Throwback Thursday: Our Favorite SYTYCD Group Dances
Dance shows like World of Dance are popular and well-known today, but it really wasn’t until SYTYCD came on the scene in 2006 that dance came back into the limelight and the beginning of an era started. SYTYCD reintroduced popular culture to the beauty, athleticism, artistry and awe-inspiring entertainment value of dance. It showed America (and the rest of the world) that dancers were more than entertainers; that they were fierce artists who forged their way through rigorous training, blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice. SYTYCD showed people that choreographers and dancers, alike, had something special to contribute to culture and has been a platform and inspiration for generations of dancers ever since.
Here are some of our favorite group numbers, most of them choreographed by Emmy award winners, who had the opportunity to win such awards through their work on SYTYCD.
In this Shirt – SYTYCD Season 8 – choreographed by StacEy Tookey
The slow, extended, milky smooth movements. The interchanging of partnerships. A guttural build up to the silence right before the crescendo, when the dancers first move all as one. These are only a few things we love about this pretty much perfect piece by Stacey Tookey. And of course, Melanie.
Comanche – SYTYCD Season 6 – choreographed by Wade Robson
It’s smooth, it’s sexy. It embodies that 1940’s jazz era. The musicality of this number is insane, not to mention the well thought out transitions between groups and the thematic, stylized choreography that has a signature Wade Robson flair.
Ramalama (Bang Bang) – SYTYCD Season 2 – choreographed by Wade Robson
Wade Robson holds a few spots on this list. And rightfully so. His Emmy award winning number Ramalama (Bang Bang) was the first group number on SYTYCD to fully utilize staging and camera angles to create a dynamic visual feast. The quirky, stylized movement showcases a more character- like approach, emphasizing subtle movements, contrastingly smooth and rigid. There’s even homage to Michael Jackson’s Thriller in there. However you choose to describe it, it’s definitely “outside of the box” and is one of the most talked about routines in SYTYCD history.
I Know you Want Me (Calle Ocho) SYTYCS Season 5 – Choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin and Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo
Holy Hip Hop and Samba! This dynamic collab between NappyTabs and Dmitry Chaplin is hot fire and never stops! The blending of styles is seamless, the execution of such quick footwork by the dancers appears effortless, and the whole routine is on the “Hot Tamale Train” as Mary Murphey used to say. Plus can we talk about how fun it would be to splash and samba around on top of a table?
Pop Drop & Roll – SYTYCD Season 8 – Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
It’s feminine and sassy with the animalistic quirk that Sonya Tayeh brings to her routines. It is pure entertainment and influenced an entire style of jazz movement.
Ave Maria – SYTYCD Season 4 – Choreographed by Mia Michaels
There is something so raw and bare about the connection between the dancers and their movement to this classic, heartbreaking song. These powerhouse dancers reveal to us strength and struggle through their vulnerability. And Mia Michaels brings layered, nuanced grace to her choreography, stirring within us something equally heavy and hopefully light.
Aha – SYTYCD Season 6 – Choreographed by Wade & Amanda Robson
Wade grips the last spot on our list with this literal art piece reminiscent of a scene in a museum. The dancers portray statues come to life as the movements mimic ‘waking up.’ The use of props (and dancers as props,) grouping and meticulous staging comes together with Wade’s unique full body movement to bring this delightful and thought-provoking creative expression to life. Quite Literally.
Those are our top group numbers from SYTYCD. What are some of your favorite group dance numbers from So You Think You Can Dance? Share with us in the comments!