Amy Yakima grew up dancing at Noretta Dunworth School Of Dance in Dearborn, Michigan. As a child, she played Clara in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (national tour and NYC). She is most notably known for winning Season 10 of Fox’s hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance and continuing to tour nationwide that fall with the top 10 contestants from that season. She toured with Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound, and was a performer in Lindsey Stirling’s national/international tour of Shatter Me. Amy appeared in Carrie Underwood’s music video, Something in the Water, and returned to SYTYCD as an all-star performer. She trained on scholarship for one year at Marymount Manhattan college, and was on faculty at Velocity Dance Convention, West Coast Dance Convention, and Radix Dance Convention. Most recently, Amy made her Broadway debut as Peter Pan in Finding Neverland.
BDL: Tell us a bit about your background. Where did you train and how did you begin working professionally?
AY: I started taking dance lessons at Noretta Dunworth School of Dance in Dearborn, Michigan when I was about 3 years old. I was also enrolled into a lot of other activities as a kid such as gymnastics and soccer, but over time as lessons started to conflict with one another, I would always end up picking dance over everything else. I started working professional as an assistant for the West Coast Dance Explosion convention.
BDL: You were the winner of Season 10 of SYTYCD. Much like BDL, that program requires dancers to work with multiple choreographers, specializing in various genres, in a very short amount of time. What’s that like for you as a dancer?
AY: The process of SYTYCD was crazy but working with many choreographers was actually the dream. I grew up dancing in the convention circuit, where you would have 6 classes a day back to back and they would all be a different style. I was trained from a very young age to switch from style to style, which helped during that process. The difficult part of SYTYCD was how emotionally and physically draining each week became, but pushing through those boundaries every week showed me that I can do anything I set my mind to.
BDL: What interested you in working with BDL?
AY: As an artist, I’m constantly changing, and recently I have just been performing, and felt I was lacking some creativity in my career. I wanted to put myself in a room with choreographers that I admired and wanted to work with, and there are very few opportunities like that, and BDL is one of them.
BDL: How has the experience been for you? Have you discovered anything new about yourself or your dancing during your time with us?
AY: I know technically how I dance and how I like to grow, and no matter what job or process I am doing, I am always finding new things. It’s not really about my dancing with these processes, it’s more about working with each choreographer, listening to them and what they want to create, and working with them to make their ideas real. I am always working to discover myself more as an artist.
BDL: Where do you see yourself professionally in five years? What are your goals?
AY: Honestly, I have no idea! I always like to keep my opportunities open. I don’t like to set a plan because life is always changing, and most things in my life happen because I was in the right place at the right time. I would love doing another tour, or more commercial work or another Broadway show.
BDL: Lastly, why do you dance?
AY: Simple, I love to dance. It truly makes me happy and I could never see myself doing another job!