Some homegrown talent is starring in Season 12 of the beloved dance reality show So You Think You Can Dance. Tap dancer Gaby Diaz made the final cut to join the cast. The 19-year-old initially auditioned twice, first in Houston and then in Detroit, on the invitation of the show's judges, who were impressed with her tapping skills but less-than-impressed with her routine. Her second, pared-down routine — a jazzy take on traditional tap dancing — wowed the panel of judges, which included Paula Abdul.
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"It's easy for me to get rattled when I find out what style I have, but I really need to just tackle it as it were my specialty," Diaz said about the show's rigorous schedule. Dancers are assigned routines well outside of their specialty and judged on their performance. Diaz has already performed an intricate African jazz routine.
Diaz isn't the first Miamian to storm the SYTYCD stages; the show actually has some pretty deep 305 roots. Jeanine Mason won the show's fifth season, inspiring audiences with her graceful modern dance. Those are some pretty big dance shoes for Diaz to fill, but it looks like the tap dancer is up to the challenge.