SYTYCD's Top 7 Ashley Galvan stays positive despite rib injury
After sustaining a rib injury, dancer Ashley Galvan withdrew from the competition at the Top 7 – the second injured dancers in two weeks. The 19-year-old contemporary dancer from Visalia, Calif., chatted about her withdrawal from the competition in a recent conference call. Excerpts are below.
Q: Coming into the Top 11, you were pretty unknown to the viewers of the show. Were you worried at all about that?
Ashley: No, I wasn’t worried. I know that I was kind of not shown or being put out there at the beginning of the show, but I think that was best for me. I am shy at first, but then I get out there when everybody knows who I am.
Q: Was there any talk of you being able to return for season eight?
Ashley: If I get asked to come back, I probably would, yes. But then again, I don’t know because I am looking forward to doing the tour.
Q: How you injured yourself and what were you doing when you first started noticing the pain?
Ashley: Well, I injured myself probably the third week into the competition. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I do know that being lifted a lot in the same area probably triggered the injury. I’m hoping that I recover fast.
I was doing this one specific lift during the duet with Adechike, the one where I go over his head and he dropped me close to the ground. It was a really fun lift, but it was hard and I think that’s when I started feeling the pain.
It developed into a bruised rib and then further along the line, it became a fractured rib.
Q: How much pain are you in and what are you doing in terms of recovery?
Ashley: I was sad to leave. I am currently just lying down because that’s what the doctors told me to. They said a lot of rest would help the recovery process.
Probably catching up on TV shows that I haven’t gotten to watch will be what I start to do. I’m hoping that I recover quickly.
It’s really painful, but I’m trying not to think about the pain because I don’t like being in pain. I can’t tolerate pain very well, but so far, I’m hanging in there and I’m hoping that I get better fast.
Q: Will we see you in the audience watching or are you on strict orders to stay home?
Ashley: I really hope that I get a comeback and watch. Hopefully that will be probably the Finale. Until then, I’m will be supporting (the dancers) from home.
Q: What did you expect going into the competition and how were your expectations met or exceeded?
Ashley: Going into this, actually, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what the rehearsals were going to be like. I didn’t know how exactly I would learn the routine and be great or good to perform them on Wednesday.
I just loved every moment of it. I got to grow as a dancer. I got to have new experiences, like hip-hop and the quickstep and I’m sad that I didn’t get to do more of that, but I have a great time on show. I really hope that I get to continue somewhat in the business.
Q: Has the tight bond between the competitors made the experience easier at the time and harder now that you’re out of the competition?
Ashley: Yes, we all connected very well and we are a family. When someone is injured, everybody is there for them. If someone upset, everybody is there for them. We feed off of each other’s energy and it was just an amazing thing.
And now that I’m gone, they told me last night that it wasn’t going to be the same without me.
Q: What was your favorite part of the whole experience?
My favorite part of the experience was probably the contestants and being able to dance with all the stars. Everybody is so great and has amazing personalities. It’s something so great to go into something and not know what the outcome will be. And then when you get so close to people, it’s amazing. Not continuing further in the competition is sad, but I’m rooting for (the other dancers) and I know that they’re still going to put on a great show and I’m going to be back.
Q: You and Robert especially seem to have a really good rapport, but he’s been in the bottom three several times even though technically he’s made very few errors. What are the viewers not getting about him?
Ashley: Robert and I are best friends. He means a lot to me. To see him in the bottom that many times was really hard. I didn’t get it at all because he has a great personality. He’s an amazing dancer. He was always there for me. And I don’t know what everybody doesn’t see in him, but he’s been safe for the past week and I hope that he continues to do well and be safe in the competition.
Q: What’s next for you as a dancer?
Ashley: I’m hoping that I will be able to go on a lot of auditions for different jobs and just continue my journey. It’s only beginning now and hopefully I get to work in movies and commercials and TV work. I’m hoping that someday I get to be on Glee, so that’s my dream. I hope that I get to do that.
I was trained in acting because that’s something that I really wanted to do, something that I wanted to open up with because I am a shy person. I feel like doing acting will help me grow up and not be so shy anymore. I would like to continue with acting and see where that takes me.
Q: When looking back on the show, how has it helped you grow as a dancer?
Ashley: For the first three weeks, I didn’t have an opportunity to show them that I can step out of my comfort zone because I did two contemporaries numbers and one jazz. But really, all of it has been stepping out of my comfort zone because I’ve never been partnered before. I’ve never actually had to dance with a guy before, so it was all very new to me.
It really opened my eyes as a dancer and as a person that there is so much more to dancing than just dancing at a dance studio and being a competition dancer. So I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to do the quickstep and do hip-hop and actually learn something from them.
Q: What was your favorite dance?
Ashley: My favorite dance would have to be the one that Dee Caspary did with Adechike. Yes, it was actually the first time where I actually got to loosen up as a dancer and not be so placed and think about lines. I really just went for it and it felt amazing.