"I've always been known as that on the show, and I have so much more to offer. I've taken modern and ballet and flamenco. It's a little downfall that they do call me hot," she told reporters during a Friday conference call. "But I can't help what other people see me as. I'm not just the hotness. I take my dance very seriously and I love the art."
The 25-year-old Latin/salsa dancer from Miami, FL and her partner Marquis Cunningham found themselves among the bottom three couples based on home viewer votes cast immediately following Wednesday night's performance episode. They were then ousted by the show's three judges after the six dancers each performed a solo routine.
"I definitely was surprised being eliminated. I honestly thought I was going to stay a little bit longer," she told Reality TV World during the conference call. "I was looking forward to doing the tour. Unfortunately, that didn't happen for me."
Garcia and Cunningham performed a salsa routine choreographed by Alex Da Silva during Wednesday night's performance episode -- and they were confident since the dance genre was right in Garcia's wheelhouse.
However all three judges commented how the performance was lacking for Garcia.
"I was pleased learning it and doing it on the show," Garcia told Reality TV World about the routine.
"I'm always known as a fireball and very sassy and just up with a lot of energy. So I'm always told to just hold back a little bit. Because I have too much energy when I dance I'm very sharp and do a lot of staccato movements and stuff. So I may have taken that and just held it back a little bit, just so the salsa won't seem so fake or out there as far as faces and stuff like that. They wanted to see more, so it's weird. It's a very weird thing because you never know what they're going to say on what they see."
Garcia subsequently performed her solo routine during last night's broadcast -- and she went with salsa, a decision she said she would "definitely" change if she could.
"I wanted to do a flamenco solo. Unfortunately it did not happen, because that's one of my strong points as well," she explained to reporters. "Just because I had done the salsa dancing, I wanted to show them something different -- something else I had under my belt. But unfortunately for certain things it couldn't happen."
Right before Garcia was booted, So You Think You Can Dance judge and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe wondered where the "fire" she started the competition with had went.
"I don't know where the fire went, in Nigel's eyes," she told reporters. "I think I still had it in me more than ever. I think the fire was still there. Unfortunately it wasn't enough."
Despite wishing she had made it farther on the show, Garcia said she's pleased with her time on it.
"This experience has been great and I'm just going to take it and go back to Miami and see what happens," she told Reality TV World. "I just want to do so much now and it's just going to open up so many doors as far as I want to have my own dance studio in Miami and just let it grow. Miami could be something like L.A. and New York as far as dancing."
As for what's next, Garcia said she's excited to return to Miami and the high school where she teaches her passion -- dance.
"I'm going to go back to Miami to my students there. They were very, very pleased to see me on the show and very proud of me," she said. "They would always say that they look up to what I've done and look forward to doing big things as well when they get older."
(Photo credit Fox)
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