Friday, June 22, 2007

A Reality Check With ... Jimmy Arguello & Faina Savich (FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance"

Last night, the journey ended for two more dancers: contemporary dancer Jimmy Arguello & Latin ballroom dancer Faina Savich. They’re here to talk to RealityCheckByGina about their time on the show, their advice for the partners they left behind, and what the future holds for these two talented dancers.

RC: Can you each tell me about your dance background & training?
Jimmy: I started dancing when I was 12 in middle school then went to get formal training: hip hop, ballet, modern, lyrical, samba. I trained for the last 8 years. I’ve now moved on to another studio where I teach.
Faina: I started to dance in Russia when I was 9. First, it started out as Russian folk dancing which was part of a school program. My brother started & then my mom took me to the same thing. We had a teacher who was a ballroom dancer & he started to do something different with us. We also continued to dance outside of school.

RC: What was the experience like of trying out for So You Think You Can Dance?
Jimmy: This is my second year trying out. Last year, I made it to Vegas. When they were picking the top 20, they told me my samba wasn’t good enough & it wasn’t ready. I had to go back & I really made sure I was taking these classes so when I came back this year, I was ready! Look at me now, it definitely paid off.

Faina: The audition process was really, really stressful. It was just because I was nervous & excited with a mix of emotions. It’s very, very intense. You don’t see that on tv but the way the audition process is going – you have to dance, then wait, then people are eliminated – and you never know who’s going to be next. You’re trying to do your best & use every minute to practice so you can show more. It’s so stressful so because of that, I had difficulties. I forgot to drink water, I was dehydrated. My brother told me, “Don’t forget to drink water!”

RC: I heard that Jessi also suffered from dehydration this week. Is she ok?

Faina: Yeah you can’t forget to take care of yourself. Jessi … she’s ok now.

RC: Jimmy, were you surprised that another trained dancer was sent home in favor of uniqueness?

Jimmy: I really was surprised because the past two seasons, they were always sticking up for the all-around dancers. For some reason, this season, they’ve changed & they’re looking for uniqueness. I’m unique, I think everybody is unique! It was hard especially since it was his second time in the bottom three. I love Cedric but I had gotten such great feedback from the judges & I was never in the bottom 3.

RC: Faina, did you think you would have an advantage with the fans because you are Stanislav’s sister?

Faina: I didn’t know. I think he did a great job & he has fans but I don’t wanna be considered JUST his sister. The first time I was on the show, that’s what I was called. I don’t know if it’s an advantage or not. Every dancer, we had a chance to show ourselves & people started to see me as me.

RC: You were both very emotional at the end of last night’s episode. Was this a great experience for you?
Jimmy: It has been! Getting to know all these dancers & getting so close to them … I think that’s why I was getting emotional. The other hard part was watching Mary cry because I know she was behind me & supported me.
Faina: It has been amazing, just an amazing experience. I don’t even know where to start! We learned so much just being around these people & being on the show. It still freaks me out, the idea of the show. The judges were very supportive & the choreographers & contestants. We spent a lot of time together but quite a short amount of time.

Are there any choreographers you wish you got to work with on the show?
Jimmy: Brian Freedman, definitely Brian Freedman. I’ve taken class with him but I would’ve loved to have worked with him. He’s amazing, amazing, amazing at what he does.

Faina: Yeah, Mia Michaels. Yeah, of course…

RC: What dancers in this competition really impressed you?

Jimmy: They’re all so good! Everyone has worked so hard. I loved everybody! It’s so early in the competition, you don’t know yet…
Faina: Honestly, every single one is stand out for me because they’re all very different & for each dancer, I can tell you why they’re great for me.

RC: There are stories all over the internet & in magazines calling “So You Think You Can Dance” the hottest show of the summer. Why do you think the show is so successful?

Jimmy: I think everybody is so drawn to it because it’s so hard to be exposed as a dancer in this industry. To have this show support dancing & the community … and to watch people on the show, see the choreographers … you’re drawn to it. I was hooked on it last year seeing the people I knew.
Faina: I think the show is so successful because everyone, no matter what you do or who you are, can relate to it. Every person loves to dance whether they do it or not or know about it or not. It’s in us, it’s really in us! The show is so educational & it’s for kids, teenagers, adults. It’s fun & entertaining & they have the best choreographers, dancers, everything!

RC: Do you have any words for your partners who are still on the show?

Jimmy: Oh my gosh! I was blessed to be partnered with her. I had such a great time with her, I really wish her the best. I want her to keep her head up & keep doing what she does.
Faina: I would say that Cedric is really, really unique. Working with him & being with him for these 2 weeks, I would advise him to try different things & learn from anyone. He really has the talent, as the judges say.

RC: We see former season 2 contestants coming back to watch tapings – will we see you two in the audience?
Jimmy: Oh most definitely, I’ll be here next week supporting. You’ll see my goofy face. I want people to recognize who Jimmy was.

Faina: Yeah, yesterday I was so sad because I had to leave. Today, I was like, “Okay, I’m going to stay another week.” And then I decided to stay until the end of the show. I’ll probably go to New York for a week and then come back.

RC: Did you get a chance to watch back last night’s episode?
Jimmy: No I did not yet.
Faina: No no, not yet.

RC: What is the experience like after you are voted off? Do you have much time to say your goodbyes?
Jimmy: Everything is really rushed because they have to go do interviews & the dancers have to get ready for the next week. They still have to keep on going & I have their numbers so I can get in contact with them. But the show must go on!
Faina: It ended so quick! I can’t say I was really surprised or disappointed. You never know & someone always has to go. I was just sad I would be leaving. I’m not as upset anymore.

RC: What do you plan to pursue now that you are done with the show?
Jimmy: Well, I do have to go back home & see my family & friends. I’ll be moving out here to L.A. & working with some choreographers. Hopefully I’ll be getting some jobs going on tour. That would be great! You’ll see more from me.

Faina: When the show will be over, I’ll go back to New York. I don’t know… my parents & grandparents are there. I don’t think I’ll move anywhere. I don’t want to compete anymore so I’ll pursue a career in dancing no matter what it is.

Another exciting episode of So You Think You Can Dance airs Wednesday night on FOX

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