The following is from the June 18, 2008, edition of The Dallas Morning News. SMU student Chris Jarosz was one of three from the "So You Think You Can Dance" tryouts in Dallas to make the show.
By DARLA ATLAS
When Nigel Lythgoe brought the So You Think You Can Dance crew to Dallas in January for Season 4 auditions, he wasn't initially blown away by the talent.
"The standings are a little lower than I'd hoped," said the judge and executive producer, who is also one of the honchos of American Idol. Fellow judge Mary Murphy ruled that the dancers were done in by "bad hands" and "lots of booty-shaking."
But that was early in the day. Things must have improved, because three of the top 18 dancers were discovered at the Southern Methodist University tryouts. Meet the rhythmically blessed trio. . .
Vitals: The 21-year-old grew up in Gaithersburg, Md., but moved to Dallas during his sophomore year of high school to train at the Top Hat Dance Center. On the show, the SMU dance major is teamed with Comfort. The two impressed the judges last week with their jive, causing Mr. Lythgoe to take back his early assertion that Chris "has got the personality of a tree."
First dance steps: "When I was 4 years old, my mom got me into it," he says. "Some of her friends were like, 'He should dance.' I guess they saw me at a wedding kind of moving around and stuff."
Audition day: Chris was scheduled to perform at a spring show the night of the Dance auditions. "I got there at 6 a.m. and didn't audition until 7:15 that night," he recalls. His other show started at 8. Luckily, the judges put him on through to Vegas rather than having him stick around for the choreography challenge. If that hadn't happened, "I would have had to drop out of the competition."
Career injuries: "I have hamstring issues, always. And as you get older – I'm not even that old! – your body goes through it all."
Biggest 'Dance' challenge: "Vegas was very mentally crazy with long nights, especially when we had to do a group dance," he says. "And you don't know what the judges are thinking, so it's a mind game, for sure."
# # #