July 28, 2009 09:00 AM by Britteny Elrick
After being eliminated fromSo You Think You Can Dancelast Thursday,Janette Manrara participated in an exit interview to talk about her experience on the show.During the conference call, she discussed her biggest inspiration on the show, what it was like going from banking to dancing, and her interactions with Ellen DeGeneres and Katie Holmes. Keep reading for full details…
I want to know who is the most inspiring person that you got to work with on the show.
J. Manrara:That’s a tough one. I really, really enjoyed working with so many people. I really enjoyed working with Sonya. She has a lot of positive energy. She pushes you to your limits but in a positive way and she is always by your side, always trying to get the best out of you.
And then there’s of course, Wade Robson. He was just amazing to work with as well. Such a creative genius. He has such quirky, cool different ideas. He choreographs and works the same way. He would change a thing and then goes back and forth a lot but the ending product always works out really well.
And then none the least, Mia Michaels is just awe-inspiring to be just standing next to because she’s just– She’s done so much for the dance community and to be able to– I didn’t get to work with her in a duet level but we did do two group numbers with her and she just was phenomenal. She was very, very tough. She pushed us to our limits as well but just extremely, extremely talented with her creativity and her ideas and just amazing. Very awe-inspiring. It was very surreal to be there with such amazing people.
So I know that you worked at a bank prior to going on the show. Could you tell us a little bit about the corporate world versus dancing? Were you always busting a move in your cubicle?
J. Manrara: Right. You should have seen me at the office. All my friends laughed at me. I played music all day and I was in my desk, moving around at all times. I couldn’t sit still. I really got into dancing a little too late, unfortunately. I realized how much I loved it when I was 19 so I had already started working at the bank. I already had a full-time job and it was very difficult to make that transition.
I had to actually quit my job and leave everything that I had and everything that I had known to come and be on this show. It was a major risk that I took but I think it was a risk worth taking. It’s just such a different life. It just feels more like home to be on stage dancing and getting ready and makeup and hair and all that than sitting behind a desk and filling out paperwork for other people. I just feel better.
I’m sorry to see you go. It was a shock last night, I felt like. And you have also been declared basically the flat-out favorite to win from the judges if it was up to them. Does that make it harder to hear that?
J. Manrara: Actually, it makes it easier. It makes it easier to go home. I think that knowing that when Mia said that last night, I was completely shocked and I couldn’t believe that she felt that way about me. Me not being a contemporary dancer and her being a contemporary choreographer, just made me feel very accomplished. It sucks that I couldn’t achieve what Nigel and I guess Mia wanted me to achieve but at the same time, I do go home with a sense of still winning.
I still accomplished something great and I still reached a goal that I think a lot of other dancers would love to and might still reach. It’s bittersweet. It’s very bittersweet to know that they feel that way. It definitely did make it easier to go home when Nigel said that he felt that he wanted me to win this year. Hard and easy, yes. Both at the same time.
And so what about the star power we had this week with Ellen DeGeneres and Katie Holmes? Did you get to interact with them or what were your kind of impressions of their appearances on the show?
J. Manrara: Well I am a huge, huge Ellen DeGeneres fan. I’ve liked her for a really long time so when we found out that she was going to come and be one of the guest judges, I jumped for joy. I was like, “Oh my God!” I was star struck; I was so excited. And we actually did get to meet her a little bit and talk to her after the show.
I definitely expressed to her how much of a fan I was. And she said she had loved watching me dance and she had seen my other performances throughout the season so it was very surreal to know that Ellen, this woman that I just adored as a comedian and as a talk show host, had actually been watching me on television and knew who I was. It was amazing. And then we didn’t get to meet Katie Holmes. We saw her around a couple times but I was very, very, very impressed with her performance and with her singing and dancing capabilities. Yea, it was like cool and we were kind of all star struck.
Photo courtesy of Fox Broadcasting