Since being crowned the winner of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance this past summer, Lauren Froderman’s life hasn’t slowed down one bit. The 19-year-old Phoenix native, whose specialty is in contemporary jazz, only had a couple of days off after the last show in August to spend time at home, then jetted off to Los Angeles again to start rehearsals for the So You Think You Can Dance live tour. As the winner of this season, Froderman had the opportunity to appear on the cover of Dance Spirit magazine’s November issue and in Gatorade’s latest campaign as the brand’s first-ever featured athlete in dance.
The quirky blonde, who won over audiences in dances such as the prom queen and king Travis Wall contemporary with runner-up Kent Boyd and the cowgirl-meets-cowboy hip-hop with season 4 all-star Twitch, will get a warm homecoming when the tour makes its final stop in Phoenix next week.
“My dance studio is planning on throwing me a big party, and my best friends are obviously excited to see me and hang out with me,” Froderman said in an exclusive phone chat on Tuesday, November 9. “And I haven’t seen my brother [since I left], which makes me sad, but I’ll see him in Phoenix. My mom and my dad have already made it out to a couple of shows. Everyone’s really happy for me and I have the best support system.”
Froderman said she has lined up some “little things here and there” post-tour, including taking part in a Phoenix performance for the Alice Cooper Solid Rock Foundation, where proceeds will go towards helping troubled teens. She also plans on continuing work with Gatorade, “but nothing’s permanent yet,” she said. Then she’ll move out to LA in January.
“I’ve always been interested in working in the industry and being in the commercial and television side of the business, so I hope to get jobs that would involve those things,” said Froderman.
The live tour has allowed Froderman and the other dancers to revisit routines that they performed on the show, as well as all-new numbers. “I love dancing with everyone on the cast!” said Froderman. “My favorite routine is the group Bollywood routine. There’s so much energy, and we get to scream on stage. I just get pumped up everytime we do that dance.”
Perhaps that energy-driven routine is also reflective of the bond between the touring castmates, which includes the other top seven finalists from the season, a few of the all-stars, and last season’s winner, Russell Ferguson. “We’re just a crazy bunch and whenever we’re around each other, we’re always doing something silly and getting in trouble,” Froderman said with a laugh. “It’s just a good time. We’re obnoxious!”
The cross-country tour has allowed Froderman and the other dancers to experience different cities. Although she said she had several favorites, Froderman had one clear favorite that she enjoyed on her downtime. “Miami was one of my favorite cities because I love beaches, and we got to go to the beach there and it was raining,” she said.
Meeting fans on the tour has also been quite an experience, being showered with gifts and autograph and picture requests at most stops. “All of the gifts I get are really awesome. You can tell that they’re thought-out gifts and really came out of love and admiration, and I appreciate them all,” said Froderman. But as for one she can clearly recall: “I got a quilt recently that was really, really nice. It had pictures of me with different fans from different stops and pictures from the show, and it was a really neat gift.”
Although there’s about more than six months until the next season of So You Think You Can Dance, Froderman offered words of encouragement to those who wish to follow in her footsteps for next year. “Everyone’s path is different, but no matter what happens, you always have to go back to why you love to dance and remember why it makes you happy,” she said. “Know that you are a good dancer, you’re an artist, and to keep doing what you’re doing.”
And to the fans who supported her throughout the season, she said to them, “I’m so grateful for all their love and for believing in me and supporting me, even though they only knew of me what they could see through the television, so I appreciate it a lot. I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did on the show without them.”