Gonzales dancer headed to "The Academy"

Brandie Richardson

On Monday night, millions of viewers tuned into the dance competition reality show, So You Think You Can Dance, to witness dozens of talented dancers audition for a coveted spot at "The Academy." Among the dancers was 18-year-old Matthew Deloch, a resident of Gonzales and 2017 graduate of East Ascension High School.

Deloch was one of many dancers to make it past the first round of auditions in Los Angeles. He will move on to the callback round where the top 10 dancers are picked and then paired with a SYTYCD All-Star who will work with them throughout the season. Like other show, dancers are eliminated each week based on their performances.

For the Gonzales dancer, being on this show has always been a dream of his. He began dancing when he was two-years-old, and spent most of his time training at Center Stage Performing Arts Academy, where he has been for the past 12 years.

Earlier this year he decided to try his luck and sent in a video of him dancing, not expecting anything to come out of it, but was surprised when he received a call asking him to dance at one of the open auditions.

Auditioning on the show did not come without much challenges, as when he arrived in Los Angeles he was dancing on a dislocated knee.

"When I got to LA I was really freaked out," he said. "I've been wanting to audition for this show now for 18 years now, I'm not letting anything stop me. Even with my dislocated knee I went for it. I did the best I could with it."

Deloch said his versatile training helped him keep up with the other dancers, as Center Stage taught him to be well-rounded in different genres such as jazz, hip-hop, contemporary and ballet. 

"Not everybody is super versatile and that's the same thing on the show, you're doing a different style every week. I prepared, making sure I was training in all these other styles that I don't do as often, I started doing them more just to make sure I could compete with all the other people."

Deloch hopes to dance professionally one day, touring with artists and eventually start his own dance company.

To follow his journey, watch So You Think You Can Dance every Monday at 7 p.m. CT on FOX.