Oct. 10--Jasmine Harper thought she could dance, and as it turns out, she could.
Like most young girls, the 20-year-old Rochester, N.Y. native started dancing at age 3 and hasn't stopped since. In September, she finished second on the 10th season of Fox's So You Think You Can Dance, a reality TV dance competition.
Now, Harper and the other top 10 contestants of the season are making their way around the country on the So You Think You Can Dance Tour 2013. First place winners, Amy Yakima of Northville, Mich., and Fik-Shun Stegall, an animation performer from Las Vegas, are among the finalists on the tour, along with tapper Aaron Turner, who finished second place among the males.
The 42-city tour kicked off earlier this month in East Lansing, Mich., and will stop in Toledo on Saturday at the Stranahan Theater. Other shows are scheduled throughout the United States, including in Cleveland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and in Canada.
The two-hour, fast-paced, high-intensity performance will show off each dancer's athleticism, strength, and passion.
It will feature some of this season's most popular dances, and new routines will be integrated into the mix. Solo, duet, and group performances are planned.
Since the season finale in September, Harper and the other dancers have been practicing for the tour. After the tour, Harper said she hopes to dance her way to the job of her dreams.
"I'd like to go on tour with an artist and do music videos," Harper said. "After you do this show, you're prepared for anything, so I'm just waiting to see what opportunities come my way."
Harper, a contemporary dancer, trained at the Little Red Dancing School in New York, where she also learned ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, modern, and musical theater.
Before going on the show, she worked as a professional dancer with Xcel Talent Agency.
Despite her diverse training, Harper said the routines were still challenging.
"No matter what style (of dance) I got, it was always a challenge," she said. "There was always something. I had no ballroom training before the show. There's a lot of technique involved and it's hard to fake it."
Harper said she doesn't mind the eight to 10 hour rehearsals for the tour, adding that she's grown used to the hard work after 17 years of dancing.
"There were times when I wanted to be done with dancing, but it's my passion," said Harper who now resides in the Atlanta area. "It's intense and it's grueling. You have to be made to do it."
So You Think You Can Dance will show at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Stranahan Theater. Tickets range from $42.50 to $62.50 and are available at the Stranahan box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling 419-381-8851. Check out the complete tour .
Contact RoNeisha Mullen at email@example.com or 419-724-6133.
(c)2013 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)
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