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By People Staff
Updated June 27, 2008 12:00 AM
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It wasn’t the first time that So You Think You Can Dance contestants Chris Jarosz and Chelsea Traille faced elimination the bottom three Thursday, but sadly, it will be their last. Chelsea, 23, the former Dallas Mavericks dancer from Houston, Texas, said that “this isn’t the end of the road.” Holding back tears, Chris, 21, a featured dancer in High School Musical 1 and 2, told the audience, “This has been a dream come true. I love you all so much for everything!” In an interview Friday, both contestants, who were not partners, opened up about the SYTYCD experience and talked about what they learned, what’s next and what advice they’d give to future contestants. — Jed Dreben

What did you learn from your experience on the show?Chris Jarosz: Dancing with my partner Comfort — we’re both two different styles and it was such a learning experience for me to use both of our styles to our capabilities to come together and perform our best in a style we weren’t familiar with. My dancing has grown because you have to be open to different kind of styles.

Did any of the judges offer you words of advice after the show?Chris Jarosz: Adam Shankman was telling me after the show … “I could really see you out in New York. They would love you!” All the judges did say “keep your head” up and complimented me and told me to keep on going and that I’m really talented.

It seems like a very tough season of judging. Do you feel like contemporary dancers are an endangered species?Chris Jarosz: Well, to begin with, there were six of us and I was shocked that I made it! I feel like they’re starting now to weed out the contemporary dancers. I’m not sure how many are going to be left, but the ones that are left are super, super, super strong. There are also some crazy hip-hop dancers that are talented in other things — that can do contemporary stuff. Twitch did the Viennese Waltz and he looked great, and Josh was doing the Samba and he’s a popper.

What advice do you have for future contestants?Chris Jarosz: The advice I could give to future contestants is to get ready to work your tail off. I don’t think “fun” is the word for this competition. It’s amazing and it’s so exciting . It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever been through but it is the hardest work I have ever done.

Are you seeing someone in Dallas?Chris Jarosz: Yes, I am.

Have you been talking to her while on the show?Chris Jarosz: Yes, I have. It’s definitely been tough being so far away and you have to be so focused about the show.

But surely her seeing you on the show made all the difference in the world?Chris Jarosz: Totally. She’s a dancer. She’s an amazing dancer, so she kind of knows what’s going on … I can’t wait to go back and see her too.

What did you learn from your experience on the show?Chelsea Traille: The overall experience was how to go about working with — it wasn’t all about dancing. … It was a humbling experience being around so much talent and so many different genres, so those are the two main things that I’m going to take away from this — work ethic and working with different personalities.

What’s the best piece of advice you received while on the show?Chelsea Traille: Mia Michaels actually gave us the best advice: when you work with a choreographer, it’s not just about what you can do for the choreographer, but what you can take from her or him. … She said I want you to bleed me dry of all the information I have to share with you and our time together and you should be doing the same. And I expect the best from everyone I work with and anything less is not sufficient. So, that was really cool. That was really good advice as a young dancer in the industry.

What advice do you have for future contestants? Chelsea Traille: This competition is actually, in my opinion, a very small percentage about ability, because obviously once we get to top 20 … everyone is talented, so at that point it becomes a mental battle. When start to crack is when start to not perform well, so stay engaged mentally and try to keep the emotions at a minimal level.

What’s next? Chelsea Traille: Adam Shankman pulled some of the dancers aside and said, “You guys are going to be at the top of the entrance now as far as auditions go are going to be looking for you.” So, I’m going to use that momentum from the show and I feel like I’ve got a lot to give to the dance world and it’s nowhere near even over just because the show is over for me.

Would you have done anything different?Chelsea Traille: I don’t think I would. That’s the one thing I find peace with is that I did everything I could possibly do with the training that I’ve had. I used everything to the best of my ability, and every time I was on that stage, doing my solo, I know that I thought that I shined in my own way, which a lot of will never get to do. I feel very blessed and I’m very proud of my achievements this far. Joe Viles/FOX (2)