Topeka teen makes second round of national dance show

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Dancing to the top.

A recent high school graduate in Topeka is getting national attention after her appearance on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance.

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime – standing in front of the judges of So You Think You Can Dance. It’s a dream Topeka’s Hayley Erbert turned into a reality.

“I was kind of hesitant at first ’cause I know that I’m so young so I was really afraid,” Hayley says.

She adds it was her mother, Debbie Schwartz, who pushed her to go to the audition.

“I just said Hayley, you have nothing to lose,” Schwartz says.

So the two set out for the audition in Austin, Texas.

“All I was really trying to get out of it was just the experience ’cause regardless if they say yes or no, it’s a great experience just to get there and be in front of those judges,” Hayley says.

But then the unexpected happened – the judges send Hayley to Vegas for a second round of auditions.

“Once I made it to Vegas I was like, oh my God,” she says.

Feedback from some of the most respected people in the business prove her lifelong efforts paid off.

“We commute an hour and 15 minutes three or four days a week to Kansas City for dance and get home at 11:30, 12:00 at night during school nights,” Schwartz says, “So she’s given up a lot to do what she loves.”

Hayley says it also solidifies her plans to pursue this passion.

“I plan to go to Chapman University for their dance program so if the show continues then I’ll just kind of see, play it by ear and see,” she says.

Although it’s already been filmed, we don’t know yet if Hayley makes it through the second round of auditions in Vegas. She says either way, she hopes to be an inspiration for other Topekans with a dream.

“I was like, oh, I’m a small town girl, I’m not going to be able to get anywhere,” Hayley says. “After going there it’s given me the confidence to know that I can go out there and try things… So I really hope that tells everybody else that no matter what, even if they doubt themselves they can go for it and shoot for the stars.”

Next week on the show auditions wrap up for Season 10. After that, it’s on to the next round in Vegas, where Hayley will be performing.

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