He says his grandmother made him do it.

Before wowing the "So You Think You Can Dance" judges on last week's show, Matthew Deloch, of Gonzales, told viewers a little about his journey to the reality competition series.

"When I was 2, my grandmother put me in dance, and I hated it and I cried every day," Deloch said. "Then at 12, my mom enrolled me in a performing arts studio."

After years as a student at Center Stage Performing Arts Academy in Gonzales, the 18-year-old is now an instructor there.

Along with hundreds of others, Deloch auditioned for the FOX show's 13th season in Los Angeles. His graceful, yet physical contemporary dance routine went from kicks to leaps to multiple pirouettes.

"Have you ever counted how many pirouettes you can do?" judge Nigel Lythgoe asked after the performance.

"17," Deloch said shyly.

"You're one of the most outstanding routines I've seen today," Lythgoe added.

"Mind-blowing" was how judge Mary Murphy described what Deloch did on the dance floor. "We asked everybody to bring it today, and man did you ever!"

New judge Vanessa Hudgens also agreed.

"I do want to feel a little more emotion from you, but man are you a good dancer."

Before exiting the stage, the judges let Deloch know he was "going to academy," the next step in the competition. The top 10 dancers will eventually be selected to go on to compete in the live shows. In addition to the Los Angeles auditions, tryouts were also held in New York. Those episodes begin Monday night. Academy rounds start airing July 17.

In the Emmy-winning series, "highly-skilled dancers between the ages of 18-30 will showcase their talents in various dance styles, including contemporary, tap, hip-hop, ballroom, animation, breaking and more. The dancers will be paired up with All-Stars who will guide them throughout the competition as they vie for America’s votes and the title of America’s Favorite Dancer," according to the show's website.


'So You Think You Can Dance'

WHEN: 7 p.m. Mondays

CHANNEL: WGMB, Channel 44 (cable Channel 6)

INFO: fox.com/so-you-think-you-can-dance

Follow Judy Bergeron on Twitter, @judybergeronbr.