COMPOSED and determined, right until the end.
When Teya Wild was chosen by judges to be eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance Canada this week, she didn't cry, but smiled and hugged her competitors.
"It won't be the end for me," promises the North Vancouver dancer on the phone from Toronto. She's staying there for a week to support her fellow dancers who made the Top 16 before returning home, and plans to jump right back into dancing.
In the first half of the season, only the three dancers with the fewest votes from the public face elimination, and this was the first time Wild's future had been on the line. That's when dancers are put to the test in a solo, and before that she said she was certain she'd be back. After the dance, however, as the judges filed in with their decision, she had a nagging feeling this might be it.
"I feel like I knew," she says. "I wanted to leave composed, I'm not going to waste my time crying on that stage when I had only a few minutes to thank the people who mattered."
On top of the list of challenges was learning new genres each week. Though she's a hip hop dancer by trade, she never once got to work with a hip-hop choreographer in her style, starting with a contemporary, moving to Viennese Waltz in the second week and ending with a krumping dance.
"It was really hard knowing I was leaving without showing Canada my genre," she says. "I would really, really like to be known for what I do best, and show Canada that I can do hip-hop."
Hip-hop dancers have traditionally had a tough time on the show, too, never having won the competition. This year there were four to begin with, and only one is left.
But even in defeat, Wild says she was overwhelmed with the amount of support she got from her fellow competitors and people back home. That was especially helpful seeing many of the other dancers from Ontario bring their family to the Toronto showroom, something she couldn't do so easily.
"It truly felt I wasn't dancing alone," she says.
As part of the show she's been honing her performances every single day, and says she has no intention of slowing down when she returns to North Vancouver. She also hopes to open new doors thanks to the added exposure, and whatever happens, keep the music playing.
"Keep working as hard as I was because I feel I can do anything after that show. The show was the hardest part of my career," she said.