FRANKLIN — Kenya Welch, from the moment the show first aired, spent most of her time in the dance studio anticipating when she would be old enough to audition for the famous FOX T.V. Show "So You Think You Can Dance".
Welch, a Franklin native auditioned for the 12th season of the show with her Contemporary piece "Say Something" which aired June 22. The performance earned her enthusiastic reviews from the judges according to the FOX show's website. The three judges sent Welch straight through to Vegas where she would go on to the next round of the competition.
"She was just a natural talent from a young age" said Sue Harrington, who taught Welch from the time she was a little girl. Welch grew up dancing at Creative Steps in Franklin from age six. "Our studio motto is "can't is not in my vocabulary", Harrington reflected, "Kenya has made us proud by following this through."
The judges were pleasantly surprised by Welch's talent at the audition as they passed her through the first couple of rounds of Vegas week. Vegas week is a chance for the judges to see what dancers of all different backgrounds and styles are truly made of. She made it to the Broadway round when she was eliminated as one of the top 22 girls of the season. Welch's journey didn't end there though, she was picked up by a talent scout to perform in an off Broadway show in Vegas based on Motown. Welch will continue her training throughout this coming year in addition to her rigorous performance schedule in Vegas. She plans on returning to SYTYCD season 13 to try again.
With Harrington, Welch trained in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, and Tap. "She was a very hard worker and never let anything stand in her way" Harrington said."Now she is able to return and share this talent with other dancers in our area." Welch was home for a short trip from Vegas and able to spare a couple hours to pass her dance training to the next generation at her home studio. Young dancers from Creative Steps eagerly anticipated her class all week at their summer dance intensive. "It's hard to believe she grew up at our studio" said one of the students that took Welch's class.
"So You Think You Can Dance" was always Welch's goal", said Harrington, "It looks like she made it".
Creative Steps Will be holding an open house for ages 3-adult at 20 Canal St., Franklin, August 25-26 for anyone interested in starting their child in the art of dance.