updated 08/12/2011 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 08/12/2011 AT 8:45 AM ET
Fresh off being named America’s Favorite Dancer on Thursday night, So You Think You Can Dance season 8 winner Melanie Moore was still recovering from the shock of her victory that to many viewers had been a forgone conclusion since the beginning of the season.
“I was ready to take second [place] very graciously. In my head I really thought Sasha was going to win,” Moore told reporters of her fellow finalist moments after the winner was announced. “Just being up there and being named one of the final two I was like, ‘Wait, is this really happening?’ I just started crying.”
She also cried over her family’s flying in to be with her for the finale.
“[The show] sort of has brought us all back together,” said Moore, 19. “We haven’t really been that close with my dad’s side of the family – especially after he passed away when I was 12 – but we’ve heard so much from them and they’ve been so supportive.”
Fame and Fortune
Winning $250,000 is a life-changer for Moore, though, so far, she has no big plans for spending the money.
“I am going to hopefully go back to school,” said the humble teen from Marietta, Ga., who hopes to return to New York to study dance and learn to choreograph.
“I’m really looking forward to spending time with my boyfriend. I haven’t really got to see him very much. I got to see him and give him a really quick kiss and then ran out here.”
After the SYTYCD Top 10 tour is finished, Moore is “really excited to just hang out and then I’ll get really bored and have to go do stuff again.”
That “stuff” could include acting in Kenny Ortega’s Dirty Dancing remake or dancing on Lady Gaga’s tour.
“Either one. I don’t care. I’ll take them,” Moore said, laughing about the offers made to her by the guest judges this season. “Kenny Ortega, give me a call.”
Just Happy to Dance
One thing Moore doesn’t want: fame to change her.
“I hope that it won’t really affect me,” she said. “And if it does, feel free to tell me, because I don’t want to turn in to one of those people.”
And even if Hollywood doesn’t come knocking, Moore says she will be just fine, because “as long as I’m dancing, I’m happy.”
She added, “I just want to make a living dancing. You guys could put me in a random costume, just in the background, dancing, and I’d just be so happy to do it, because it’s what I love.”