What went through your mind when you were announced as the winner?
"Honestly, I was just completely shocked because I really thought it was going to be Kent [that won]. Whenever we go on stage it feels like the whole room is filled with teenage girls who are screaming for Kent and he gets a ridiculous amount of fanmail. I didn't really think it was going to be me, I feel really honoured that it was, and so grateful and humbled. I never dreamed I would win."
Was there a moment you thought you would win?
"Honestly, to me, winning came secondary. What I wanted to do was just stay in as long as I possibly could. I wanted to learn and grow and I just wanted to be with these new friends I had made and really enjoy the experience. So I don't think there was a moment I thought I could win but there were moments that I really didn't want to leave, I wanted to stay."
The judges mentioned that this was the youngest cast the show has had so far. What's it like to have achieved something like this at your age?
"I feel really, really honoured, because I am only 18 and my career will hopefully be kick-started into gear by this. I'm going to be having the time of my life on tour with everybody that's going. We're all young, but I think it's so cool that we're able to experience all this. Hopefully, being mature dancers at a young age, it will be awesome."
Female dancers were not well-liked this season. Did it worry you being the last girl left that you might not last?
"Well, it made me nervous, that's for sure. In the beginning, you're right, it was just girls girls girls. It looked like it was going to be a boy season and that there would be no girls left and I still can't believe that I actually won. It's so crazy to me. It definitely pushed me, being the only girl. I wanted to represent all the girls. It was a great experience. I couldn't have had a better time."
What was the best feedback you received from the judges?
"The most memorable comment, the one that will probably stick with me forever, is from Wednesday when Mia Michaels told me that if she was still dancing, she would want to dance like me. I mean, that is the biggest compliment I have ever received. I look up to her - the whole dance community does - and for her to say something like that is a big deal. She's amazing."
Early in the season you were criticised for coming off as a competition dancer. What changed for you?
"Well, I was raised that way. It was always the most important thing to acknowledge the audience in my training. I sort of brought that to the show because that was all I knew, but being on the show made me realise that it's more about getting into your character and hopefully absorbing everything in the environment. It's [about] having the audience want to come in rather than having to pull them in. I think the all-stars were a big support in helping me to improve."
What was the best advice you were given from one of the all-stars?
"The best advice was probably from all-stars that told me to be confident and to not think about the competition. It's more about dancing and being yourself. Especially Pasha. Whenever I got [assigned] ballroom, I was so scared and a nervous wreck in rehearsals because it's just not my style and I felt a lot of pressure. He would always tell me that I knew the steps, I just needed to let go and go for it and it really helped. Sometimes you hold back because you're scared but you just need to go for it and it'll all work out. Or at least you'll improve and grow from it."
What did you struggle with most during your time on the show?
"Letting go of the fact that it was a competition! I believe the [key to] success of SYTYCD is not treating it like a competition, but treating it like an opportunity for you to grow and learn. The minute I let go of the fact that I was being judged and stopped being concerned with what the judges had to say, that was the point when it became fun and I enjoyed myself. Things have just been crazy, but I took one day at a time."
What would you like to do in the future after the tour?
"Well, I'd like to go into acting and I want to get an acting coach. I've been singing for the past two years and I'd like to keep training in that. I just want to be as versatile as possible so that I can get lots of different jobs. I'd love to work in movies and television. I think it'd be really cool to work in the commercial industry, especially right now while I'm so young and have a lot of energy!"