Ezra Sosa of Provo said his parents “were freaking out” when they found out both he and his sister, Stephanie Sosa, made it to the Top 10 on “So You Think You Can Dance.”
“My parents only have three kids, so you could just imagine not just one of the kids making it, but two,” Ezra Sosa, 18, said in a recent phone interview with the Daily Herald. “It just meant the world to them that we both made it because it’s pride, it’s our family, and we get to represent our family even further in this competition, so they’re really happy about that.”
The Sosa siblings will perform along with the rest of Season 16’s Top 10 on the show Monday at 8 p.m. on Fox, aiming to impress the judges and win America’s vote to advance to the Top 8.
Stephanie Sosa, 19, who was cut from the competition right before the Top 10 last season, told the Daily Herald making it to the Top 10 this year was one of the best moments of her life.
“I have been training ever since I started dancing for this moment,” Stephanie Sosa said. “It was my dream to be on the show. It was just reassurance that all my hard work paid off and that you can do anything you put your mind to. That you can keep pushing and going after you get knocked down, because eventually you will get where you want to be.”
The brother-and-sister duo auditioned for the TV series together, but they were forced to compete against each other moving forward to the “So You Think You Can Dance” Academy.
“I honestly didn’t feel like I was competing against her because we’re so supportive of each other,” Ezra Sosa said of his sister. “We grew up competing against each other, so we know no matter what to always be there and support each other.”
The Sosas specialize in ballroom, but competed in hip-hop and contemporary rounds at the Academy.
“I grew up training in every single style because I’ve wanted to be on this show since I was really little, so it wasn’t too difficult for me at all,” Stephanie Sosa said. “I think that the most difficult part of the Academy was the mental game and not knowing if you were going to make it or not.”
Ezra Sosa said the “definite challenge” at the Academy was trying to get out of his head.
“It’s really hard, but you really just can’t think about what’s next,” he said. “You just kind of have to be in the moment because if you think about what just happened or what’s going to happen, you’re going to get in your head.”
The judges told Ezra Sosa at the Academy they watched his sister most of the time at the beginning of the competition, but he has now come into his own in their eyes.
“I had a feeling they’d say that just because they know Stephanie better because she tried out on the season before,” he said. “When they were telling me that, it definitely didn’t come as a shock because my sister is an incredible dancer. I just knew I had to work extra hard just to set myself apart from her, so they can see me as a serious competitor in the competition.”
“So You Think You Can Dance” has helped Ezra Sosa figure out who he is.
“I grew up really close to Steph, and this competition kind of forced me to be independent from her, which was really hard at first, but it really helped me find who I am and find my own voice and make me more confident not just as a dancer, but as a person,” he said.
Stephanie Sosa said her first thought after the Academy when she found out she had made it to the Top 20 was, “I did it.”
“I’ve been training all year to get back to the same point that I was last year, and just knowing that all my hard work throughout the whole year paid off, that was the first thing I said to myself,” she said.
The Provo siblings were then paired with world-renowned choreographers and “So You Think You Can Dance” all-stars to perform routines outside of their style in the Final Cut.
Stephanie Sosa performed a contemporary dance choreographed by Mandy Moore with Robert Roldan to Lauren Daigle’s “You Say” on the Top 10 Girls episode.
“I kind of put my own story to it, and the song was just about finally believing in yourself that you can do something, and Mandy and Robert helped create something to show the judges that I’m ready for this,” Stephanie Sosa said. “It was one of the best experiences of me performing that I’ve ever had. I will always cherish that.”
Ezra Sosa performed a hip-hop dance choreographed by Luther Brown with Comfort Fedoke on the Top 10 Guys episode.
“I loved working with Comfort because she’d been through this whole experience before, so she knew exactly what I was going through, exactly what I was feeling, and she was a very supportive partner,” he said. “We actually bonded pretty well throughout the experience, and so I just felt really honored to share that moment onstage with her.”
Hip-hop was the only style Ezra Sosa didn’t want going into the Final Cut, and he thought being paired with Brown would make the challenge even harder.
“I’ve never worked with him before, and I knew that his style is incredibly detailed,” Ezra Sosa said. “I definitely had a hard time the first day with him picking up the choreography and picking up his details and his groove, but it was really nice to have Comfort there to really help me out with that because the next time we worked, it was much better.”
Ezra Sosa said he didn’t think he was going to make it to the Top 10.
“I thought that Steph was going to make it and they could only take one Sosa sibling in the Top 10, so when they were announcing if I was making it or not, I said, ‘Thank you,’ and I was literally about to walk off the stage,” he said. “But the judges do a really good job at throwing curveballs at you, making you feel like you’re not making it, and all of a sudden, you make it, so then it becomes this really great feeling.”
The judges also had some good feedback for Stephanie Sosa.
“Mary said that I was a star and then Nigel gave me some corrections, but he said that I shined throughout the Academy, and then D-Trix told me that I have this beautiful presence, and that was just super reassuring that I can do this,” she said.
Ezra Sosa said he is making sure he has an open heart and mind moving forward on “So You Think You Can Dance” because contestants who advance to the Top 10 can’t try out for the show again.
“I really take in everything that’s going on because I only got one shot at this, so I’ll have to make sure that when I’m here, I’m at my best and I work extremely hard in every single moment that I have because I’m never going to get this opportunity again,” he said.
Stephanie Sosa said she has “definitely grown so much as a dancer” throughout the competition.
“I’m just excited to continue to see how much more I can grow,” she said.
“So You Think You Can Dance” is not the end for Ezra Sosa.
“I really hope that this opportunity opens even more opportunities for me, so that I can have a really successful dance career,” he said.