Our Favorite "SYTYCD" Routine From Each Season's Winner
Season 1: Nick Lazzarini - "All That Jazz"
In this classically sassy Broadway number, Nick Lazzarini—America's Very First Favorite Dancer—gave us turns for days, alongside bestie (and runner-up) Melody Lacayanga.
This fiery salsa landed right in ballroom dancer Benji Schwimmer's comfort zone. It also marked the first time he reunited on the show with his cousin and co-auditionee, Heidi Groskreutz.
This sleek '80s jazz number made us fall even deeper in love with choreographer Mandy Moore—and Sabra's every leap and kick were perfectly clean and crisp.
Joshua's duet with Katee Shean is memorable as much for the storyline as the dancing. It's hard to believe it was one of NappyTabs' first "lyrical hip-hop" routines.
Believe it or not, this dance was Travis Wall's first piece of choreography for "SYTYCD"! He created the perfect showcase for Jeanine and Jason Glover's fantastic chemistry.
Season 6: Russell Ferguson - "Hazardous"
Russell was the first krumper to win "SYTYCD", so it's only natural that his most memorable dance was this one—performed in his own style, alongside krumping legend Lil C.
Season 7: Lauren Froderman - "Collide"
Who could forget Travis Wall's prom night-themed choreography? Lauren and Kent Boyd perfectly captured the innocence of teenage love.
Season 8: Melanie Moore - "Turn To Stone"
Melanie was just 19 when she won "So You Think You Can Dance," and yet she danced with such maturity and elegance. Travis Wall's statue-inspired routine is a testament to the trusting partnership she had with Marko Germar.
Season 9: Chehon Wespi-Tschopp - "Leave"
Season 9 was the first time the show had both a male and a female winner—and #TeamBallet took the day. But while Chehon may have identified as a ballet boy, his committed performance of Stacey Tookey's routine showed how well he could adapt to non-ballet choreography.
Season 9: Eliana Girard - "Adagio For Strings"
The other member of #TeamBallet gave an emotionally captivating performance in Mia Michaels' memorable piece about hatred, which Michaels said was inspired by the way rams fight.
Season 10: Amy Yakima and Fik-Shun Stegall - "Elsa"
Season 10's two winners were paired from the beginning! In this Sonya Tayeh contemporary duet, hip-hopper Fik-Shun surprised the judges with his ability to partner Amy, and Amy's strong technique did Tayeh's choreo proud.
Season 11: Ricky Ubeda - "Vow"
If we had to describe Ricky's technique in one word, it would be flawless. This contemporary duet with Jessica Richens showed him doing what he does better than almost anyone else.
Season 12: Gaby Diaz - "I'm Really Hot"
Gaby auditioned as a tap dancer, but was able to shine no matter what style she was given. This hip-hop dance, choreographed by Phoenix & Pharside, showed off her remarkable versatility.
Season 13: Kida Burns - "Manolo"
Kida attacked every. single. dance. with passion and personality. This duet with Tate McRae was one of our all-time faves (and props to Tate for keeping up with him, despite not being a hip-hop dancer!).
Misty Copeland. Her name is synonymous with exquisite artistry and outspoken advocacy. And her visibility has made a huge impact on the ballet world. Ballet's relationship with race has always been strained at best, hostile at worst. But Copeland's persistent message and star quality have finally forced the ballet industry to start talking about racial diversity, inclusivity, and representation. "The rarity of seeing ourselves represented is sad," Copeland says. "The more we see every hue and body shape represented on the stage, the more possibilities young dancers feel they have for themselves."
Last month, we asked why there wasn't a Best Choreography category at the Oscars—and discovered that many of you agreed with us: Choreographers should definitely be acknowledged for their work on the super-dancy movies we can't get enough of.
Now, we're taking matters into our own (jazz) hands.
Contemporary phenom Christina Ricucci has super-flexible hips, which means she can stretch her legs to unbelievable heights. But when she noticed herself making contorted positions in class, Ricucci realized she was approaching her extensions all wrong. "I went back to the basics in class, squaring my hips and using my turnout," Ricucci says. "I learned to create proper positions, rather than whacked-out versions of them."
Some dancers are so wonky they have a hard time supporting their high legs, while others struggle with limited flexibility. But no matter your facility, you can find a balance of stretch and strength to achieve your fullest range of extension. It's not about how high (or not) your legs can go: It's the quality of the movement, and how you get those legs up, that counts.
Yesterday, the dance community was heartbroken to learn that Jaime Guttenberg and Cara Loughran, both 14-year-old dancers, were among the 17 people killed on Valentine's Day in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.
Once upon a time (until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi concluded, to be exact), figure skaters had to compete to music without words. Before this rule change, a skater faced an automatic point deduction if the music even hinted at vocals. Understandably, there were *a lot* of Olympic programs skated to classical music, and you'd tend to hear the same music selections over and over and over.
There are plenty of current Olympic figure skaters who'd make beautiful dancers (first among them Adam Rippon, whose gorgeously choreographed long program won the internet, if not the gold). But today, as we wait for the women's figure skating competition to crown its new champions, we wanted to throw it back to one of the most beautifully balletic skaters of all time: Sasha Cohen.
The high-flying leaps of grand allegro are meant to be incredibly exciting. But at the end of an intense ballet class, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to give them the attention they deserve. Want to pump up your big jumps? Follow these 10 vital tips from Jennifer Hart, curriculum director and instructor at Ballet Austin.
"Whole, low-fat, or skim?" The question of which milk to drink has gotten a little more complicated lately, with a wide variety of nondairy milks popping up in grocery stores. To find out which ones are worth your milk money, we had registered dietitian Monika Saigal answer some FAQs.