Grad Dances into National TV Spotlight

Talent, Hard Work Land Former Student in Popular Television Dance Contest

July 8, 2008

Many UT Dallas students and alumni are known for using their heads, but one recent graduate is gaining recognition for using her feet, too.

Chelsea Traille
Chelsea Traille dances with partner Thayne Jasperson.
Making a name for herself is Chelsea Traille who sparkled among thousands of dancers from around the country to earn a coveted top 20 spot as contestant in season four of the popular Fox television series So You Think You Can Dance.

The Flower Mound native, who graduated in December with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, immediately impressed the judges at a Dallas audition in January. She was then sent to Las Vegas where the judges narrowed the pool to 10 male and 10 female dancers. This elite group, which included Traille, would compete for the title, “America's Favorite Dancer” and a cash prize of $250,000.

“An experience like this is 90 percent mental and emotional power,” Traille said.

Chelsea Traille
Traille in a solo performance.
In performance rounds, Traille, who began dancing at age three, had the opportunity to train with renowned choreographers. She said that she and her fellow competitors worked at a grueling pace to learn and present moves with precision and personality.

“There was a three hour rehearsal every Saturday. On Sunday we did an on-set dress rehearsal, we taped the show on Monday night, and it aired on Wednesday,” she explained. “It was a crazy, exhausting, fun experience.”

While at UT Dallas, Traille focused on academics and taught at Top Hat Dance Centre in Lewisville. She also was a Dallas Mavericks Dancer during the 2006-2007 NBA season.

Although Traille was recently eliminated from the competition, she is enjoying her newfound fame and plans to use her experience on the show, along with her UT Dallas education, to build her career.

“I hear people saying my name, and it’s stunning,” she said.


Media contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Chelsea Traille

UT Dallas grad Chelsea Traille out performed thousands of dancers to earn a top 20 spot on the hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance. "An experience like this is 90 percent mental and emotional power," she said.

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Video: Watch one of Chelsea's solo performances.

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