Initially, So You Think You Can Dance judge Mary Murphy had her doubts about what type of dance talent would pop up the first time the show traveled to Salt Lake City, UT for auditions.

“The first time we came here, we thought: what is going on in this state?” she told the Desert News during last week’s Season 9 SLC auditions. But, now, the city has become a regular hot spot for talent and standout performances — bringing the judges back “more often than not.”

Starting last Thursday, eager dancers began to line up as early as 6 in the morning — with the hopes that they would impress SYTYCD judges Mary, Nigel Lythgoe, and Adam Shankman and continue on to the Vegas rounds. The auditions attracted dancers from every dance genre imaginable.

Day 1 started off with 259 eager dancers and, by the end of the long run, 37 were given the chance to perform onstage for a ticket to Vegas. One of those lucky dancers was 18-year-old contemporary dancer Charlie Fratto, whose touching devotion to his grandmother prompted Nigel to allow her to watch Charlie’s performance from the judges’ panel. Charlie was a “yes” to Vegas.

Others weren’t as fortunate as Charlie, but, all and all, the judges were happy with the turn-out. “We love it here, and that’s why we keep coming back,” Mary said.

Will Season 9 be the year for a Salt Lake City contestant to be deemed “America’s Favorite Dancer”?

Sources: Desert News, Twitter

Never miss a SYTYCD update: Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.