Interview by Lori Bizzoco. Written by Mackenzie Scibetta.

In a groundbreaking So You Think You Can Dance finale, the crowning champion of Season 12 was a tap dancer, the first one in the shows 10 year history! In addition to being a tapper, what makes winner, Gaby Diaz even more unique is that she is impressively only 19-years-old. The Cuban-born star received the ultimate package of $250,000 and the opportunity to join her idol, Jennifer Lopez onstage at her Las Vegas residency. This celebrity news only gets sweeter as Diaz is currently performing with the SYTYCD tour, which hits 70 cities and runs until January. We had the chance to chat with Diaz last week and in our exclusive celebrity interview, she spoke about her hectic life, her single celebrity status and how she feels about being the first tap dancer in the show’s history!

Gaby Diaz Shares Inside Look at SYTYCD in Our Celebrity Interview 

You recently performed for all of your family and friends in your hometown of Miami. What was that like knowing you had your loved ones there?

It was crazy! The energy was incredible in Miami. I was in tears by the end of it because I didn’t want it to be over. The hometown shows are incredibly special. I learned though that you have to pace yourself during the hometown shows because you want to impress your loved ones but I went too full out in the first half and realized I needed to calm down and not kill myself.

Related Link: SYTYCD Finalist Megz Alfonso Inspires Other Dancers Saying, “Don’t Be Afraid of Who You Are”

What is it like being the first tap dancer to win this contest?

I am very proud to represent the show as the first tap winner. There have been a lot of incredible tap dancers before me who helped pave the way, so I’m just really happy I was able to put tap dancing on the forefront. It was definitely time for a tap winner! I hope this makes people respect tap more as a dance style too because it’s really underrated. I want people to enjoy tap just as much as they enjoy the other more popular styles.

After you got rejected during the season 12 Dallas auditions, you flew to Detroit to try out again, where you obviously made the cut. What inspired you to give it another shot?

It’s always been a dream of mine to be on the show and it’s never seemed like a realistic possibility until 3 of my close friends made it onto the previous season. One of my best friends, Ricky Ubeda, actually ended up winning last season so that pushed me to think “if they can do it, why can’t I?” It helped that I had them prepping me and giving me advice.

What advice did Ricky give you during your journey?

He told me to take the competition one week at a time and not to get ahead of myself. The people who get caught up worrying about getting eliminated or comparing themselves to other dancers just preoccupy their mind with negativity. You need to focus on rehearsing your dances and making sure every dance you perform is in your own style.

Related Link: Celebrity Interview: Lifestyle Coach Laura Baron Talks Relationship Advice

How do your Latin roots play into SYTYCD?

I’m trying to get everyone to be speaking fluent Spanish by the end of the tour. I brought people from the tour over to my home to have Cuban food and Yorelis picked up some homemade food in Florida. There’s definitely a strong Latin influence on this tour.

Did you ever think or know that you were going to win?

Everyone hopes to win but you never know how people perceive you and the judges are very good at not showing favoritism. Any of the 4 finalists would’ve been very deserving of the title so I didn’t want to worry myself with the result. I was proud of myself regardless because it was a big accomplishment just making it onto the show.

Given your demanding schedule, it must be hard to balance your career with your personal life. Since CupidsPulse.com is a relationship site, we have to ask: Do you have someone special in your life and how do you balance that?

No, I’m all dance before romance. I said before I auditioned that if I’m going to do the show I need to put my full focus and full energy dedicated to SYTYCD. I didn’t want to have someone that I couldn’t devote the right time and energy to. It’s hard to explain what I’m going through on the show to someone who’s not on it. I’m so young so I’ve got plenty of time for romance.

Keep up with Gaby on Twitter @itsgabydiaz, https://www.instagram.com/itsgabydiaz/ and www.facebook.com/Dance12Gaby to find out the latest! Don’t forget to check out SYTYCD tours as well!