1 of 2
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret Morning News
Cat Deeley, British host of "So You Think You Can Dance," talks to Alyson Shephard of Ogden Monday. Thousands auditioned for the show.

The supervising producer of "So You Think You Can Dance" was worried Monday morning.

"I looked out my window this morning and there was snow, so I thought there was going to be 10 people," said Jeff Thacker, in town to supervise open auditions for Fox's reality/competition series. "And there were eight people (at the Capitol Theatre).

"But there were 420 people farther down the road in the Salt Palace, which was amazing to me. ... I'm amazed because of the snow blizzards."

In the end, literally thousands turned out to audition for Season 4 of "Dance," which will premiere sometime later this year. And not everyone was unhappy to see the snow.

First in line to audition was Lauren Brown, a 21-year-old from Syracuse who teaches at her grandmother's dance studio in Sunset.

"We got here a little bit before 2. We sat in line with just one blanket — my husband and I just cuddled," she said.

They were out in the snow and cold until shortly after 5 a.m., when they were let into the Salt Palace to keep warm. (Groups of 50 hopefuls were herded down the block to the Capitol Theatre to audition.)

Utah has had an amazing run on TV dance shows in the past couple of years, including last year's winner on "So You Think You Can Dance" and two finalists the previous year.

"I guess because of the weather, you do kind of practice dancing," Deeley said.

"It just shows that we have a lot of confidence and we're good at what we do," Brown said.

But this is the first time the show has held auditions in Utah.

"We're hoping that by bringing the auditions back here that maybe we catch a few people as well who wouldn't necessarily travel," Deeley said.

Brown, for one, said she wouldn't have traveled to another city to audition.

"I've watched every season. And I've always thought, 'If they ever come here, I'd love to try out,"' said Brown, who, as it turns out, wasn't the first person to arrive for the auditions.

"I got here last night at 10 o'clock and they sent me home," said Elisse Bonan, a Sandy resident who was one of many Brigham Young University students who made their way north. She was back in line by 4:30 a.m.

Not everyone in line was a Cougar, however. Andrew Iotcovici, a native Salt Laker who's majoring in ballet at the University of Utah — and who has been dancing "since I was a fetus" — joined the line about 4 a.m.

"It's fun, exhilarating, incredibly agonizing, nerve-racking, exhausting," he said. "I haven't slept in two days."

Like a lot of others in line, Iotcovici is a big fan of "So You Think You Can Dance."

"I have not missed an episode since it first aired. I'm very religious when it comes to that," he said with a laugh. "I got friends who normally aren't into shows like this into it, so after every number we start critiquing it and we're all excited about it."

He was among the thousands being critiqued on Monday, when a few were given call-backs to return for additional auditions on Wednesday.

"I have no idea what we're going to see, but I know it's a great dance community," Thacker said of Utah.

Not everyone was from Utah. Patrece Caldwell, 27, braved the Phoenix airport on Super Bowl Sunday to fly in. "Oh my gosh, it was insane," she said. "But this is just amazing."

Antoine Aiu, 25, came even farther — from Hawaii.

"It's quite a bit different weather," he said. "But I'm a fan of dancing. I thought I'd come and give it a try."

Aiu and a couple of thousand others.

"I've been down the line a few times and it seems as though we've got some really gorgeous people here, which is really great," Deeley said. "Everybody seems very friendly. ... Hopefully, they can dance, too."

E-mail: [email protected]