Mark Kanemura Can Dance!

There’s no question about it: Castle High grad Mark Kanemura can move it, as he’s proving on the hit Fox TV show So You Think You Can Dance. As one of the final 14 contestants left on TV’s hottest

Yu Shing Ting
Friday - July 04, 2008
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Mark Kanemura
Mark Kanemura

There’s no question about it: Castle High grad Mark Kanemura can move it, as he’s proving on the hit Fox TV show So You Think You Can Dance

As one of the final 14 contestants left on TV’s hottest show this summer, So You Think You Can Dance, local boy Mark Kanemura has proved to America that he can move.

The show, which airs on Fox Wednesday and Thursday evenings, is in its fourth season and draws an estimated 10 million viewers per show.

This week, Kanemura and dance partner Chelsie Hightower of Las Vegas will perform two choreographed dances with hopes of earning the public’s vote to avoid elimination and ultimately be named America’s favorite dancer, taking home the $250,000 cash prize.


“It hasn’t really hit me yet - being on national TV,” says Kanemura, 24.“I feel bad because I’ve been getting e-mails from people but we’re so busy that I’m not able to write back. I have so many friends who have been calling me and leaving me messages, but there’s really no time. But I want to thank them for their support.

“From what I’ve heard, the people in Hawaii have been really supportive and I’m really grateful for the support and love I’ve been getting. And I hope I’m representing Hawaii well.”

Chelsie Hightower and Mark Kanemura perform an Argentine tango choreographed by Alex Da Silva
Chelsie Hightower and Mark Kanemura perform an Argentine tango choreographed by Alex Da Silva

After thousands of auditions in six cities and grueling callback performances in Las Vegas, Kanemura - and viewers - discovered the dance instructor at 24-VII DanceForce in Kaneohe and a server at Kochi Restaurant and Lounge was named to the top 20 finalists.

From there, the top 20 were paired into 10 couples and each week they work with top choreographers to learn a dance routine from a wide variety of genres including hip-hop, Broadway, disco, ballroom, jazz, contemporary and more.

After the Wednesday performance shows, phone lines open and viewers can call in or text their vote for their favorite couples. The three couples with the lowest number of votes are announced on Thursday’s show, and each dancer in those three couples has one last chance to impress the judges with a solo performance of his or her choosing. From there, the judges offer their critique and then send one male and one female dancer home.


Once the series is down to the top 10 finalists, it’s solely up to America to decide who remains in the competition.

Now in his fourth week of taping in Los Angeles, Kanemura hopes to continue to win praises from the judges and, more importantly, win enough votes to keep him away from the bottom

 

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