Former MDC Student Dances His Way into National Spotlight on Televised Hit Show
Brandon Bryant Began Formative Dance Training at Kendall Campus Just One Year Ago
Miami, July 2, 2009 - After auditioning last year for a coveted spot on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD),” Brandon Bryant was eliminated just before making it to the Top 20 round – it was his second attempt. Undeterred, the former Miami Dade College (MDC) dance major joined a professional dance troupe in Salt Lake City, Utah then auditioned when Season Five auditions were held in the western U.S. city earlier this year.
Needless to say, the 19-year old Miami native is still competing on the hit show, after surviving weekly eliminations since early June; he is now among the Top 14 finalists waltzing/stomping/grinding for a $250,000 cash prize plus opportunities galore.
So, how does Bryant feel about the rigors of performing live before millions of television viewers every week? “It is very overwhelming for someone not use to it,” he says. “But if its something you love it’s a very rewarding and growing experience.”
Currently residing in Salt Lake City where he is a member of the professional dance company Odyssey Dance Theatre, Bryant began dancing ballet at age 10, and has performed professionally ever since; including a stint with the college’s own Jubilation Dance Ensemble.
He recalled one of his more memorable dancing moments was performing for Madonna at her daughter’s birthday party. However, it was his time at MDC, attending classes, performing and choreographing for Jubilee, and mentoring other students that served as the perfect foundation for his time on SYTYCD.
“I enjoyed my time at MDC and it worked with my schedule because I was able to space out the time during the day,” Bryant said.
“Being a part of the dance program here really helped me and [my instructor] Ms. Michelle Grant-Murray is the most amazing technician because of the different styles of dance she would bring in. It really opened my eyes to the world with international and spiritual dance styles.”
Grant-Murray says she is very excited about her former student’s success and believes he will make it to the final round and could ultimately win.
The show has put the longtime instructor and professional dancer, in blogging and Internet overdrive where she studies the performances so she can share form and movement with her Kendall Campus students. “I go online and watch the episodes everyday, over and over; analyzing Brandon’s moves and his technique. When he’s nervous, he’ll text me” she said.
She added, “It’s been interesting to watch him grow up from a shy and introverted teenager to a very talented and outgoing young man, all within a year.”
Bryant’s advice for aspiring dancers is to “not give up and don’t take no as your final answer. Being on television is hard because you’re being criticized often, especially since it is national television.
So you just have to make sure this is something you really want to do because the world of television is a crazy, hectic world. If you can stand in front of a group of judges and take what they say to you, still move forward with what you want to do and show the world your talent, then you’ll be fine.”
“So You Think You Can Dance” airs at 8 p.m. Wednesday’s on the Fox Network.
For more information about MDC’s dance program, contact 305-237-2282 or visit http://www.mdc.edu/KENDALL/mtd/
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, firstname.lastname@example.org, MDC communications director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, email@example.com, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, firstname.lastname@example.org, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, email@example.com