LAYTON -- Malece Miller, the 19-year-old Layton resident who competed on FOX hit show "So You Think You Can Dance" in the summer, found herself back in Utah on Friday at the Maverick Center in West Valley for a show featuring the show's top 14 dancers.
When Miller was voted off as the 11th dancer, it was nearly two weeks before she got the official invite from the show's producers for the tour. Though Miller has enjoyed the 32 cities they have been to thus far, including New York City, Miami, Atlantic City, Boston, and Toronto, she was most excited about being back in her home state.
"It's definitely going to be awesome having all of my family and friends there, though I feel like I'm getting a lot more nervous, so hopefully I can just put it in my dancing," said Miller prior to Friday's show.
Miller performed all of the group dances in addition to a duet with Alan Bersten, one of her partners during the live TV show.
Miller has been on tour since the beginning of October, and has 12 cities left before they finish up Dec. 1.
Miller finds it ironic that she began the show as a contemporary dancer, but the dance producers chose for her a ballroom dance on tour. "It's crazy because I've taken a total of two ballroom classes, so I'm super flattered that they would have me do this," said Miller.
According to Miller, the tour is a night and day difference compared to her time on the show.
"The tour is more about celebrating what we did on the show with our performances and dances, and it's a completely different feel," said Miller, referring to the grueling 16-hour days she endured on the show compared to the more relaxed feel of the tour with rehearsals only lasting a few hours per day.
As she travels across the country, Miller says she has learned how to sleep on a bus.
"It's pretty crazy sleeping on the bunks in the bus, waking up, warming up, sometimes walking around the city, and then performing," said Miller.
Some of Miller's most memorable moments are meeting her fans. "It is cool to meet the people who supported me through the whole thing," said Miller. "You rarely get to meet people who truly don't know you, but love you anyway. That's really cool."
Being a part of the show has consumed most of Miller's year. When the New Year rolled in, a huge goal of hers was to be on the show, but given that Miller's last audition didn't result in a place on the show, she wasn't planning to try out again. However, several days before the March auditions in Los Angeles, she decided to just go for it.
It was a decision that changed her life.
"This experience has changed me forever," said Miller. "I'm only 19 and I've traveled the U.S., and the exposure with fans is a boost of confidence, knowing I can make it in dance. I couldn't ask for anything more."
Miller is dreading the last day of the tour on Dec. 1, which happens to be her birthday.
"It's going to be the saddest birthday ever," said Miller.
Miller plans to head back to Los Angeles and pick up where she left off at the beginning of the year, doing dance gigs and auditions, with the hopes that her name recognition from the show will boost her opportunities.
"I just hope to continue dancing, and see where that takes me," said Miller. "I definitely think the show gives you so much exposure of your name and people can see what you can do."