For many dance-lovers, watching “So You Think You Can Dance” (SYTYCD) is the TV highlight of the summer. Some look forward most to the auditions—where they can watch some dancers make fools of themselves and others discover themselves—and others find the hostess Cat Deeley and the judges Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe the most entertaining part of the program. Whatever the case, most viewers also appreciate the show for its real purpose—great dancing. Below is a list of some of the top numbers from SYTYCD to date, which hopefully will satisfy all avid SYTYCD fans until the next season premiere!
10. Jasmine Harper and Aaron Turner, “Gold Rush”
Choreography: Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo
In season 10, the most recent one of STYCYD, Harper and Turner made the Top 4 due to their incredible charisma and near-perfect partnership. Their chemistry is clear in this fun and exciting piece crafted by well-loved hip-hop choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon.
9. Randi Evans and Evan Kasprzak, “Koop Island Blues”
Choreography: Mia Michaels
This number not only demonstrates the diversity of Mia Michaels’ choreography but also showed a completely different side of these two dancers. SYTYCD viewers loved this so-called “butt-dance” so much that it was recreated in the show’s ninth season, by dancers Will Thomas and Amelia Lowe.
8. Courtney Galiano and Mark Kanemura, “The Garden”
Choreography: Sonya Tayeh
Season 4 is hard to forget. Jazz and contemporary choreographer Sonya Tayeh’s numbers are often intense, sometimes heartbreaking, and always impossible to forget. This particular piece emphasized Galiano’s technique, which helped her make the Top 4, as well as Mark’s quirkiness, which has led him to a stellar dance and choreography career.
7. Amy Yakima and Alex Wong, “Munni Badnaam Hui Darling”
Choreography: Nakul Dev Mahajan
It’s difficult to pick from the numerous Bollywood numbers that have graced the SYTYCD stage, but this particular piece showcases what Bollywood is all about. Yakima’s fun-loving personality comes through and Wong’s incredible technique is clear as well — he is a ballet dancer after all.
6. Lacey Schwimmer and Danny Tidwell, “Hip Hip Chin Chin”
Choreography: Dmitry Chaplin
Ballroom dance seems to get less attention on the show than other styles, which could explain why there’s only one ballroom piece included in this list. This particular dance, though, got an enormous response from viewers—both Schwimmer and Tidwell completely threw themselves into the sexy samba, and the result was incredible.
5. Jeanine Mason and Jason Glover, “If It Kills Me”
Choreography: Travis Wall
Jeanine Mason, season 5’s winner, demonstrated her exceptional talent in everything she did. In this piece, however, the combination of her technique and Glover’s, as well as their chemistry as partners and Travis Wall’s fantastic choreography, created something magical that will go down in SYTYCD history.
4. Kent Boyd and Neil Haskell, “How It Ends”
Choreography: Travis Wall
This is the second time in a row Travis Wall has been mentioned, but his choreography is simply indescribable and deserves multiple accolades. This dance in particular depicts a betrayal between two friends, and was danced to perfection by Boyd and Haskell, demonstrating what strong dancers they both are as well as what a magnificent choreographer Wall is.
3. Melanie Moore and Neil Haskell, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
Choreography: Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore, like Michaels and Wall, is an amazing contemporary and jazz choreographer. This piece is one of the most stunning numbers in SYTYCD history; the most notable part is Melanie Moore’s six-foot jump into Haskell’s arms—her consistency as a dancer along with incredible moves like that jump helped her become the Season 9 winner.
2. Travis Wall and Heidi Groskeutz, “Calling You”
Choreography: Mia Michaels
This is one of the earliest and most iconic Mia Michaels pieces of the SYTYCD saga. Danced beautifully by Groskeutz and Travis Wall, the same choreographer who was mentioned twice above, this piece is also known as “the bench dance,” since the main prop used throughout the number was a wooden bench.
1. Sasha Mallory and Stephen “Twitch” Boss, “Misty Blue”
Choreography: Christopher Scott
Style: Lyrical Hip-Hop
Although neither of them won the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer,” Mallory and Twitch were two of the best and charismatic dancers SYTYCD has ever seen. This theatrical Christopher Scott piece shows both dancers’ amazing talent as well as their chemistry with one another.
It was extremely difficult to select ten out of the hundreds of wonderful numbers and dancers the program has showcased so far. Some runner-ups include Kayla Randomski and Kupono Aweau’s “Gravity” from Season 5 (also choreographed by Mia Michaels), Twitch and Katee Shean’s “Mercy” from Season 4 (also by Mia Michaels), and Chelsie Hightower and Mark Kaneumura’s “Bleeding Love,” also from Season 4 and choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo. Of course, there are still many others—whatever your favorite numbers on SYTYCD are, hopefully this inspires you to open up YouTube and reminisce with America’s favorite dancers. Looking forward to the next exciting season!