List of So You Think You Can Dance finalists (American season 3)

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The third season of the American television series So You Think You Can Dance was broadcast between June and August 2007. There were twenty finalists – ten female and ten male. The finalists were progressively eliminated until four remained: the winner was Sabra Johnson, the runner-up was Danny Tidwell, and the third and fourth places were awarded to Neil Haskell and Lacey Schwimmer.

Lauren Gottlieb, eliminated Week 8
Lauren Gottlieb, eliminated Week 8
Danny Tidwell, runner-up
Danny Tidwell, runner-up
Two of the finalists

Jimmy Arguello[edit]

Jimmy "Jimmers" Alexander Arguello is a contemporary and lyrical dancer from Miami, Florida, who was trained in jazz, ballet, hip-hop and tap at the Dance Gallery. He began to dance at age 12 and aspired to be a professional dancer on tour with a dance company. He considers Brian Friedman his favorite professional dancer. Outside of dance, his hobbies include swimming and track and field.[1] He feels his being eliminated from the show instead of Cedric Gardner was unfair, since she remembers the first two seasons stressing all-around dance ability rather than uniqueness. Arguello was also afraid that Gardner would put his partner, Shauna Noland, into the bottom 3 couples and in danger of elimination as a result of his not being able to learn choreography quickly.[2] He was eliminated on 2007-06-21.

Kameron Bink[edit]

Kameron David Bink (born June 2, 1987) is a hip-hop and contemporary dancer from Coral Springs, Florida with training in jazz, tap, ballet and acrobatics. He has been dancing since he was 6 years old and auditioned for the show in Atlanta, Georgia. Bink has performed in the Latin Grammy Awards, and feels he has too many favorite professional dancers to list. Outside of dance, he enjoys motorcycles and skydiving.[3] He was eliminated on July 26, 2007, and went on tour with the show. He now has a job at a dance studio in Coral Springs, Florida.

Cedric Gardner[edit]

Cedric Pernell Gardner, Jr. (born May 9, 1984) is a freestyle dancer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with limited formal training from The Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Millennium Dance Complex, EDGE Performing Arts Center, Monsters of HipHop, Dance2XS. He began to dance at age 7, but did not take it seriously until he was 19. He listsNapoleon and Tabitha D'umo, JesseLee Santos, Brian Friedman, Misha Gabriel, Tony Testa, Nick Bass, Gil Duldulao, Shane Sparks, Patrick Chen, Andye Jamieson, Marty Kudelka, Popin' Pete, Kevin Maher, Jayson Rhapsody, Shirley Gilbert, Louis Hurd, Dani Kuepper, Sarah Wilbur, Andre Tyson, Simone Ferro, Mia Michaels, Roberto and Edwin Olvera, John Abakah, Michael Jackson and James Brown as his favorite dancers, with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire as his all time favorites. Gardner aspires to dance professionally, eventually owning a dance studio and production company, as well as a toy company. Outside of dance, he likes to play the drums, golf, chess, and video games, as well as inline skate, fly kites and bowl.[4] As a result of the show, Debbie Allen has offered him a full scholarship to the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, which he has accepted.[5][6] He was eliminated on July 12, 2007.

Anya Garnis[edit]

Anya Garnis (born May 26, 1982) is a Russian-born Latin dancer from New York City, with eight years of formal training in Russia. She started dancing at the age of 10 and has reached the finals at the 2004 U.S. Open Ballroom Championship. She lists Mikhail Baryshnikov as her favorite professional dancer.[7] Garnis has lived in the United States since 2001 and has been dancing with partner and fellow finalist Pasha Kovalev for nine years.[8] Although she has her ballroom costumes sewn by a dressmaker in New York City, Garnis designs them herself.[9] She was eliminated on 19 July 2007 and went on tour as a special guest.

Garnis was the first contestant on Mary Murphy's Hot Tamale Train which is now a recurring theme on the show.

In 2005 she and Pasha Kovalev came in fifth in the American Ballroom Challenge finals. She and Pasha Kovalev appeared on the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars in a results show performance, dancing to "Come On Over" by Jessica Simpson. She also performed with him on the international dance show "Superstars of Dance", representing Russia in the duet category. She is also returning as an All-Star in Season 7.[citation needed]

Jaimie Goodwin[edit]

Jaimie Goodwin (born April 28, 1988) is a contemporary, lyrical, and jazz dancer with training in contemporary, pointe, and musical theatre and 12 years of training in tap, ballet, and jazz. She started dancing at 7 years of age and trains with Denise Wall, mother to season 3 runner up Danny Tidwell and season 2 runner up Travis Wall, who has been her dance partner for 5 years and whom she lists as her favorite professional dancer, along with her older sister. Outside of dance, Goodwin likes to write, and wants to author a book about her mother's life and struggle with cancer to benefit a breast cancer fund set up in her name. In the future, she would like to keep dancing professionally, get into the film industry and act, as well as get married and have a child and maltipoo puppy.[10][11] She was eliminated on 2007-07-26 and toured with the top 10. In 2008, she secured a dancing role in the Disney film High School Musical 3. On July 23, 2009, Goodwin reunited with fellow Season 3 contestant and partner, Hokuto "Hok" Konishi, to perform their Emmy award winning piece The Hummingbird and the Flower on the 100th episode of So You Think You Can Dance choreographed by Wade Robson.

