Cue Music! Celebrate 'SYTYCD' by Rewatching Its 30 Best Routines - Rolling Stone
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Cue Music! Celebrate ‘SYTYCD’s’ Renewal By Rewatching Its 30 Best Routines


SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: Top 20 contestants perform onstage on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE airing Tuesday, June 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. ©2013 FOX Broadcasting Co. Cr: Adam Rose/FOX

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Happy-dance time!

This Monday, diehard SYTYCD fans got the wonderful, wonderful news they’d been awaiting ever since Season 11 wrapped in September, with no word of the constantly on-the-bubble series’ renewal except for a few cryptic Nigel Lythgoe tweets: So You Think You Can Dance WILL in fact be back next year for a 12th season, with a new “Stage vs. Street” format that will pit 10 classically trained dancers against 10 hip-hoppers/krumpers/breakers in the live semifinals.

[Insert Mary Murphy-decibel-level scream here...]

It’s difficult for me to even put into words how much this news excites and delights me. If I possessed even a fraction of the talent of any contestant who’s graced the SYTYCD stage since 2005, I would execute a Mia Michaels-inspired interpretive dance to express my joy.

SYTYCD has always the most highbrow of reality talent shows, exposing mainstream audiences to the art of dance, turning choreographers into household names, and even breaking a few musical acts (like Lady Gaga, Christina Perri, OneRepublic, and A Great Big World) along the way. Reflecting now on my all-time favorite SYTYCD performances, I derive great pleasure from watching these phenomenal routines, especially knowing now that great moments like this will be back on my TV screen in about six months.

So yes, to celebrate this news, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite SYTYCD routines from the past 11 seasons. It was very hard to whittle down my unsurprisingly Mia-dominated list (eventually I just went with my gut and chose the 30 routines that really stuck with me over the years), but it wasn’t nearly as hard as it would have been for me to cope with a SYTYCD cancelation.

Cue music!

30. “Dreaming With a Broken Heart” (aka “The Bed Dance”), Season 4
Dancers: Kherrington Payne & Twitch Boss
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Music: John Mayer

29. “Bang Bang, My Baby Shot Me Down,” Season 9
Dancers: Eliana Girard & Alex Wong
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Music: Nancy Sinatra

28. AXIS Dance Company, Season 8
Dancers: Sonsheree Giles & Rodney Bell
Choreographer: Alex Ketley
Music: Janine Jansen

27. “Dirty Diana,” Season 11
Dancers: Allison Holker & Rudy Abreu
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Music: Michael Jackson

26. “Blurred Lines,” Season 10
Dancers: Jasmine Harper & Mark Germar
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Music: Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I.

25. “If It Kills Me” (aka “The Locket Dance”), Season 5
Dancers: Jeanine Mason & Jason Glover
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Music: Jason Mraz

24. “Message in a Bottle,” Season 1
Dancers: Ashlé Dawson & Melody Lacayanga
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Music: The Police

23. “The Lovecats,” Season 9
Dancers: Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas
Choreographers: Tabitha & Napoleon
Music: The Cure

22. “Relax,” Season 6
Dancers: Ashleigh Di Lello & Jakob Karr     
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Music: Frankie Goes to Hollywood

21. “Like a Criminal,” Season 9
Dancers: Twitch Boss & Cyrus Spencer
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Music: District 78

20. “Turn to Stone” (aka “The Statue Dance”), Season 8
Dancers: Melanie Moore & Marko Germar
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Music: Ingrid Michaelson

19. “This Woman’s Work” (aka “The Cancer Dance”), Season 5
Dancers: Melissa Sandvig & Ade Obayomi
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Music: Maxwell

18. “Hallelujah,” Season 7
Dancers: Allison Holker & Alex Wong
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Music: Jeff Buckley

17. “Medicine,” Season 10
Dancers: Tucker Knox & Robert Roldan
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Music: Daughter

16. “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” Season 10
Dancers: The Season top 20 cast
Choreographers: Tabitha & Napoleon
Music: Herb Alpert

15. “Misty Blue” (aka “Twitch’s Breakfast”), Season 8
Dancers: Sasha Mallory & Twitch Boss
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Music: Dorothy Moore

14. “Hometown Glory,” Season 4
Dancers: Katee Shean & Joshua Allen
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Music: Adele

13. “Koop Island City Blues” (aka “The Butt Dance”), Season 5
Dancers: Randi Evans & Evan Kasprzak
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Music: Koop

12. “Run the World,” Season 10
Dancers: Jasmine Harper & Comfort Fedoke
Choreographers: Phoenix & Pharside
Music: Beyoncé

11. “The Chairman’s Waltz” (aka “The Hummingbird Dance”), Season 2
Dancers: Jaimie Goodwin & Hok
Choreographer: Wade Robson
Music: Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack, John Williams

10. “I Am the Best,” Season 10
Dancers: Jenna Johnson & Mark Kanemura
Choreographer: Mark Kanemura
Music: 2NE1

9. “How It Ends,” Season 7
Dancers: Kent Boyd & Neil Haskell
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Music: DeVotchKa

8. “Mercy” (aka “The Door Dance”), Season 4
Dancers: Katee Shean & Twitch Boss
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Music: Duffy

7. “Bleeding Love,” Season 4
Dancers: Chelsie Hightower & Mark Kanemura
Choreographers: Tabitha & Napoleon
Music: Leona Lewis  

6. “Outta Your Mind,” Season 7
Dancers: Alex Wong & Twitch Boss
Choreographers: Tabitha & Napoleon
Music: Lil Jon

5. “This Bitter Earth,” Season 7
Dancers: Billy Bell, Alex Wong & Ade Obayomi
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Music: Dinah Washington & Max Richter

4. “Time” (aka “The Flowers Dance”), Season 3
Dancers: Lacey Schwimmer & Neil Haskell
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Music: Billy Porter

3. “Calling You” (aka “The Bench Dance”), Season 2
Dancers: Heidi Groskreutz & Travis Wall
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Music: Celine Dion

2. “Sweet Dreams” (aka “The Boardroom Dance”), Season 3
Dancers: Sabra Johnson & Neil Haskell
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Music: The Eurythmics

1. “Gravity” (aka “The Addiction Dance”), Season 5
Dancers: Kayla Radomski & Kupono Aweau
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Music: Sara Bareilles

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