“So, you think you can dance?” – was the question asked to the students of Florida International University during a dance competition on Tuesday evening.
Gaby Diaz, who was the winner of Season 12 of So You Think You Can Dance – the TV show – had studied one semester at the University before she joined the competition that changed her life. During the show, Diaz met Moises Parra, a contestant of the show that same season.
Together they visited FIU’s main campus in Sweetwater, to be the judges of a student-based dance-a-thon.
“It’s my first time judging anything like this. I’ve usually been on the other side, so it’s interesting. I’m gonna try to be as nice, but as honest as I can, because I know that that’s always what I appreciated when I competed,” said Diaz, 19, who just returned from her So You Think You Can Dance tour, where she visited and performed in 70 cities. ” I’m looking for a natural performance and whoever enjoys themselves the most on stage. You can always tell if someone is enjoying themselves on stage or if they’re faking it.”
The pair sat in front of a stage where more than 20 students performed all types of genres and dance styles. The objective of the show: charity.
Every year, Florida International University hosts a dance marathon, known officially as the Roarathon. The student-driven 17-hour fundraiser looks to collect money that they later donate to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. The event takes one year to organize and more than 250 students end up participating.
Fidel Urbina, director of planning for Roarathon, called Diaz and extended the invitation for her to be this year’s judge.
“I danced with Gaby when I was a junior. We used to do a lot of musical theater together, so I asked her if she could come out for this and she said, ‘of course,’ and Moises is here too ,and they’re really cool people so they came out,” Urbina said.