Our Favorite "SYTYCD" Routine From Each Season's Winner
Sabra Johnson and Neil Haskell in "Sweet Dreams" (Kelsey McNeal/FOX)
"So You Think You Can Dance" just announced its 16th (!) season and audition schedule! And while every season has its twists—whether they involve the overall format or the people sitting at the judges' table—you can always count on the hit show for exceptional dancing. In anticipation of the new season, we've rounded up our favorite routine from each and every "SYTYCD" 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.
Season 2: Benji Schwimmer - "La Comay"
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.
Season 3: Sabra Johnson - "Sweet Dreams"
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.
Season 4: Joshua Allen - "No Air"
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.
Season 5: Jeanine Mason - "If It Kills Me"
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!).
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.