Genessy Castillo beat out greater than 2,000 hopefuls to make the finals on “So You Think You Can Dance” — however she virtually didn’t even check out.
“My buddies had been like, ‘We’re all going, simply come on,’ ” the 19-year-old up to date dancer from Queens tells The Publish. “The final week of submissions, I despatched in my video and obtained the decision again.”
Now she’s considered one of 4 proficient dancers combating to turn out to be “America’s favourite dancer,” an honor that comes with $250,000 in prize cash; a job within the upcoming dwell TV model of “Hire” and the duvet of Dance Spirit Journal.
Viewers voting on-line and by way of textual content message will finally determine the winner on Monday. For now, Castillo’s obtained the assist of everybody at Blessing Meals Corp in Brownsville, a bustling Brooklyn bodega run by her mother, Yessy, and her dad, Sylvio. It’s there that Genessy and her older siblings used to assist out behind the counter, accepting meals stamps from prospects and filling bottles with condiments.
Today, the bodega partitions are papered with posters of Genessy, mid-leap and clad in a flowing silver costume. Monday nights, when the Fox present airs, it performs on the shop’s TV.
“Individuals come to the shop — new prospects — and say, ‘She’s so lovely, she’s gonna win!’ ” Yessy Castillo, 46, tells The Publish, including that she’s been stopped on the road by followers yelling “Genessy! Genessy!”
After final Monday’s present, “These previous women got here in in tears,” she says. “They stated to me, ‘Oh my God, her dance made me cry,’ after which I began to cry with them!”
There was at all times music on the Castillo dwelling in Jamaica, Queens. “Stomach-dancing music all day lengthy, and hip-hop, after all,” says Yessy, who grew up within the Dominican Republic. She used to stomach dance at dwelling for enjoyable, and sooner or later discovered 3-year-old Genessy standing behind her, dancing too. “I stated, ‘You know what? I feel you want to bop,’ ” Yessy says. “Two weeks after that, I put her in courses.”
There, Genessy excelled at every thing from faucet to hip-hop. “I at all times watched ‘Barbie within the Nutcracker,’ ” she says. “I used to observe my sister’s dance courses and recital tapes, and needed to do extra.” She was additionally pushed, Yessy says, declaring her willpower to go to LaGuardia Excessive College, of “Fame” fame, by the point she was 6.
All through her 4 years there, Genessy hit the competitors circuit in her fashion: up to date. “I’d win regional titles and stuff like that,” she says. However the powerful coaching and intense lecturers weighed on her. “I truly needed to give up my freshman 12 months, as a result of it was a lot for me, however I knew at the back of my thoughts that I couldn’t,” she says.
She powered by, because of the encouragement of longtime dance trainer Anthony Borello. Throughout her junior 12 months, as she tried to plan her future, “he would name me each single evening, and be, like, ‘Genessy, I do know you’re going by stuff, however it’s a must to dance,’” she recollects. “ ‘If you wish to do this, you may. I consider in you.’ ”
Even so, she wasn’t certain if she might go professional. “I didn’t need to go to varsity, and I nonetheless don’t need to go to varsity. I need to dance, and I need to get my title in this trade,” she says. Nonetheless, she provides, “It was a wrestle to get my mother to see this as a profession and consider it.”
She got here nearer to her purpose when she hit the stage in Brooklyn final spring for the primary spherical of in-person auditions. Her 90-second solo wowed choose Mary Murphy, an award-winning ballroom dancer and choreographer.
“You’re completely charming,” Murphy stated. All through the grueling competitors — by which she’s accomplished 19 totally different dance routines in two months — Genessy was thought of an underdog.
“I do know I don’t have probably the most bubbly persona,” she says. “I cry lots, I get unhappy and I’m real about it. That’s undoubtedly one thing that units me aside.”
Even so, her apparent affection for her companion, Slavik Pustovoytov, a hip-hop dancer from Oklahoma with no formal coaching, made her a fan favourite.
Their connection throughout routines was so candy that it had judges — and the Twitterverse — wishing they’d truly hook up.
“I do know you guys had been out of your consolation zone, however that was simply so lovely,” choose Vanessa Hudgens gushed in August.
“We’re not courting,” Genessy says. “[But] it’s not not there, you understand what I imply?” The duo is the one couple to have each members make it to the finals.
Genessy says that her big-city upbringing helped put together her for the competitors.
“New York [is about] that tough hustle,” says the teenager, who fuels up on her dad and mom’ BLTs and iced espresso. “However it’s additionally the battle of being mild with your self … my journey is simply making an attempt to be proud of what I can do.”
Her mother hopes she will be able to proceed to assume positively — and take dwelling the crown. “The present’s referred to as ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ ” Yessy says. “So, should you assume you are able to do it, you are able to do it!”