SYTYCD — Standout Routines and Performances from the Past

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.



7 thoughts on “SYTYCD — Standout Routines and Performances from the Past

  1. OK…you aced this as far as I’m concerned. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with Melanie and Neil, and “Turn to Stone” with Melanie and Marco are my all-time favorite routines. I like the others you’ve chosen, too, but these two will stand the test of time for me forever.

    • Oh, absolutely. I was so taken with the singing and music of Ingrid Michaelson (Turn to Stone and another number just the other night) that I looked her up and found a mix of her videos. That voice! So different, yet touching. Also, Delta Rae, who sang the music for Jasmine and Aaron’s “river” song. Awesome. American Idol hopefuls should take note.

  2. You know what impresses me yhe most about a dancer? Extensions.

    There is no question that Jasmine Harper’s extensions are amazing….

    …but even though Melanie is shorter and has more muscular legs, I’m blown away by hers.

    I wish Word Press would allow photos in comments. I hate having to only post links. I’m never sure I’m posting the pics I want.

    • It’s like you read my mind. That is exactly my thinking about the difference between Melanie Moore and Jasmine. Melanie Moore, to me, is the quintessential dancer. Her form and expression is spot on in everything she does. To me, the best dancer I have ever seen.

  3. No question, Melanie is an outstanding dancer. I don’t know that she’s the” best dancer” I’ve ever seen — I love professional ballet — but she’s definitely the best dancer who has ever been on SYTYCD, in my opinion.

    • Before DWTS and SYTYCD, the only dancing I was ever exposed to was in movie musicals. These TV shows have really expanded my horizons, but I’ve never gotten into ballet. However, the movements in SYTYCD should make a good transition, for I know they have to be based in ballet. By the way, I’ve been told by two physical therapists (current and years ago) that I have ballet feet. I have the feet, but not the body build. Back around the early 1990’s I broke my left ankle in three places besides dislocating it. (Slipped off a wet step of all things). When I went to PT he wanted me to show him how far I could extend my foot. He looked at me in surprise and told me that was farther than most people whose foot wasn’t even broken. I never knew my foot was any different from anyone else’s. Oh, well, you take what you can get. Right?


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