by Amy L. Hatch
Bridget Krouse’s mom, Erin, knew that her daughter had a special talent from the beginning. Now, 13 years after Bridget started dancing at the age of 5-and-a-half, she’s watching her oldest child perform on the hit TV series “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Bridget, 18, is 2009 graduate of The High School of Saint Thomas More in Champaign. This year found her at Arizona State University, where her younger sister, Bailey, will follow next fall. Her appearance on SYTYCD has Champaign-Urbana waiting breathlessly to see how our girl fares in the reality competition.
Mom Erin knows a few secrets — the show taped and wrapped in the spring — but she swears she won’t tell us a thing. What she did tell us, though, is that she always knew Bridget was destined for this moment. It didn’t hurt that the dance community is a small, close-knit one, she adds, noting that two of Bridget’s friends are former SYTYCD competitors.
That community began for Bridget at Art in Motion Dance Studio in Champaign, where both she and her younger sister were fixtures. Erin says that the family’s involvement there even led to her designing and creating costumes for the school — she and another mother made more than 300 of them last year.
When it comes to Bridget’s tenacity and talent, Erin is certain that her daughter’s drive will propel her to great heights, and she isn’t surprised that she’s already made it this far at such a tender age.
“She has a really unique way of dealing with pressure and rejection,” says Erin. “Rejection makes her work even harder. It really motivates her to get up and do even better the next time. She has a very unique spirit.”
With two talented girls so close in age — Bailey is just a year younger than Bridget — you might expect that the two would be fiercely competitive. Erin says that Bailey is proud of her sister and is happy to let her shine. In fact, when Bridget was a senior last year, Erin asked Bailey what her goals were and the girl replied that she wanted to be “second to Bridget” in every competition.
“She wanted her to have her moment to shine,” says Erin.
This dancing family keeps Erin on her toes, between travel to both coasts for dance camps and frequent trips for dance competitions, but she says she wouldn’t have it any other way. Next year will mean more trips to Arizona, where both of her girls will be in college.
“It’s great that they will both be in the same place,” Erin says. “It makes it a lot easier in terms of travel!”
No one but Bridget, her family and the SYTYCD producers know how she fared on the show, so Chambana, you’ll just have to tune in to see how this story ends. An all-new, two-hour episode of SYTYCD will air at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9, on the FOX Network. Set your DVRs!