Lake Elmo dancer makes it on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

Lake Elmo dancer Madison Jordan. (submitted photo)

Television competition shows of every variety are for the brave and immensely talented. 

Programs like Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” currently 16 seasons deep, attract thousands of people to auditions. Hardly any pass the scrutiny of initial audition producers, let alone make it in front of the celebrity judges. Slimmer still are the chances of impressing the judges and being featured on the show. 

Madison Jordan knows that pressure. The 21-year-old Lake Elmo native traveled to one of the show’s auditions in Dallas, Texas, and boogied her way onto TV.

After wowing the producers and judges, Jordan was featured on the June 24 episode of “So You Think You Can Dance,” seen by millions. 


Watching, waiting, winning

Jordan grew up in Lake Elmo and graduated from Stillwater High School.

“My mom put me into my first dance class at 3,” says Jordan, who began with pop and jazz dance. Soon, she was exploring more styles, like lyrical, hip hop ballet, and contemporary.

Contemporary is the style of she performed on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Jordan had naturally been a fan of the show since she was young, picturing herself in front of the judges and under the bright lights of TV.

“I was like, ‘You know what, this is the year,” she says.

Once at the Dallas audition, Jordan says she was “very nervous” but excited. It was her first experience with a TV dance competition so she didn’t know what to expect. 

She danced for a producer who liked her performance, handing her a “yes” ticket. But the ticket only meant she would be placed on a wait list. If Jordan got the call, then she could move onto the next round in Los Angeles. 

At the last minute, with just two days before the Los Angeles leg of auditions, Jordan got the call. 

She arrived in Hollywood under the impression she would be performing in front of just the judges. To her surprise, her performance would be on the big stage in front of the judges and a TV audience. It was going to be televised.

“That was cool, but also very intimidating,” Jordan says. The stage, the lights, the huge crowd of people would frighten many. “Overall, I was like, ‘Dang, this is so cool.’”

Jordan leapt into her performance, an interpretative, flowing showcase of ultra-emotive, experimental dancing. The crowd and judges cheered. 

“They did love my performance,” she says, “which was awesome.”

She advanced to the next round, which has yet to air. 

Jordan, sworn to secrecy, is barred from sharing any further details about her experience. Viewers will find out who wins, and how far she goes, when “So You Think You Can Dance” returns to the airwaves in August. 


–Solomon Gustavo can be reached at or 651-748-7815.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Comment Here