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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dancer's School of Hard Knicks 

Posted by James at 6:30 PM ET

By Cristina Kinon
New York Daily News
Courtney, Knicks DancersIf Knicks City Dancer Courtney Galiano could handle the team's 2007 season, she can certainly handle the pressure of being one of the top 20 contestants on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance.

The peppy 19-year-old (she turns 20 tomorrow) from Commack, L.I., says she can't wait to get up on the show's big stage and strut her stuff in front of millions of viewers.

"I love performing in Madison Square Garden because there are thousands of people in the stands, but it is all about the basketball players," Galiano told the Daily News yesterday. "But when you're here [on 'Dance'], you're on national television and people are just watching you."

A contemporary dancer who loves to show off her hip-hop skills, Galiano admits that the toughest part of "Dance's" audition process was performing a Mia Michaels contemporary routine.

"My whole life I was taught to be turned out and pulled up and pointed, and her choreography was flexed and contracted and turned in, but still technical and so abstract," Galiano said. "I feel like, to her, I'm just this competition dancer but I know with just a little more time I can really nail her stuff and I want her to see that."

Beside her dance skills, Galiano caught the judges' attention because of her personality and looks.

"You've got a very pretty face, the camera loves you, and you use it very well," judge Nigel Lythgoe told Galiano after her Charleston, S.C., audition. "You're a lovely performer."

That, of course, is okay with Galiano.

"I think it's really important to be yourself on the show, to be approachable and to be personable," said Galiano. "The people who watch reality TV can tell who's fake so it's really important to not be afraid to show America who you really are."

Galiano may remind "Dance" fans of last year's top four finalist Lacey Schwimmer, a comparison Galiano welcomes.

"That's like, the greatest compliment ever!" she said.

And much like Schwimmer, Galiano has the support of her friends and family, including grandparents who came to her first audition and waited in line with her at 4am.

"I think America is sick of drama," said Galiano. "I don't have a sob story. The reason I got here is because of my family and the support that I've had. I was always told I could do anything I put my mind to."

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