Neil Haskell[edit]

Sabra Johnson[edit]

Hokuto "Hok" Konishi[edit]

Hokuto "Hok" Konishi (born July 11, 1984, in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese bboy and hip-hop dancer, who grew up in England. He trained for two years in hip-hop and locking. He began to dance at age 15. Konishi was formerly a member of the dance crew SickStep. In season two of So You Think You Can Dance, Konishi nearly made it to the final twenty, but had only a student visa and was unable to be legally employed in the United States, which resulted in his dismissal from the program. Subsequently, he obtained a work permit and became eligible to participate in the competition in season three. His Season 3- Week 3 Jazz performance - Hummingbird and Flower with Jaimie Goodwin, set to "Chairman's Waltz" from Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack, choreographed by Wade Robson won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography in 2008.[12] As of 2007, he is a member of a hip-hop dance crew called Quest Crew, which competes and performs in various venues throughout the country. Konishi is also friends with So You Think You Can Dance season one contestant Ryan Conferido and season three's Dominic Sandoval; Hok, Dominic, and Ryan are all now members of Quest Crew.[13] Andre Fuentez, B-boy Casper, Aja, and Tetris are his favorite professional dancers and he has performed in VIBE, All VC, Kollaboration, and the Sai-Gai Carnival. Outside of dance, he likes to draw, paint, design, and play the violin.[14] He is currently in the United States as a student in graphic design at Santa Monica College.[15] He was eliminated on 2007-07-19 and went on tour as an alternate. Hok and his dance crew, Quest Crew, which includes fellow "So You Think You Can Dance" stars Ryan Conferido and Dominic Sandoval, were named America's Best Dance Crew for season three on March 5, 2009. On July 23, 2009, Konishi returned for the 100th episode of So You Think You Can Dance to perform his Emmy Award Winning routine, Hummingbird and Flower with fellow Season 3 contestant Jaimie Goodwin. Hok also was seen in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel as a hip-hop dancer participating in a music competition. He is the choreographer in the group "LMFAO."

Pasha Kovalev[edit]

Pavel "Pasha" Kovalev (born January 19, 1980) is a Latin and ballroom dancer who auditioned for the show in New York City with longtime partner and fellow finalist Anya Garnis. A Russian native, he began dancing at the age of 8, and received formal training in ballet and jazz as he grew older. His favorite professional dancers are Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Before So You Think You Can Dance, Kovalev appeared in the production Lois and Lois.[16] He was eliminated from the competition on 2007-08-13 but eventually went on tour with the show. During season 4 he assisted Mia Michaels on a contemporary routine. On season four he and his partner Anya Garnis choreographed a cha-cha routine performed by Courtney Galiano and Gev Manoukian. During season 5, Kovalev and Garnis choreographed a samba for Evan Kasprzak and Randi Evans. He and Garnis also appeared on the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars in a results show performance, dancing to "Come On Over" by Jessica Simpson. He also performed with her on the international dance show Superstars of Dance, representing Russia in the duet category, but was then replaced by an unnamed dancer in the January 19th episode. He and Garnis returned to SYTYCD in season 6 to lead the choreography rounds during the auditions, and later that season choreographed a jive for Russell Ferguson and Mollee Gray.

Both Garnis and Kovalev have also recently guest-choreographed for the third season of SYTYCD Australia, and are currently involved in Jason Gilkinson's production Burn the Floor. Kovalev was an "All-Star" for the seventh and eighth seasons of SYTYCD America.

In 2011, he joined UK's Strictly Come Dancing (the original BBC show that spawned Dancing With the Stars) as a professional dancer.

Ashlee Langas[edit]

Ashlee Caroline Langas is a contemporary dancer from Tyler, Texas who auditioned in Chicago, Illinois. She began to dance at the age of 2 and has many years of formal training in numerous styles with Gotta Dance (8), Candy Crocker School of Dance (6), Contemporary Dance Techniques (5), Danceworks (1), Fox Troupe (1), and the Kilgore College Rangerettes] (2005–2007), as well as drill team experience through high school as a member of the Southern Belle Drill Team at Robert E. Lee and college as a Rangerette.[17] Langas' favorite dancer is Mia Michaels. She aspires to become a dance teacher and choreographer, and would like the opportunity to travel abroad. Outside of dance, she likes to read and exercise.[18] She was eliminated on 2007-06-14.

