Eddie Hoyt, a teacher and student at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem, was shown advancing past the first part of the Academy round Monday on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

The tap dancer had to survive hip-hop, ballroom and contemporary performances for the judges after 90 minutes of learning the choreography for each dance.

Hoyt, who was eliminated in the contemporary round last year, told host Cat Deeley he felt “much better mentally than last year” going into the Academy, held at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

“I was very stressed,” Hoyt said.

Judge Mary Murphy told Hoyt following his ballroom performance he did “better than last year.”

“But that was not the best,” Murphy said. “You need to tone and strengthen up those arms.”

“I believe you can master all styles,” judge Laurieann Gibson added. “The idea that you’re showing me that you can’t, it makes me think you’re not serious about this competition.”

Judge Nigel Lythgoe defended Hoyt, calling him “a happy-go-lucky chap.”

“Not always,” Hoyt said. “I’ve grown a lot since last year, and I remember the comment, you told me, Nigel, I must be the happiest person on this planet, and I wanted to prove to you that I’m not just happy; I’m mature.”

Gibson then delivered the news Hoyt would “live to dance to the next round.”

“Yes, Eddie,” Murphy said. “You did great.”

The judges will narrow 79 dancers down to 20 during the Academy. Provo siblings Stephanie and Ezra Sosa, who also trained at Center Stage Performing Arts Studio, are competing on the show this year as well. The second part of the Academy round is set to air July 22 at 8 p.m. on Fox.

“I decided from Day 1 after getting cut last season I’m going to come back and make it further than I did,” Hoyt said. “I’m on the right track.”

Features Reporter

Sarah Harris writes about arts and entertainment for the Daily Herald.

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