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Recent MJHS grad makes it to final 33 on So You Think You Can Dance

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

Recent Mt. Juliet High School graduate Marissa Milele hit the national stage recently when she got down to the final 33 dancers on “So You Think You Can Dance?”

Milele made it to the Top 33, known as “The Green Mile,” and was one of the top 17 girls in the competition that originally had 10,000 audition. 

“The most intense, yet amazing experience,” said Milele. 

Milele first auditioned in Memphis on March 15. Due to conflicts with her DC Dance Factory Competition, a studio out of Franklin, she was late to her “So You Think You Can Dance” audition, and was not given the opportunity to show her solo and only had a 10-second audition. 

But Milele didn’t give up. Through the encouragement of friends and family, Milele flew to Los Angeles, Calif., to try again. She picked up some odd jobs and did dance lessons to help earn money for a plane ticket to Los Angeles, and got it just in time. Friends there helped her get to the audition at 5 a.m., where there were already hundreds of dancers in line. 

The auditions lasted for a few days, and Milele came out of it with a ticket to Las Vegas, Nev. to compete with the top 159 dancers. Milele battled through six rounds of eliminations and reached “The Green Mile.” She said that some rehearsals would last all night long. 

“Vegas week was brutal,” Milele said. 

That sent Milele back to Los Angeles. The dates interfered with her last DC Dance recital, so some changes had to be made. However, she flew out to Los Angeles to find out that she had been cut. She had to get on a return flight home. 

Milele’s episode aired earlier this month, but you can catch it on the web at

She will continue to pursue her dream of not only being a dancer, but also a singer. 

“My plans are to commute between Atlanta, LA and Nashville and be represented by Xcel talent and Bloc LA agencies to pursue my music as a solo singer and also professional dancer.”

Milele’s parents are Mark and Jamie Milele of Mt. Juliet. Her brother Justin is also pursuing his dream of becoming a professional singer and dancer. 

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