There are dancers and routines over the years since 2005 — when So You Think You Can Dance captured the hearts, minds, and imaginations of America — that continue to remain in our memory long after the music has stopped. Something magical happens when the choreography, the music, the setting, the costumes, and the dancers merge into a single and graphic entity that becomes more than the sum of its parts. It becomes a nucleus of human emotion and speaks to us beyond words. Here are only a few of those routines in no particular order, but which are recognized still for their classic intrinsic value:
Neil Haskell and Melanie Moore – Total Eclipse of the Heart
The next one — Addiction — with Kayla and Kupono, breaks my heart as a young girl battles addiction. It is an evil that overpowers, is merciless. You can see her desperate struggle as it cuts off her air, chokes the life from her. and holds her down and back from a life that she reaches out for but always remains just beyond her outstretched hands.
Kayla and Kupono – Addiction – to Gravity
Travis Wall and Heidi Groskreutz – The Bench – A Mia Michaels early classic which garnered her an Emmy in 1997. Travis is now an awesome choreographer in his own right on SYTYCD.
Melanie Moore and Marko – Turn to Stone by Ingrid Michaelson – choreographed by Travis Wall.
Melanie and Marko – I Got You by Leona Lewis – choreographed by Tabitha and Napolean. The young man is left at the altar on his wedding day. He is heartbroken. An old friend comes to comfort him and let him know he’s not alone. He slowly becomes aware that they have become something more than friends, as she has known all along.
Neil Haskell and Sabra Johnson – Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics – Choreographer Mandy Moore. I take this one as a corporate power struggle, which can also be a life struggle for assertiveness.
Chelsie Hightower & Mark Kanemura – Bleeding Love – Choreographed by Tabitha and Napolean. Self-explanatory.
Hok and Jaimie – in the Emmy award winning routine – The Hummingbird and the Flower
Katie and Twitch – Mercy – Young love – one still wants the relationship to the point she’s knocking down his door. He, on the other hand, has cooled off and wants some space. A Mia Michaels choreography.
Let’s end with a fun one. I could go on all day. How about a JIVE with Tiffany and Benji.