Want to Bust a Move Lenape?

Ready for the Meet and Greet with the Season 12 Dancers

If you can’t keep your feet off the dance floor or just like watching others shimmey, you would love the show So You Think You Can Dance. If you haven’t already heard the name, this Emmy Award-winning television series, is a dance competition that airs on Fox during the summer. The show tours around the country looking for America’s freshest talent in our biggest cities, and then sends out an initial round of contestants to Vegas where they continue the audition in specified dance styles. Dancers are weeded out until around 50 of the strongest contestants remain, and then a Top 20 consisting of 10 men and women are choose.

This year as the show headed into its 12th season, a format change was introduced. Instead of splitting the Top 20 contestants into men and women the show would feature a stage vs. street style. Stage styles included classical styles danced on the stage such as ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, while street styles featured hip hop, krumping, jokeying, and other non-traditional dance styles.

Once the Top 20 contestants are chosen, the dancers are given weekly 1.5 minute long dance routines in any style imaginable. Contemporary dancers are dared to delve into Bollywood while hip hop dancers must show their chops in a jazz routine! This year every week, the dancers were shuffled into duets and trios of team stage and team street dancers as they braved their styles together. The following week, 1 dancer (regardless of gender) was eliminated from each team! The teams were mentored by SYTYCD alumni Travis Wall and Stephen tWitch Boss.

After a grueling couple weeks of mentally of physically pushing past the boundary, team stage dancer Gaby Diaz was crowned the winner of Season 12! She had originally auditioned for the show in Dallas, Texas and was cut for a tap solo that was too “busy” but then auditioned again in Detroit, Michigan with a completely new solo that proved to the judges she can take constructive criticism extremely well.

Gabriel Diaz Loses Herself in a Contemporary Routine
Winner Gabriel Diaz Loses Herself in a Contemporary Routine

All the dancers who made Top 10 plus 4 alternates were given the opportunity to go on a 70 plus city tour in America and Canada and I was lucky enough to see them live at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia! The show was absolutely spectacular from the sets to the costumes to the brilliant dancing

Group Picture with Top 14 of SYTYCD S12

I also had the opportunity to meet the dancers before the show and it was simply amazing. It was so surreal seeing these people who I had been mesmerized with all summer right in front of me! Every single one of the dancers were so humble and took time to greet each and every one of the guests. When I spoke to them, it was as if I had known them all my life. The 30 minute meet and greet session flew by and next came the actual show.

Dancers Don Skull Masks for a Piece Inspired by The Day of the Dead
Tapper Gaby Diaz and Hip Hop dancer Virgil Gadson Take on a Broadway Routine

The Academy of Music can hold approximately 2,000 seats and every single one of them was full at the show. The theater was packed and bustling with fans of the shows. I had a third row seat with a prime view. I was able to take many great pictures and videos during the show.

The show began with a dynamic piece, Crystal Water’s 100% Pure Love.The dancers came out in antique wigs of every color imaginable and frilly doll like dresses and pantsuits. The choreography to this dance as well as the others was just so unique! It was a truly mesmerizing night. The night consisted of several favorite pieces from the show, new pieces for the tour, and solo’s from the dancers’ style of origin. Each and every one of the Top 10 dancers brought life to the stage when they took on their solos and showed the world why they love to dance so much! The solos were vibrant and truly expressed who the dancers were. 

Hip Hop Dancer from Tokyo, Jessica JJ Rabone, Shows Off her Fancy Moves
Hip Hop Dancer from Tokyo, Jessica JJ Rabone, Shows Off her Fancy Moves

If you love dance even just a little bit, make sure to check out So You Think You Can Dance Season 13 this summer and think about heading to a show when they tour next fall!

Gaby Diaz and Virgil Gadson Take on Another Contemporary Piece
Gaby Diaz and Virgil Gadson Take on “Slip” choreographed by Phillip Cheeb