Meet "A Chance to Dance" Star Joni Tuttle
Nigel Lythgoe’s new dance reality series, “A Chance to Dance,” follows the British BalletBoyz Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt on their journey to create a contemporary company in America. On tonight’s finale, we’ll find out which dancers will join the Season 9 “So You Think You Can Dance” contestants on tour. We talked with Joni Tuttle, a ballet and contemporary dancer, about how she secured her spot on “A Chance to Dance” and what it was like working with the BalletBoyz.
Dance Spirit: Where did you train growing up?
The Jacqueline Colledge School of Classical Ballet in Utah. I also took jazz, modern and contemporary. Right out of high school I joined Utah Regional Ballet, and danced with them for six seasons before moving to Portland, OR to join Northwest Dance Project. I had just moved back to Utah and was figuring out my next step when I heard about the “Chance to Dance” audition.
DS: The Ballet Boyz only had 28 days to put together the company. How did the time crunch affect the process?
JT: It definitely made it more intense, especially at the beginning: They did almost all of the cuts within the first five days. It’s hard to put a show together that quickly, but because we were so engrossed in the process, the muscle memory came quicker and easier.
DS: What was your favorite part of being on the show?
JT: The finale performance. I love performing more than anything and the movement we were given was very much what I love to do. It was an honor to dance the duet at the end of the show. Plus, being at the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet theater was amazing–it’s such a beautiful space.
DS: What do Michael and Billy expect technically from their dancers?
JT: They’re from The Royal Ballet, so they’re classically trained (they’re the most beautiful male dancers I’ve ever seen!). They expect a high level of ballet technique and dancers who can really move.
DS: What are your dance dreams?
JT: To have as many different experiences I can. Each one shapes me as a dancer.