Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Tampa Native on 'SYTYCD' Tour

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Tampa Native on 'SYTYCD' Tour

Article excerpt

DANCE

Yorelis Apolinario knew just what she planned to do on her day off between stops in Clearwater and Sarasota (tonight) on the "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 12 tour.

"Honestly? I just want to go home and eat home-cooked food," said Apolinario, a Tampa native who is one of four alternates on this fall's touring version of the reality dance show, speaking by phone from the tour bus stop in Jacksonville. "I'm just excited to see my family."

Apolinario, who recently turned 20, moved to Los Angeles in July before the show began filming and plans to return to California when the tour concludes at the end of January. So the 24 hours with her parents and three siblings, who were anxious to see her perform in Clearwater, were welcome respite.

A self-described "freestyle" dancer, Apolinario made it to the final 14 in this summer's "Team Street vs. Team Stage" version of the audience-vote show. Even though she wasn't selected as one of the 10 finalists, she was invited to join them for the four-month nationwide tour that began in early October. And as an alternate, she's not just there in case someone is injured; she's dancing every night.

"Being in front of a live audience instead of in the studio is just crazy," she said. "It's so loud and there are so many people, the fans you see on your social media. And they are so there for you."

It's a scene Apolinario could never have imagined two years ago, when she "graduated" at 18 from the Tampa studio where she'd studied ballet, jazz and tap for 10 years and joined a hip hop dance crew known as the "Flooridians." The ensemble of 10 - mostly in their 20s and predominately male - competed in the improvisational dance-offs known as "battles," which helped her develop a facility across hip hop styles, from popping to locking to breaking.

She auditioned for "SYTYCD" the first time in New Orleans in 2014 as a contemporary dancer, but was cut during "Vegas week. …

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