The judges are showing no mercy this season on So You Think You Can Dance.  Two weeks in a row, they’ve eliminated an entire couple from the show.  Last week, they sent Rayven Armijo and Jamie Bayard home and last night, they told Susie Garcia and Marquis Cunningham to pack their bags.  Marquis, and 18 year old contemporary dancer from Florida, took it hard that his partner was sent home then found out seconds later that he would be joining her.  Many people in the studio audience booed the decision by the judges, feeling that they got it wrong.  Marquis left, though, with his head held high and today, spoke to BuddyTV in an exclusive interview.

Below, you will find the complete transcript and mp3 of the interview.

Hey everybody, this is Gina from BuddyTV and today I’m talking to Marquis from So You Think You Can Dance. Can you tell me a little bit about your dance background and how you got started?

It was toward the end of my eight grade year, we were putting together a Broadway medley in my choir class and a girl from the studio I now have trained at, she came to choreograph the medley. She saw that I caught on quickly and that I executed moves well, and she went back to my now teacher, Robin Dawn Ryan in Cape Coral, Florida, and told her about me. She was getting ready to lose a lot of boys due to graduation of that year and so she told Melissa Moore, the girl, to come back to me at my school and give me a little brochure about her studio and explain to her how she was interested in seeing me and meeting me and wanted me to see if I would like to come start training and dancing at her studio. Having not taken any prior classes being trained in the art of dance before that, except for dancing at home in my living room watching TV, being a little kid, a little boy, I talked it over with my mom at the time and went to the studio and it kind of all went uphill from there. Of course I was very intimidated at first because everyone was so good and I didn’t know anyone, but as time went by I gradually got to know everyone and got warm up and got my foot into dance and finally realized that this was something I love to do and what I want to keep doing. That was four years ago, going to be five years this summer, and I’m just so grateful for it, that God brought me to my future which brought me here.

Usually male contemporary dancers do very well on So You Think You Can Dance. What do you think happened last night? The three of you were standing next to each other in the bottom.

Being a contemporary dancer is one of the strongest genres out there that you have to uphold, and three of us being up there was, like Nigel said, a shocker to them, not a shocker but just very strange that three male contemporary dancers who should be strong are up there in front of them. I feel that what happened was, with me, I tend to be a very reserved person at times and at first I like to sit back and watch and observe, get to know people, and of course in this situation that we were put into, this world, there’s really no time to sit back. Even going into the top 20 I was told that, that you need to put yourself out there, you need to become friends with the camera, you need let America know who you are and why you’re there and why they should keep voting for you and why pick you to be their favorite dancer. I believe I started to overcome that little reservedness of me and really started to put my out there. It was difficult, with the cameras and having to try and relay who you are through a lens without coming across as fake. I don’t feel I did at all come across as fake, it’s just I thought it took me a little bit more than maybe some others in the competition to warm up to America and the audience. I don’t regret that, but that’s what’s helping me to roll, because I don’t see it as a failure thing I see it as an amazing opportunity that was passed my way, a learning experience where I can maybe not be so reserved anymore, because there’s no reason for it. God gave us, all of us who are there and who were there in the top 20, an amazing ability, an amazing gift, and it’s our job to share it open-heartedly, without any stand downs and without any hesitation.

Well, what’s next for you? Will you keep dancing and trying to do professional work as well?

Oh yeah, there’s no question in mind that I’m going to stop. Because if I do, I wouldn’t just be disappointing myself, I’d be disappointing so many others who have put their hand to help me to get me where I am, because it hasn’t been an easy road. I’m just going to keep going. I have things already kind of lined up that I need to do that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I was still in the competition. I’m just going to keep pushing forward, I’m not going to stop because this is what I love to do, this is what I feel God made me to do, what I was born to do, and it’s all going to be uphill from hill.

Thank you so much Marquis, I really appreciate it and I wanted to wish you good luck.

Thank you so much, I really appreciate it, too.

– Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)

Gina Scarpa

Staff Writer, BuddyTV