FOLLOWING Filipina American dancer Hannahlei Cabanilla’s win on “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 15 (SYTYCD) last year, another Fil-Am talent is set to make a splash in the American dance contest’s ongoing 16th season.
On its 7th episode, Filipino American dancer Bailey Munoz from Las Vegas, wowed the judges as he danced to “Beggin” by Four Seasons during the Academy Round of the competition.
He received the golden ticket making him part of the top 20 hopefuls out of 64 contestants who will move on to the next round. Fellow Filipino American dancer John John Tarrayo failed to make the cut, however.
Also known as “BailRok,” 19-year-old Munoz is no stranger to the spotlight.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News’ Bev Llorente, Bailrok gave the news crew a tour to his house in Las Vegas. He proudly showed his wall of fame, a collection of his childhood photos with A-list celebrities he has worked with and met through dancing.
“When I toured with Bruno Mars, it was such an amazing experience. He is the coolest guy. He is a good person to look up to,” he shared.
In 2010, then 9-year-old BailRok landed a spot on the semi-finals of “America’s Got Talent.”
“I started at a very young age. It was such a blessing for me being on ‘America’s Got Talent’ when I was younger,” he told ABS-CBN News. “I’ve been lucky enough to perform with Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber. I got to dance with Beyoncé, Megan Trainor.”
His other notables performances include an appearance in Chris Brown’s music video, in “Dancing with the Stars,” and at a New York Knicks’ game.
As for his current journey on SYTYCD, BailRok hopes that his love and passion for dancing will help him through the tough competition ahead. He promised to give it his all as he considers getting the golden ticket not only a dream come true, but a chance of a lifetime as well.
“Learning all the [different genres of] of dance is so hard because everything has a certain technique whether it be ballroom, ballet or contemporary. I’m just stepping in that mindset like if I’m learning choreography of contemporary, I have to pretend that I am a contemporary dancer besides just being a B-Boy,” Bailrok shared.
“B-boying/girling” is a form of hip-hop dancing which has evolved into a highly demanding type of dance physically and mentally.
Behind BailRok’s success, and his SYTYCD journey, are his proud parents, Ferdie and Barbra Munoz, and her younger sister Faithe.
“We haven’t really digested what he has experienced through dance,” Ferdie Munoz told ABS-CBN News.
“I know how hard he works when he’s performing at something. Specifically for SYTYCD, he’s spent months training. I know that this is something he is preparing for,” Barbra Munoz shared. “During that audition, I was not necessarily scared or nervous, it’s a combination of both because I know he really wanted it and worked so hard for it.”
Next week, BailRok and the rest of the top 20 performers will partner with SYTYCD “All-Stars” to compete for a spot in the top 10.
“So You Think You Can Dance” airs on Fox on Monday nights at 8 p.m..