Karen Hauer was happy to be a So You Think You Can Dance Top 20 sixth-season finalist but knows she came so close to making it further in the competition.

"It was like tease," Hauer told reporters during a Monday conference call when asked about being ousted on the cusp of making the Top 10.

"It was like you're making it and now you're not.  Just the exposure and the amazing people that we got to work with, it is hard because everybody wants to make that Top 10 to go on tour.  It's like a dream for everybody, but just the fact that I made it this far out of thousands of dancers, it's amazing.  Yes, Top 10 would have been amazing, but I am extremely happy with how far I got in the competition."

The 27-year-old Latin ballroom dancer from Valencia, Venezuela who currently resides in Queens, NY and her partner Victor Smalley were eliminated during last week's live results show by the judging panel after they found themselves among the bottom three couples based on home viewer votes cast immediately following last Tuesday night's performance episodes.

Since ballroom is her strength, Hauer admitted it was difficult to be thrust into a situation where she had to dance for her life in a solo.

"My strong points are dancing with a partner and interacting with a partner.  So for the past 10 years when I was a child, I did do some contemporary, but 10 years of solid ballroom training and training to feel somebody and be in synch with another person is a lot to work with.  And then all of a sudden you're out there on your own and it is tough, but it's not an excuse," she said. 

"It's not an excuse that I can't dance by myself.  I thought I did very well in my solos and I wish I had more time to prepare.  But it's one of those things that I just went out there and I danced my heart out no matter what, whether it was with a partner or whether it was just by myself."

Hauer was frequently complimented for her sexy and sultry routines during the sixth season, and she said if that dissuaded young female viewers from voting for her there's nothing she can do about it.

"I was just being myself.  I embrace who I am.  It's all about really putting yourself out there," she explained.  "I didn't feel like I wasn't doing anything out of my own personality.  I was just being myself and you should always embrace who you are no matter what."

Hauer had previously been paired with Kevin Hunte, and she said both he and Smalley had their strengths.

"With Kevin, we had met in New York previously, so we're both New Yorkers and we had danced together in Vegas.  And then it was such a coincidence that when we were in New York taking dance classes together, we were making believe that we were dance partners already.  So the connection was instantaneously with Kevin," she said.

"With Victor, I didn't really speak to him much and then all of a sudden once we were partnered together, it was like also a spark, but it was at a different level because Kevin as a hip hop artist, he's amazing.  But the technicality that Victor has is at another level.  I really enjoyed and he really surprised me and he inspired me as well.  So they were both amazing to work with."
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While it's not uncommon for finalists who are ousted on the cusp of making the Top 10 to be invited to participate in the show's subsequent tour, Hauer said she has yet to receive the offer -- but would jump at it if extended.

"I would love that.  That would be amazing," she said when asked about the tour.  "I would love to go on tour and be a special guest.  That would be great because I came so close and that would really be neat, definitely."

Even if the tour isn't in her future, Hauer said she plans on continuing to pursue dance.

"My next step would be just keep on dancing, whatever doors, maybe Broadway," she said.  "I'm very excited to see what's coming up, but definitely dancing and teaching and continuing to spread the word of dance."