A 'So You Think You Can Dance' promotional photo from Dakayla Wilson’s audition interview.

Bloomingdale High School 2023 graduate Dakayla Wilson received three resounding ‘yeses’ from the judges on the television show So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) after her audition, which aired on Fox on March 4.

SYTYCD is a reality television dance competition show where dancers move through rounds of competitions vying for a chance to be “America’s favorite dancer.”

Wilson’s journey to being on the 18th season of the show began when she started training as a gymnast at Golden City Gymnastics in Brandon. She enrolled in dance classes to help with her floor routine, but it was not long before dancing took her heart. By her freshman year at Bloomingdale, she was training at 5th Dimension Dance Center off Lithia Pinecrest Road.

Wilson credits her 5th Dimension jazz teacher, Arielle Holder, for being her biggest mentor.

“She was really the one who influenced me a lot to be a better version of myself,” Wilson stated.

Host Cat Deeley with Dakayla Wilson in the season premiere of ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’

Wilson said her style is a fusion of jazz and contemporary dance mixed together.

The judges on SYTYCD praised her as a versatile dancer, noting how she gracefully showcased her gymnastic skills.

Judge Allison Holker said, “The best performers on So You Think You Can Dance are individuals who can dance in any style and captivate through their movement. That’s why I fell in love with you right now.”

On March 21, while Wilson was visiting Bloomingdale, she led master classes at 5th Dimension with students she used to be on dance team with while her former instructor looked on. 5th Dimension owner Alexis Johnson said that her fearless nature has transcended through the classes.

Dakayla Wilson with 5th Dimension Dance Center master classes on March 21.

“From the beginning, from the first day we saw her, we knew there was something about her that was super special. Everyone else now gets to see what we’ve seen. She’s a really fearless, strong and powerful dancer and person,” Holder said.

Wilson’s long-term goal is to go on tour and travel. Her advice for young dancers is to be authentic.

“I just say, be yourself. Don’t hold anything back. Don’t try to be someone you are not. It will come across, no matter who you come in contact with, if you are genuine or not,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s genuine strength as a dancer shined through during the audition rounds. She was selected on March 25 as one of the season’s top 10 contestants. As a top-10 finalist, she will compete in dance challenges that mirror a real career in dance, vying to win the show’s $100,000 grand prize.

New episodes of SYTYCD air on FOX every Monday through May 6 at 9 p.m. EST.

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