Ricky Palomino[edit]

Richard "Ricky" Marcelino Palomino II (born December 2, 1981) is a contemporary dancer from Phoenix, Arizona,[19] who began dancing in his public school's physical education course at 14 and auditioned on a whim[20] in Atlanta, Georgia. Although he has no formal training, he was mentored by Michelle Ceballos of the Royal Ballet, Jeremy Miller, and, following a move to New York City, Lucy "Jen" Ballard of Cedar Lake Dance. Palomino describes his instruction as "[soaking] up as much as possible in the little time [he] had." He has performed three times for the Dancers Responding to AIDS benefit, and lists Sylvie Guillem and Jose Manuel Carreño as his favorite professional dancers. In the future, Palomino hopes to be involved in the music and film industry as a recording artist and actor, as well as create his own line of designer apparel, "Marcelino," and move fashion shows in the direction of full theatre productions. He also would like to open dance instruction facilities across the country and increase students' exposure to dance in public education. Currently, he employs music production software such as Logic Pro to create his own tracks, and has just finished his second album. He released his first, Amateurly Honest, on iTunes in 2005 under the name Marcelino. Palomino also designs and creates the cover art for his albums using Adobe Photoshop and experiments with visual effects and video software to make music videos. Outside of his career, he likes to exercise, wash his car, and attend museum exhibits.[21] He was eliminated 2007-06-14.

Jessi Peralta[edit]

Jessica "Jessi" Peralta (born May 17, 1982) is a lyrical and pop dancer trained at the Holly Rocks Dance Factory, as well as other studios in Florida, New York City, and Los Angeles. She began dancing when she was 3 years old, and aspires to be a professional performer and star in a dance film. She likes to crochet, paint mythical characters in underwater settings, and watch Sex and the City.[22] On the day of taping the third performance show, Peralta was sent to the hospital for shortness of breath, chest pain, and dehydration, and was not able to perform. Viewers were not shown the fact that she had been hospitalized the previous week for dehydration as well. She felt that she did not need medical attention the second time, and discharged herself to not let her partner, Pasha Kovalev, down. However, the show's legal team considered it too great of a liability to allow her to dance in her condition.[23] Since Peralta was not able to dance in the performance show, she was automatically placed in the bottom 3 couples, and— in danger of elimination by the judges on 2007-06-28, (see show format)— she was eliminated.[24] Subsequently, fans began a petition to reinstate her, arguing that since she was not put in the bottom 3 by viewer vote, she should be allowed to remain on the program. Nigel Lythgoe addressed the issue the following week, noting that some action had to be taken on the part of the show's organizers to account for the fact that Peralta did not perform.[25]

Shauna Noland[edit]

Shauna Noland (born November 23, 1988) is a contemporary dancer from Santa Monica, California formally trained in jazz, modern, ballet, tap and hip-hop at the Dance Company of San Francisco and No Limits Dance and Performing Arts of Soquel, California. She began dancing when she was 2 years old. Her mother, Sue Noland, is a ballerina who owns the Pacific Wave Surf Shop in Santa Cruz with her husband, Todd Noland. Noland graduated from Santa Monica High School in 2006 and soon after moved to North Hollywood to pursue her career. In 2007, a solo routine she choreographed earned her a prize at the Hall of Fame Dance Challenge of Alameda County. Noland has also performed for the Hollywood Fame and CBS television show "Dance Revolution."[26] In the future, she hopes to be an inspiration and share her passion for dance. Outside of dance, she likes to sing and has a keen interest in techno music.[27] She was eliminated 2007-07-12 and went on the tour as a special guest.

Dominic Sandoval[edit]

Faina Savich[edit]

Faina Savich is a Latin ballroom dancer. She was born in Vitebsk, Belarus, and grew up in Moscow. She now resides in New York with her brother Stanislav who was a top 20 contender in season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance. She was eliminated on 21 June 2007.

Lacey Schwimmer[edit]

Jesús Solorio[edit]

Jesús "Chuy" Solorio is a dancer from Paso Robles, California, whose style is classified as contemporary, but combines techniques from hip-hop, tap, salsa, ballet, jazz, and lyrical. He began dancing when he was ten years old, and he trained at a Russian school for eight years.[citation needed] Early in his dance career, Solorio performed in Doriana Sanchez's "Circo Fantastico," an all-Hispanic circus production.[citation needed] He also performed in a production of The Music Man, and lists his time spent dancing on a cruise ship as one of his most memorable dance experiences.[citation needed] Prior to the third season of So You Think You Can Dance, Solorio made it to the top 40 on season 2. His other interests include cooking and singing.

