So You Think You Can Dance Canada Top 20 finalist: Emanuel Sandhu

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      There’s an old English proverb that says, “You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression”, but for 2009 So You Think You Can Dance Canada top 20 finalist and Vancouverite Emanuel Sandhu that doesn’t seem to be the case.


      Watch Emanuel Sandhu's audition for So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

      The 28-year-old Olympic figure skater showed off his ballet training and eloquent dance moves at last year’s auditions, but surprisingly didn’t make it to the top 20.

      One year later, he’s back and ready to prove he has what it takes to make it all the way to the end.

      “Naturally I wanted to be a part of the show and it was a big disappointment for me at that moment,” Sandhu said on the line with the Straight from Toronto (where the show is taped), “but I took what people had to say to heart in terms of training and coming back this year, and that’s exactly what I did.”

      The classically trained ballet dancer and world-class figure skater tries to not dwell on the past and refuses to apologize for anything that was said at last year’s auditions. “There is a good French saying that goes, ”˜It’s better to have remorse than to have regrets’, which basically means it’s only a mistake if you haven’t learned from a situation,” he said.

      “I was feeling a little bit insecure and a little shy, and so maybe my delivery of certain ideas was a little bit more angular than I had meant it to be. I’m not bigger than anybody else—I just have big dreams.”

      With any big dream comes a lot of hard work and discipline. That’s not a new concept for Sandhu, who attended the National Ballet School in Toronto while training at a “very high level” of skating for nearly 10 years.

      When it came time to decide between his two passions, Sandhu decided to focus on skating while continuing to dance. Dance, he explains, helps him achieve the theatrical aesthetics for his on-ice performances, in the same way that skating helps his stage performances.

      Sandhu describes himself as a “socially shy” guy but has found that skating and dancing are his form of self-expression. “The deciding factor for me that links the two of them is that performance art aspect”¦that entertainment aspect, and that’s what is really exciting for me. So to do something that is theatrical is just something that I gravitate to.”

      With the 2010 Olympics just around the corner, Sandhu is keeping mum on whether he’ll be competing in this year’s Winter Games (to be held in Vancouver), and keeping his focus strictly on the competition. “My focus right now is to take it day by day and week by week,” he said, “I think it’s important to remember not to be put the car before the horse in that for me, I want to focus on my dancing and how to make things better.”

      Tonight’s performance episode will feature Sandhu along with the other 19 contestants beginning their journey in the hopes of becoming Canada’s ultimate dancer. The competitors are assigned partners and dance styles to perform each week, and after each week’s performance, the audience gets to have their say and vote for their favourites, ultimately crowning one winner as Canada’s favourite dancer along with a $100,000 grand prize and a new 2010 Mazda 3 Sport car.

      As he steps into a role he narrowly missed last year, Sandhu is looking forward and ready to show Canadians what he’s capable of on stage. “You can look back at the past but not long enough to stare,” he says wisely.

      Comments

      14 Comments

      Jennie

      Aug 26, 2009 at 9:34pm

      Tara-Jean Popowich is a Vancouverite! She teaches at the Harbour Dance Centre...the Straight should profile her as well...thanks!

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      Python

      Aug 31, 2009 at 9:20pm

      "With the 2010 Olympics just around the corner, Sandhu is keeping mum on whether he’ll be competing in this year’s Winter Games (to be held in Vancouver)"
      Excuse me! Sandhu would have to win a spot on the Canadian team and that is VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE. He's a loser....period!

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      ggirl

      Sep 1, 2009 at 10:23pm

      I commend Sandhu for coming back a second year. Admittedly I did not favour you in the running. Now that you have made the top 20 I believe you will have a chance to show your stuff. However, and most importantly I think, is to connect with us, your audience out there, smile, especially when the camera is on you and you are not performing, be humble, and most importantly be that regular guy who made it! I am voting for you, but I believe you will be left in the dust with your talent if you cannot connect with your audience!! Good luck

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      LUCKY

      Sep 1, 2009 at 11:05pm

      STAY FOCUS ON SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. THIS IS YOUR CHANGE TO SHOW YOUR REAL STUFF AND YOUR PASSION TO DANCE. BE CONFIDENT AND I KNOW YOU WILL WIN IF YOU ACT PROFESSIONALLY AND HAVE CONFIDENT AND DON'T BE SHY. I'VE BEEN WATCHING YOU SINCE YOU STARTED TO SKATE. I AM VOTING FOR YOU. JUST SHOW YOUR REAL TALENT TO THE PUBLIC AND I WILL GUARANTEE YOU WILLL WIN.

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      Ruth

      Sep 2, 2009 at 8:44am

      Emmanuel has raised the bar for himself. His humble manner, team player attitude will take him far. He deserves the title of Canada's favourite dancer.

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      visigoth

      Sep 13, 2009 at 12:20pm

      More preening of feathers by a self centered mediocre player.

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      Katherine

      Sep 13, 2009 at 6:49pm

      Emmanuel, as the competition get more challenging throw your heart over the bar, your body will follow. Life is the dance we do between making it happen and letting it happen. We believe in you. You can do it!!

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      Anne

      Sep 16, 2009 at 11:01am

      Emanuel, you have the whole package...looks,physique. emotive quality,musicality and wonderful balletic form. You should be able to go all the way if you don't allow your own insecurities to shoot you down. I watched you for years, cmpete in figure-skating and enjoyed your artistry . Don't allow negative attitudes or comments to dictate your success. You don't have to try too hard to stand out because your dancing will speak for itself. Be confident, not cocky and just enjoy the freedom of expression in your dance and we will enjoy it along with you.

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      beelzebub

      Sep 28, 2009 at 1:09pm

      He folds like origami when the pressure is on. He will also screw this up.

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      Slamkam

      Oct 8, 2009 at 8:25am

      I went from disliking him to slowly appreciating what appeared to be a softer, humbler Emanuel, but as the season has emerged it seems our old friend has resorted to his usual "woe is me" fallback position. If I hear about his broken fingers and/or sprained ankle one more time, I'll puke. It has always been his MO to blame everyone and everything else for his shortcomings and this is looking like no exception. I am sorry he's par of the top six...he should have been gone weeks ago

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