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Top-20 Glendale dancer has the right moves

June 20, 2013|By Laura Tate
  • Paul Karmiryan, a 22-year-old Glendale resident, is among the top 20 finalists on this season's "So You Think You Can Dance."
Paul Karmiryan, a 22-year-old Glendale resident, is… (Courtesy of FOX )

Paul Karmiryan thinks he can dance — and, so far, the judges of the show "So You Think You Can Dance" think so as well. The 21-year-old Glendale resident is among the Top 20 dancers chosen to move on to the final round of the hit FOX TV dance show. He will compete against other dancers from throughout the U.S. who are vying to earn the title America's Favorite Dancers.

"I'm kind of in shock. It's kind of unreal," Karmiryan said this week about making it to the Top 20. "I'm very happy to be where I am right now."

Judges from the show, now in its 10th season, travel around the country to local competitions and choose dancers to compete in Las Vegas, where they work with choreographers. Twenty dancers are then chosen to take part in the live show competitions taking place this summer. Eliminations of couples take place each week until the final winning couple is chosen.

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Karmiryan may have a leg up on the competition — he won the Armenian version of "So You Think You Can Dance" two years ago. It was during his first visit to his family's home country that his friends and family pushed Karmiryan, who had only been dancing Latin Ballroom for three years, to audition for the show.

"Things progressed, and I stayed for six months," he said.

Karmiryan said the experience of being on the show was quite different from the U.S. version, mainly because Armenia is quite a bit smaller than the U.S. But the experience, he said, "taught me a lot as a person … and it helped me become a better dancer."

Karmiryan moved to Glendale from Armenia with his family when he was 6 years old. The only dance experience he had prior to ballroom was traditional Armenian dancing. "Nothing serious," he said.

He started learning Latin ballroom at the age of 17, which puts him at a great disadvantage in the competition as he is going up against much more experienced dancers. However, he is determined to do his best.

"I set my mind to it," he said. "I knew I was going up against people who have been dancing their whole lives. I really knew how much [hard work] I had to put in."

He trains every day. "It's insane," Karmiryan said. "[I train] literally from morning to night."

In addition to taking classes in all genres, Karmiryan competes regularly and credits much of his success to his dance coach Grigori Sedrakyan, who is also from Armenia and owns the Matador Dance Studio in Glendale.

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