CSUN alumni wins first place on So You Think You Can Dance Armenia


Paul’s solo on tour Photo credit: Jenn Wendling

Karin Abcarians

Paul Karmiryan is an Armenian Latin ballroom dancer, former CSUN student and winner of Armenia’s version of So You Think You Can Dance. He also competed on So You Think You Can Dance US in season 10, becoming the top 3rd male on the show. He had auditioned in season 7 but did not make it past the choreography round.

“I danced a couple years of traditional Armenian dancing when I was younger but I didn’t start actually training in dance styles until I was 17 years old. I started with Latin ballroom dancing.”

SYTYCD Tour Season 10
Paul's solo during the tour Photo credit: Jenn Wendling

He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California with his family being from Armenia. His mother is an artist and his father was a jeweler. His older brother owns a business in Hollywood called Javista. While attending Clark Magnet High School, he learned how to dance after taking on a project that required him to learn something new.

“The reason I started with ballroom was because my friend who asked me to do the project with her wanted to partner me in Latin ballroom. She had just joined a ballroom studio and told me to go and partner her at this studio. I didn’t start training in other styles until I was 20 years old.”

The experience on Armenia’s version of So You Think You Can Dance was very memorable for him. At that point, he had only been training for about three years. “I moved there for almost six months to do the show.”

Paul had made it while he was visiting his family, “I auditioned for the show randomly when I visited my family in Armenia and kept making it round after round until I was crowned the favorite dancer of Armenia. It was truly a life changing experience….All in all, it was a huge learning experience, not only for myself as a person but as a dancer and performer.”

When he finally made it through in season 10 of So You Think You Can Dance US, he was ready to show the world all his hard work and training after Armenia. He was ready to show that he could pull off any style he was given. “When I auditioned and made it through, it was such a happy moment for me, because my hard work had paid off.” Looking back, Paul loved his time in the spotlight.

“I took away so much from my experience on the show and the tour…My experience on the show was very enjoyable and life-changing. I was a part of a family that will forever be in my life.” He has been an All-Star on the show for three years now, having just been one during this season.

At one point in his life, Paul attended CSUN after two years of attending community college. “With all the touring and random work schedules and contracts, it is really hard to find time to put aside to commit to a full semester of school. But I plan on getting it done as soon as I have time.” While at CSUN, he enjoyed it, “I really love the campus it truly has so much to offer for its students. I’ve had some fun memories at CSUN that I will always cherish. I also wish I got to do the dance program there but I never had the chance to.”

During his time at the university, he majored in Psychology. His interest in human behavior and the way people think led him to claim the major. In the future, when dance completely wears him out, he’ll have Psychology to fall back on. He is the kind of guy who makes ‘Plan B’s’. He hasn’t graduated from CSUN yet, having only 8 units left, he plans on coming back as soon as he can.