With the ten year anniversary of So You Think You Can Dance having just passed, and it being such a huge part of my youth, it felt only right to do a post of my favorite dances in SYTYCD history!
I used to watch the show EVERY week, vote over and over and over again for my favorite dancers, host viewing parties, with an especially huge party for the season finales, and go to all of the live shows when they went on tour, waiting outside after the show so I could meet all of the dancers.
And while I don’t keep up with the show like I used it, I did love watching the 10 year anniversary episode and revisiting my old favorites last week. So, for your viewing pleasure, here is my list of my top 10 SYTYCD performances!!!! (Disclaimer: I’m excluding the Bench Dance, Twitch and Alex’s amazing hip hop routine, and the Hummingbird and Flower routine, as they’re obvious choices and were already featured on the 10 year anniversary episode).
10. Hometown Glory
My number ten goes out to Katee, easily the strongest dancer of season 4, and the surprise powerhouse (and winner), Joshua, who went on to perform in the Step Up movies! This Mia Michaels piece shows the power of standing still, small movements, and how emotion can take amazing choreography and take it to the next level. Plus, that assisted run… at the time, I had never seen anything like it. This dance still gives me chills.
9. Sweet Dreams
I was lucky enough to see this dance performed live, and let me tell you… it’s incredible. This dance takes a lot more strength than you would guess, and their coordination and power in this is what earns it the spot of number nine! Plus, I’m a huge fan of classic jazz dance, and Sabra and Neil were my two favorites of Season 3. And, once again, this dance features the winner of a season, Sabra! Put all that together and you have one of the best dances the show has made!
8. If It Kills Me
You guys… Jason literally rips Jeanine’s dress. If that’s not passion, I don’t know what is. Travis Wall’s choreography always stuns, and this dance is no exception.
7. The Garden
This dance is what made me fall in love with Sonya Tayeh. I love her quirky choreography, and Courtney and Mark (who has since gone on to perform as a back-up dancer for Lady Gaga) pulled it off perfectly. The music, the costumes, the attitude… this dance is just so much fun!
It has been years since this dance premiered, and it still gets me to cry every single time I watch it. It’s so simple, yet so powerful, and the story it tells is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once. I love this one. This is why we dance.
5. Ramalama Bang Bang
Best. Group. Dance. EVER. Season two took the prize. Sorry, everyone else can go home. This one was the best of all time. I mean, dancing zombies. It sounds easy. But just look at it! Incredible. I’m obsessed with this idea, the choreography, the movements, and the story. It’s just so creative and it was pulled off wonderfully. This dance is an instant classic. Bless you, Wade Robson.
Number four goes out to Alex and Allison, two of the best dancers the show has ever produced. Alex has gone on to dance in Newsies on Broadway, which he’s great in! I was fortunate enough to see him perform on Broadway, alongside another SYTYCD alum, Evan! And Allison continues to dance on television and even married another SYTYCD alum, Twitch! This dance is so powerful- their synchronization and strength in their movements, alongside their amazing emotional performance, is what earns it a spot in the top five of my favorites.
3. Black Mambo
This is the very first dance I ever saw on So You Think You Can Dance. I literally remember where I was when I first saw this. I was sitting in the living room, flipping channels on the TV, when I came across a program called So You Think You Can Dance. I had never even heard of it before but, being a dancer, I wanted to check it out. So I turned on the program and this dance was literally just starting. And I have been watching the show ever since. So, thank you Benji and Heidi for introducing me and hooking me on this amazing program. And thank you for this dance, which is basically just perfection.
2. Bleeding Love
While I’m obviously a fan of contemporary, if my top ten dances are anything to go by, this lyrical hip hop dance by Nappytabs is still one of my favorites in SYTYCD history. This dance is just pure theater. Every time I watch it, I get completely pulled into the story and feel Chelsea’s pain. Add in the incredible choreography and sharp movements and this dance is simply amazing.
There was no competition for my number one spot, choreographed by the incredible Mia Michaels. I get chills every single time I watch this dance. The emotion Kupono and Kayla put into this… it’s unbelievable. They left it all out on the dance floor. They opened up their hearts and just… wow. This dance moves me so much. It’s the story of addiction and feeling trapped and getting pulled back in- this dance has the ability to speak to so many people. It has the ability to change lives. And that is what dance is all about.
These few are favorites of mine, but just didn’t quite make the cut. But I still wanted to share them with you!
Knock on Wood
Dreaming With a Broken Heart