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Springfield EMT performs on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

A Springfield EMT has accomplished her lifelong dream of performing on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” with many inspirations along the way.
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 2:45 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2022 at 4:56 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A Springfield EMT has accomplished her lifelong dream of performing on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” with many inspirations along the way.

Zyiasia Knighton, a 19 year old Springfield native, is a student at Bay Path University on the pre-med track, an active member of the military, and an EMT, but at her core, she’s a dancer.

“I like to think of dance is my escape. You know, a lot going on mentally, so that is kind of my release, Knighton

Pursuing dance beyond just a hobby has not always come easy.

“When the pandemic hit, I thought I was not good enough to make it as a dancer, so I said I was not going to dance again,” Knighton explained.

Knighton told Western Mass News exclusively that she quit dance at 14 years old to focus on other passions.

“Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a heart surgeon…My mom and dad were in and out of medical facilities. My mom had kidney disease, which caused her to go into renal failure, so she was going out of hospitals for about three or four years until she got a transplant,” Knighton added.

Her father was murdered when she was just 10 years old, which left her mom as the sole provider of their family, which is where Knighton said her drive comes from.

“All of my motivation and my work ethic comes from my mom…We come from a family that didn’t really have anything and she was the first to change that perspective so me following in her footsteps,” Knighton said.

It was her brother who inspired her to audition for the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.” It’s an experience she is so grateful for as she successfully made it through the first round of auditions in Los Angeles.

“I had about two weeks, so it went from not being a dancer anymore to being a dancer in about two-and-a-half weeks to audition…I danced it felt like…like a spiritual experience. I don’t even remember performing,” Knighton noted.

However, for Knighton, the sky is the limit.

“I think my biggest takeaway would just be to actually start believing in myself. I take a chance on a lot of people, but I don’t take a chance on myself too often,” Knighton said.

You can continue to follow Knighton’s journey on “So You Think You Can Dance” on Wednesday nights on FOX 6.