And the “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 14 Winner Is…
After hundreds of routines, millions of votes, and dozens of mispronunciations of a certain contestant's name, last night the winner of "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 14 was finally crowned. But first, of course, there was a whole lotta fanfare and a ton of dancing down memory lane.
The two-hour finale included the usual looks back at the best and most memorable routines of the season, plus some super special moments and new routines. Mia Michaels returned not just for a chilling, emotional group piece for the Top 10 and the All Stars, but also for a Mia mentor session with the Top 4 contestants. If you're on the hunt for a great therapist, look no further than Mama Mia, who not only got the remaining contestants to open up to her and confess their insecurities and dreams, but also gave them the hope and confidence they needed to power through the last few performances. Bless you, Mia Michaels.
Then there was that seemingly impossible duet from Shaping Sound head honcho Travis Wall and company member and Top 4 contestant Lex. Impossible as in impossibly beautiful, yes, but also literally impossible because uh, according to Instagram, Travis is off getting proposed to in Italy right now. Ah, the magic of "live TV"! But the routine was a treat, whether it was pre-taped or not.
And because there's no such thing as too many montages on a finale show, we also got a mashup of all the times Mary, Nigel, Cat, and the choreographers totally butchered Koine's name (including such gems as "Kanoy," "Koiñe," "Kione," and "Quinoa"). Finally, before kicking off the eliminations, a barefoot Vanessa Hudgens took the stage for a song-and-dance performance, accompanied by All-Star Robert.
Dancing with an earpiece in: major bonus points. (Adam Rose/FOX)
This season may have felt long (seriously, did The Academy go on for 19 weeks or what?), but it was jam-packed with incredible choreography, breathtaking performances, and a tremendous amount of personal growth. As we were reminded every week, this is, ultimately, a competition, which meant the last few eliminations—no matter how dreaded and painful—were inevitable.
And in the final elimination of Season 14, the last dancer standing was...
Koine nabbed the runner-up spot, with Taylor coming in third and Kiki rounding out the Top 4.
Congratulations to all of this season's stunning dancers—and an extra special congrats to Lex, who is officially Dance Spirit's December cover star!
Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.
But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.
If you've ever seen a Janelle Ginestra class video, you know how lit her combos are. What you don't see in those clips is how devoted Ginestra is to her students. We went behind the scenes at one of her sold-out IMMA SPACE classes to see Ginestra in her element, mentoring some of L.A.'s most talented dancers. It was an inspiration feedback loop.
All photos by Joe Toreno.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I love ballet, and I've been told that I have a lot of potential. I can see myself dancing professionally one day. But I'm also working toward my black belt in karate—and I'm passionate about that, too. How can I keep up my technique while also making time for the other things I love? Is that even possible?
What do you get when you combine a Beyoncé anthem, fierce girls from all over the world, and choreography by legends like Ellenore Scott and Lamar Lee? You get the epic music video below. The viral video features little girls who live everywhere from Tanzania to Washington D.C. dancing and lip-syncing to Queen Bey's song "Freedom," and the result is electrifying. These littles can dance—and they bring a determination and enthusiasm to their movement that's truly inspiring.