On the show, Solorio was noted mostly for his smile that "lit up the stage" as noted by host Cat Deeley. He was partnered with Sara Von Gillern, and performed three routines, including pop jazz, paso doble, and krump. He was eliminated on 28 June 2007. Upon his elimination, the producers invited him to be a special guest on the nationwide tour that would include the top 10 finalists from the show.

Solorio recently wrapped performances of his show entitled Dreamcatcher, a performance which he conceptualized and choreographed.[citation needed] Currently, he is working on recording his first album. He is also currently a professional dancer on the weight loss competition Dance Your Ass Off, dancing with Trice.

Danny Tidwell[edit]

Sara Von Gillern[edit]

Sara Kei Von Gillern (born April 10, 1987), also known as Mis' Von, is a breakdancer originally from Rock Island, Illinois and currently residing in Fort Collins, Colorado. She auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance at the Chicago, Illinois auditions, making it through to Las Vegas auditions and the top 20 dancers without having to "dance for her life" at all. Von Gillern made it to the Top 8 and was eliminated on August 2, 2007. She returned for the finale on August 16, 2007, where three of her partner dances were chosen as season favorites, including her disco during top 10 week with Neil Haskell to "Knock on Wood", her West Coast Swing routine during top 14 week with Pasha Kovalev to "the Rockafeller Skank", and her pop jazz routine during top 20 week with Jesus Solorio to "Cabaret Hoover".

Von Gillern started dancing at age 4, studying basic styles such as tap, ballet, jazz, and modern. She became interested in breakdancing at age 19. She has trained with Red Bull Beat Riders 2006, an elite hip hop training session that accepted only 30 dancers worldwide to attend.[citation needed] In addition, she has also trained with the Colorado State University Dance Program, the Gruv Factory, Motion Underground, and the Academy of the Performing Arts, as well as at the Broadway Dance Center as an intern.[28] Sara has danced for the Denver Nuggets NBA team as a member of their hip hop dance team, the Mob Squad, and for the AFL Colorado Crush as a Crush City Dancer.[28]

Von Gillern previously danced with the crews Elements of Motion and Females En Motion, and currently is a member of two crews: the GetWithThis Crew and the Ladies First Crew.[citation needed] She is also a member of the traveling show "Monster Shop Bump'n," which focuses on hip hop dancing with costumes that portray a positive message.[citation needed] As a member of the So You Think You Can Dance top 10, Von Gillern went on the national tour.

She is currently on tour with Avril Lavigne as a back up dancer for her "Best Damn Tour".[citation needed]

Sara also performs with an all female dance group known as 'The Syrenz'.

Sara was seen in a 2010 commercial for the Cooking Channel saying, "Stay Hungry" near the end of the commercial.

Lauren Gottlieb[edit]


  1. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Jimmy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  2. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Jimmy Arguello, top 18 finalist on So You Think You Can Dance". Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  3. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Kameron". Archived from the original on 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  4. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Cedric". Archived from the original on 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  5. ^ "Episode 311". So You Think You Can Dance. Season 3. Episode 11. 2007-06-27.
  6. ^ "Episode 321". So You Think You Can Dance. Season 3. Episode 21. 2007-07-12.
  7. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Anya". Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  8. ^ "Anya Garnis". Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  9. ^ Dani Dornfeld. "Think You Can Dance's Anya: "I Didn't Deserve to Go!"". TV Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  10. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Jaimie". Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  11. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Jaimie Goodwin, 'So You Think You Can Dance' Top 10 Finalist". Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  12. ^ 60th Annual Emmy Nominations Retrieved July 17, 2008
  13. ^ "Hok Konishi". Retrieved 2007-08-17.
  14. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Hok". Archived from the original on 2007-06-11. Retrieved 2007-06-10.
  15. ^ Konishi, Hokuto. "MySpace". Archived from the original on 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2007-06-09.
  16. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Pasha". Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  17. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Ashlee Langas, top 20 finalist on So You Think You Can Dance". Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  18. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Ashlee". Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  19. ^ "Ricky Marcelino". Retrieved 2007-08-18.
  20. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Ricky Palomino, top 20 finalist on So You Think You Can Dance". Retrieved 2007-08-18.
  21. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Ricky". Archived from the original on 2007-08-10. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
  22. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Jessi". Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
  23. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Jessi Peralta, Top 16 Finalist on So You Think You Can Dance". Retrieved 2007-08-18.
  24. ^ "Episode 312". So You Think You Can Dance. Season 3. Episode 12. 2007-07-11.
  25. ^ "Episode 313". So You Think You Can Dance. Season 3. Episode 13. 2007-07-11.
  26. ^ Squires, Jennifer (2007-06-09), "Santa Cruz High grad makes top 20 on Fox's hit show 'So You Think You Can Dance'", Santa Cruz Sentinel, archived from the original on 2007-09-30
  27. ^ "Bios, Season 3, Shauna". Archived from the original on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
  28. ^ a b Sara Von Gillern