 with Mel B., finishing in 2nd.

Maksim was introduced to the world of ballroom dancing at an early age when his parents brought him to a local ballroom dance school in Odessa, Ukraine. He quickly excelled in ballroom dance and the school became his home away from home.

As a teenager, Maks had a horrible skiing accident that nearly ripped his leg off and left him hospitalized for months. After many surgeries and the insertion of a 12-inch metal rod, doctors were skeptical that Maks would ever walk without a limp, let alone dance. After completing months of physical therapy, he was back on his own two feet walking, running, and dancing. Soon after, Maks established himself as the top dancer in Ukraine.

In 1994 the entire Chmerkovskiy family moved to Brooklyn, NY in order to start a new life and to give Maks and his brother a better atmosphere to grow and succeed in. The vision of the American Dream and his passion for ballroom dancing gave Maks the strength to fight through all of the obstacles that faced him and his family. He worked countless hours on his dancing and soon after emerged as one of the best dancers in the world.

Maks started the Rising Stars Dance Academy, which is the premier youth ballroom dance school in the United States. He is currently a board member for the non-profit organization DanceTeamUSA, which works hard to promote DanceSport amongst the youth of America. Maks also has a production company, “Maksim Chmerkovskiy Productions,” which organizes performances all over the world.

Susan Lucci and Tony Dovolani - Dancing With the Stars 2008

Susan Lucci
PROFESSION:
Actress and entrepreneur

BACKGROUND:
As the most famous face in daytime television history, Lucci has held audiences spellbound for years as the sexy, sassy, beautiful “woman you love to hate,” Erica Kane on All My Children. In May 1999, all of America stood and cheered when Susan Lucci won the Emmy Award for “Best Actress”. While competing on the show, she will continue her work on All My Children, and celebrate her 10,000th episode this November. In addition to her performances on Broadway and in cabarets across the country, Susan is an entrepreneur, having launched successful cosmetic, fashion, and jewelry lines on HSN.

Tony Dovolani
ACHIEVEMENTS:
2005 and 2006 World Rhythm Champion
2006 PBS American Ballroom Challenge Rhythm Champion
2006 Emerald Ball Open Professional American Rhythm Champion
2005 Ohio Star Ball American Rhythm Champion
Current world and undefeated United States Open champion

STATS:
Style: Latin
Nationality: Albanian
Based in: New York
Status: Retired from Competition

BACKGROUND:
Tony partnered the WWE wrestler Stacey Keibler in Season 2. The couple came in third place. In Season 3, Tony’s partner was country singer Sara Evans. The couple had to withdraw in the middle of the competition for personal reasons. In Season 4, Tony partnered Leeza Gibbons into 9th place. In Season 5, Tony led Jane Seymour to a 6th place finish, and reached the final four with Marissa Jaret Winokur in Season 6.

Born in Kosovo, Tony began folk dancing at age three. When he was 14, his entire family moved to the United States and Tony got the opportunity to attend a Fred Astaire Dance Academy. From that moment on, he knew he had found his passion.

Since that time, Tony has traveled the world and won many championships. Tony also had a featured role in the hit film Shall We Dance and spent time coaching Jennifer Lopez.

Cody Linley and Julianne Hough - Dancing With the Stars 2008

Cody Linley
PROFESSION:
Actor

BACKGROUND:
Cody Linley will be the youngest contestant ever to compete on Dancing with the Stars. He is best known for his role as “Jake Ryan” on the wildly popular Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, a role in which he was nominated for a Young Artist Award. He also helped the show garner an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Programming. Cody’s film credits include My Dog Skip, HOOT, Miss Congeniality, and Cheaper By the Dozen.

Julianne Hough
ACHIEVEMENTS:
International Latin Youth Champion
Junior Blackpool World Latin Champion
United States National Latin Youth Champion

STATS:
Style: Latin
Nationality: American
Based in: Salt Lake City
Status: Not Currently Competing

BACKGROUND:
Julianne’s first season on Dancing with the Stars was quite successful. She and partner Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Anton Ohno were the Season 4 champions, and she followed it up with another win in Season 5 with Helio Castroneves, making her the only pro besides Cheryl Burke to win twice.

Julianne grew up with her ten siblings in Utah. A born entertainer, Julianne has always loved singing, dancing and acting and at the age of 10 she left her home and family to move to the other side of the world to live and train with her coaches in London. While living there, Julianne partnered with Mark Ballas (the son of her world renowned coaches Corky and Shirley Ballas). It was with Mark that Julianne won all of her titles. Julianne is the youngest (and only) American dancer to have become both International Latin Youth Champion and Junior Blackpool World Latin Champion.

After graduating high school Julianne moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of acting, dancing and singing. She landed a role as a dancer on ABC’s game show Show Me The Money, and shortly after joined the Dancing with the Stars tour as a company dancer. When DWTS dancer Kym Johnson injured her arm, Julianne stepped in as her replacement and Cha Cha cha’ed across America with Season 1 DWTS competitor Joey MacIntyre. She was also Assistant Choreographer on Gwen Stefani’s Wind It Up video and has recorded her debut country album.