By now, the title isn't even a question: Yes, Tiffany Maher can dance.
Maher, of Plantation, moved into the finals of the Fox TV show "So You Think You Can Dance" Wednesday night, as her mother and sister watched live in Los Angeles and her father and dance fans cheered her on from a Sunrise restaurant.
"I don't see how those Olympic parents sat there and watched," her mother, Marla, said before the show. "It's so, so nerve-wracking."
Maher, 19, and two other women and three men each performed three dances Wednesday night. She opened and closed the show -- always a good sign -- and was the first of the two women named for the finals. She'll dance Tuesday night -- and America will vote -- and the female and male winners will be announced on Sept. 18.
The other female finalist is also a South Floridian: it’s Eliana Girard, of West Palm Beach. Girard attended Dreyfoos High School of the Arts, but left to dance at Joffrey Ballet School, then went to the Alvin Ailey School the following year. She started her career with Cirque Du Soleil in July 2009.
Maher's father, Brian, was among the packed house at Legends Tavern and Grille in Sunrise Wednesday night, along with instructors and students from her home studio, Dance Fx in Sunrise, including owner Joan Bartoletti and her daughters, Julie and Lisa.
When her name was announced as a finalist, Brian thrust his arms into the air and bedlam ensued.
Maher's first dance was a swing with all-star Benji to "What I Like About You," complete with three cartwheels that prompted the judges to stand and applaud. Then came her 45-second solo, to "Just The Way You Are."
Her final dance of the night was with Cyrus, who also made the final. The concept was that it was two teenagers left home alone, and, well, a couple pieces of clothing came off. The judges said they loved it, although Nigel Lythgoe did note that Tiffany "really is the girl next door."
Maher was the 2010 salutatorian at South Plantation High, and is taking online classes in public affairs at the University of Central Florida. By finishing in the top 10, she is guaranteed a spot on the show's tour, which includes a stop at the Hard Rock on Dec. 5.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun