Mission’s Edson Juarez got a late start in his dancing career, but that hasn’t slowed him down as he competes weekly on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.”
After a Bollywood routine Monday, Juarez slid safely into the top 18 contestants, down from 20 in the second week of competition. Divided into teams of street dancers versus stage dancers, the show each week showcases different styles of dance.
In an introductory video, 24-year-old Juarez stated he didn’t start dancing until he was 19, though he was a cheerleader in high school and now works as a dance director at Valley Cheer Elite in Pharr.
“Boys don’t dance apparently where I’m from,” Juarez said. “I want to show everybody that it is possible. Just believe in yourself and keep pushing through, no matter who support you, who doesn’t support you, it will happen – maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will happen.”
This year was Juarez’s second shot on the show. Last year, he didn’t make it to the top 20, and when asked why during his audition, Juarez gave a straight answer, stating he needed more connection with the audience and to work through his feet.
But after a high-energy audition in Dallas to “Hope This Makes You Love Me” by Tank, judges Paula Abdul and Jason Derulo were filled with praise.
“I think this is one of the best we’ve seen today,” Derulo said, and Abdul said for her, it was the best.
Nigel Lythgoe was more reserved, telling Juarez he needs more connection.
“So You Think You Can Dance” bloggers also seemed to be fans of Juarez.
“There’s definitely some work to be done on connection here,” one blogger wrote. “But Edson is a great dancer. Hopefully he can improve during Vegas this year because there’s lots of potential here. I do wish he danced a little lighter. I don’t like it when you can feel a dancer hitting the ground if that makes sense. But I think he can improve.”
Another blogger said Juarez was a power house, and an article on TVline.com stated he “moved like his bones were made of pure spring water — a rather remarkable quality for a fella whose torso looked like it had been chiseled from the same marble as Michelangelo’s David.”
After making it through the first cuts, Juarez took to Twitter to say he was excited for another week of competition and he gave a shout out to his roots, posting he was “#valleystrong.”