SALT LAKE CITY — Jensen Arnold, 20, of Provo is back on Fox's dance competition series "So You Think You Can Dance," which is now in its 15th season. Her solo ballroom audition will air Monday, July 9 at 7 p.m.
Arnold auditioned for the show last year but was cut before she could perform in the live episodes where TV audiences can vote for their favorite dancer.
Her older sister, Lindsay, did well on the show in season nine and has since gone on to have a successful dance career. Arnold said once she was old enough to audition last year, she put a lot of pressure on herself to do as well as her sister had.
"I was telling myself I had to do it, if I don't it'll be embarrassing and I'll be so sad," she said in an interview with the Deseret News. "This time I just kind of went into it with no expectations and just actually enjoying the experience."
Last year, Arnold auditioned a ballroom dance number with a partner, Tristan Sosa. This year, she went solo. She said since the judges had already seen her audition with a partner, she felt confident she could showcase who she was on her own.
There are many dancers from Utah who have made it far on dance competition shows. Arnold said she gets asked all the time if there's something in the water in the Beehive State, but she said she doesn't know why there's so much talent here.
She does think it helped her, though, to see several older girls from her studio, Lindon's The Vibe, make it on TV dance shows. She grew up admiring them and wanted to do what they did one day.
Arnold has been dancing since she was 3 or 4 years old, she said, so she's worked her whole life for her career. Especially after seeing her sister make a living doing what she loves everyday, she wants to succeed as a professional dancer and hopes "So You Think You Can Dance" can make that happen for her.
"The show gives you a name and they really showcase dancers in this very positive and awesome way," she said.Comment on this story
It's difficult, she said, to put herself out there to be critiqued before judges. She always just hopes to be encouraged and loved. She was stressed to watch herself on television last year, she said, but this year she feels confident and excited about how her audition went in New York City.
"I think this time I'm enjoying the experience," she said. "I felt last time I was so caught up in my head trying to prove myself. This time I really just took it as a learning experience and just had so much fun with it."
"So You Think You Can Dance" airs on Fox Mondays at 7 p.m.