So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Mondays and Tuesdays, 8 p.m. on CTV. Info: http: //shows.ctv.ca/SoYouThinkYouCanDanceCanada.aspx.
EVERY year the auditions for So You Think You Can Dance Canada came and went, and Teya Wild found an excuse not to go - at least until last December.
The North Shore-based dancer who studied then taught at Seymour Dance put together something quick when her friend convinced her to try, and wowed the judges into handing her a ticket to Toronto to square off against the best in the country.
Now she's two episodes into the fourth season of the hit CTV Show, where 22dancers square off against each other to win the hearts of Canadian viewers, and she's more than holding her own.
"I wanted to train, I wanted to be confident with my own style and my own personal movement before I put myself on TV," said Wild, who earned the name "Wild Child" from her fellow competitors.
"Just finding out that I was on the show, I was speechless, I was emotional, so emotional."
Wild started tap and jazz dancing at nine years old and it quickly eclipsed all her other passions. She took on new styles, in particular hip hop, which she specializes in today, and remembers sitting with other students in Grade 8 talking about what they wanted to do as a career when all she could think of was dance.
Soon she started auditioning for movies and video projects and joined the Project Soul Productions Company in Vancouver and her hip-hop dance troupe Diamonds in the Rough.
Even after reaching Toronto, Wild had to shine among 260 dancers all vying for a spot on the show.
The winner of the show will take home $100,000 and a new car, but Wild knows she has a lot of work before that. She described the show as her most difficult challenge, in part because her first dance with partner Kevin Howe was contemporary - a style where Wild was at first nervous and uncomfortable. While she admitted she didn't get all the technical details right, she impressed the judges with her heart.
"Switching genres is the hardest. You don't want to let go of what you just did but you're also relieved you're done, but you pick another genre and you have to get right into it. There's no holding back," she said. "It's getting harder and harder, it's not getting easier.(but) we're every good partners together, he's very technically trained and I have a lot of musicality and patience, so we put our qualities together and it's awesome."
In the audience for that show was Teya's mom Lisa Wild, who flew to Toronto for the first week, who was just as tense.
"You're always worried, what if she trips and falls or something happens like that, this is it. But no, she did an amazing job," she said, but added that Teya has had a drive to succeed since she started dance.
"It was never me saying 'Oh, we paid for these lessons, you'd better finish them.' It was never like that. It was all her."
While Teya isn't the only West Coast dancer on the show - fellow Diamonds in the Rough member Carlena Britch is from Vancouver - the Windsor secondary grad made sure her website on the show listed her hometown as North Vancouver.
"It's very important to me because I don't want to forget where I came from. I was raised in North Vancouver, my dance school was in North Vancouver, and I want that to be known," she said. Working with the school, she sees a lot of talent on the North Shore, and hopes to be able to judge some of the competitions she used to dance in when she returns.
In the meantime, though, she's hoping to take this as far as she can, and is thankful for all the support she's been receiving from her old dance partners, who made a YouTube video in her honour, to many of her friends and family back home. Lisa works at Curves in Deep Cove and has been pulling in support that way, too.