Aw, shucks! Meet Kent. Fox hit competitive dance show So You Think You Can Dance hasn’t had such a sweet, good-natured contestant since season two winner Benji Schwimmer.
Hailing from Wapakoneta, Ohio (yes, it’s really a place – population about 9,000; its name comes from the Indian words for clay river) and just 18 years old, Kent Boyd appears to be just as wholesome as he looks.
Kent has always lived in Ohio, and began dancing when he was eight, encouraged by his mom because she felt he needed an outlet for his vast amounts of energy. Kent says he was “horrible” at first, although if you’ve watched the show you know he isn’t one to sing his praises.
As Kent progressed into his teenage years, a vocational aptitude test showed him that his abilities suited him for … nothing. Disillusioned, Kent recommitted himself to dance: “I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do, so I thought maybe I should do this.”
But Kent’s struggles weren’t over. He applied to Julliard but was immediately cut, a situation he attributes to his small town studio experience.
Enter So You Think You Can Dance
Things began to go Kent’s way when he auditioned for a spot on the hit So You Think You Can Dance in Chicago in March, 2010.
Before he knew it, So You Think You Can Dance executive producer Nigel Lythgoe was traveling to Wapakoneta to inform Kent that he had made it onto the show. Sidenote here: as a fellow Midwesterner, who lives just 60 miles from Kent’s home, I found it a bit disingenuous the way the show depicted Ohio: Nigel was shown in a state of shock, driving past cows and cornfields. I’ve lived in the Midwest most of my life, and believe it or not, I don’t spend most days skipping through goat pastures or chewing on stalks of grass. Just sayin’ …
In his weeks on the show, Kent has shown a refreshing amount of ability paired with a humble, willing-to-learn demeanor. The emotion he most often evokes when he dances is one of joy. On his So You Think You Can Dance fact page, he states that he hopes to change on the show as a dancer, but not as a person.
If he wins? Kent would like to send his parents on a cruise “because they have always wanted to (go), but have never had the money.” Don’t you just want to pinch his cheeks?
“I always want to be down to earth; I always want to be genuine. I want to always be approachable. I never want to get a big head. I am just a person who appreciates life and being alive. Life is so good!” Kent says. We watch him dance, and we agree.
Fox So You Think You Can Dance: Kent Boyd
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Ohioan Wows Hit TV Dance Show Audience