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December 22, 2014

'So You Think You Can Dance Canada': Carlena Britch and JP Dubé Exit the Stage

by Bryan Cairns, posted Aug 11th 2011 9:00AM
Early on in 'So You Think You Can Dance Canada,' hip-hop dancers Carlena Britch and JP Dubé found themselves in the bottom three. The two survived to perform another day, but they weren't so lucky this week and were eliminated. Extremely upbeat and optimistic, Carlena and JP dished to AOL TV Canada about hip-hop and their highlights from the competition.


Carlena, how pleased were you with your contemporary routine and you, JP, with your hip-hop piece?
Carlena: Honestly, I really wanted to get contemporary, so to have gotten it as my last genre and leave with a bang felt really great. I feel contemporary dancers have very similar movement to hip-hop dancers; we're kind of cousins to each other. I really felt the emotion behind it and working with Shane was absolutely incredible. It was nice to show everybody I'm very fluent in my own style, but I can also tap into other styles and give it my all.

JP: I was pretty happy I got (choreographer) Sho-Tyme for a second week because he's one of the founders. He's been doing this since the beginning. He totally showed me the meaning behind hip-hop and I feel I've opened up even more because of that. I hope Canada saw that, and the judges were pretty happy with what we did. Personally, I think Yuliya smashed it because she had three days to master a genre that's completely out of her style. I helped her as much as possible and I think we did a really good job.

Was it nerve-racking dancing for your life again and then waiting for the results?
JP: Honestly, I was expecting to dance for my life, so I was really prepared for that. Waiting for the results is very nerve-racking because you never know what can happen. Unfortunately, I went home, but that's the name of the game. At the end of the day, there's only one winner.

Carlena, Jean-Marc said you were eliminated due to the number of votes. If that was the case, are you surprised Shane wasn't sent home as well?
Carlena: Well, that's the thing. It if was based on votes, Shane would have gone home too. That's the magic of television because the general public goes "Well, Carlena left because of votes," but if that was the case, Shane would have gone home too. But nobody questions that. It's just the way it is. As a street dancer, it's a risk having someone like me on television because I don't have the training any of those girls do. I'm very unique as an individual, which is what helped me make the top 22, but it's hard to know how I'll do in different styles.

The two of you were the last ones from your genre. Why have hip-hop dancers had it so rough this year?
Carlena: I think the general public is not as educated as we all want them to be in hip-hop. Our work is completely different. It's one of those worlds you just have to hold your head high and be as strong as possible. In our industry, it's your strength and confidence that gets you far. On television, it's portrayed as best it can be, but people need to be educated on it. To have us all go home is very difficult. We all deserve to be here, but all we can do is be grateful.

With the revolving door of talented choreographers, which one inspired you the most?
Carlena: Probably working with Sean Cheesman in the Theatre round. He is an incredible person and his positivity is so amazing, especially under these circumstances. You need to believe in yourself in these situations, but being in a competition like that is always tough standing by yourself and pushing for it. His positive energy made me want to work that much harder.

There's also been so much partner swapping lately, so did you have a favorite?
JP: I had a really good week with Geisha doing House. We were friends since last year when we met at auditions. We have a good chemistry, she's really funny, and we were both out of our genres. We were in the same boat, so I think that was my best week.

You both auditioned in previous seasons and are still fairly young. What did you learn from this experience?
Carlena: Just be true to who you really are and really believe in yourself. At the end of the day, if you don't believe in yourself, nobody else is going to. Fate has a plan for us and we're all here for a reason. An experience like this only helps you grow, open doors for you, and makes you realize what you are capable of. I cannot thank people more than I have.

JP: You always have to believe in yourself and your dreams. I started dancing in season one and then I decided to audition the day before. I believed I could do it and worked so hard for it. You can do anything if you put your mind and the effort into it. Also, you can never stop learning. I really learned so much here.

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