St. Lazare’s Christian Millette: Meditation, visualization relieve dancer’s pain

St. Lazare’s Christian Millette:
Meditation, visualization relieve dancer’s pain

It’s not everyday the phone rings and a hunky celebrity dancer from SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA is on the other end! Christian Millette called Julie Cadieux right on time from his hotel room in Toronto for an interview with the hometown paper:

ST. LAZARE — Monday night at 8 p.m., CTV aired the fourth season of the reality dance television show So You Think You Can Dance Canada where this year’s final 22 dancers, 11 women and 11 men, paired up to dance a choreographed routine. Each week, viewers will have a chance to vote for their favourites and as a result two competitors will be eliminated the following evening by a panel of judges.
One of our own, Christian Millette of St. Lazare, made it in to the top 22 and Monday night’s Salsa performance with Lindsay Leuschner was “hot, hot, hot, you two were on fire!” said guest judge Mary Murphy. “You are the dream team to me, of all dream teams!”

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Christian Millette and dance partner Lindsay Leuschner during Monday night’s red-hot salsa performance in the latest CTV So You Think You Can Dance reality-TV instalment.

Judge, dancer and choreographer Jean-Marc Genereux’s comments were just as positive. “Christian murdered it, you murdered it, you should get arrested, my friend, because you are so hot and to me that was the epitomy of salsa, you represented that style and I love it and let me tell you, you are gonna go far the two of you, I completely love you!” The other three judges were equally impressed.
Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to chat with Christian and after thanking him for taking the time from his schedule, and asking him what he was doing right before I called (breakfast and relaxing) I asked him how he felt about his performance (“really good, really great and my partner Lindsay was really good and we are so excited about doing the show.”)
Christian was two years old when he began dancing, no doubt due to his his parents who not only danced but who have also owned a dance school, La Millateck, in St. Lazare and Vaudreuil-Dorion for the last 30 years. He still recalls his first really memorable dance: “When I was nine years old, the first time I went to Europe to compete in England and I got into the finals.”

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28-year-old Christian Millette is putting his career as a 9-1-1 dispatcher on hold while he competes in the latest SYTYCD Canada competition.

At one point, he was unsure that dance was something he felt he wanted or should keep pursuing, “but when I met Denitsa at a competition seven years ago in Bulgaria, I knew it was what I wanted to do” he said. He and Denitsa Ikonomova partnered up and when he’s not working as a 911 dispatcher, they compete all over the world. Three years ago Christian, now 28, brought home the World Amateur medal for ballroom dance and is currently ranked 10th in the world in the 10-Dance category. Ikonomova, age 24 is also in the top 22. It is the first time on SYTYCD that dance partners have both made it on the show.
It’s not his first time. In 2008 Christian tried out for the show and made it into the top 60 dancers. I asked him what motivated him to try out again. “I didn’t think I would,” he confessed. “I’m getting older and I wanted to prove something to myself, that I could train in other styles and take my career in another direction with more possibilities.”
He feels the reason he made it further this time is because he is more mentally prepared. “Physically, anyone can do this, but mentally it’s very hard on you,” he tells me, describing the stress, nerves and intense eight to 11 hours of training the dancers do each day. He credits meditating and visualizing to help him relieve stress, keep positive and even alleviate pain. “My shoulder was hurting earlier this week but after meditating for a while it felt better. It takes time to do, but we have so much stress, it’s important to find some calm and time apart from everyone.”
Not that the other 21 competitors are a hassle to be around. “I have been here for two weeks and I am surprised how everyone is so nice, helping each other, like a big family.”
When I told him how he has a fan base here and is becoming quite the celebrity he laughed. “It’s all new and strange…I get these Facebook messages from these people I don’t know, but it’s nice. Right now my whole body hurts but nice messages from people help.”
His plans after the show is over? “I don’t know what will happen…I will go back to being a dispatcher, I love it. But dancing is my life, it depends on what offers I get… it’s hard to imagine.”
You can follow and vote for Christian Millette on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Monday evenings at 8 p.m. and watch Tuesday evenings at at the same time to find out who gets eliminated on the Results Show. Christian’s parents invite anyone who is a fan to join them every Tuesday at the Saint-Hubert Rôtisserie on Saint-Charles in Vaudreuil-Dorion to watch and hope with them.

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Millette and ballroom dance partner Denitsa Ikonomova made their names together on the international ballroom dance circuit. Christian decided to try out a second time for SYTYCD Canada to explore his own boundaries.

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