Pass The Popcorn: Top 12 Favourite So You Think You Can Dance Routines

Pass The Popcorn is a sporadic feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which I discuss various aspects of some of my favourite films and/or television shows.

The television landscape during the summer can be a bit of a wasteland. With the majority of scripted television on hiatus in preparation for its return in the fall, viewers are left with little more than less-than-reality programming to watch. But if you don’t like bachelors looking for love or housebound housemates under constant surveillance there are plenty of other options, one of which I’ll be highlighting in today’s post. Hosted by the ever-delightful Cat Deeley and judged presently by Nigel Lythgoe, Jason Derulo and Paula Abdul (I know. I know. Stay with me here), So You Think You Can Dance offers the perfect combination of talent and creativity in a fun and colourful package. For those of you who aren’t aware, So You Think You Can Dance recently commemorated twelve seasons and a decade on the air with a special anniversary episode last Monday. So, I thought it might be nice to mark such a special occasion and celebrate one of my favourite summer series by choosing my twelve favourite dance routines that has been performed over the course of the past ten years.

Please note: This is not intended as a definitive list of the twelve ‘best’ dances ever performed on So You Think You Can Dance or the most complex in either concept or choreography. Rather, these are the twelve routines that I enjoyed most personally and that have remained with me over the years.

12. “GET LOW”

Season: 11 ● Performed By: Jasmine Harper & Emilio Dosal ● Choreographed By: Tabitha D’umo & Napoleon D’umo

11. “HIP HIP CHIN CHIN”

(Skip to 1:04)
Season: 3 ● Performed By: Lacey Schwimmer & Danny Tidwell ● Choreographed By: Dmitry Chaplin

10. “DANGEROUS”

Season: 10 ● Performed By: Jenna Johnson & Tucker Knox ● Choreographed By: Keone Madrid & Mari Madrid

09. “U GOT ME UP”

(Skip To 6:10)
Season: 11 ● Performed By: Jessica Richens & Stephen “tWitch” Boss ● Choreographed By: Tabitha D’umo & Napoleon D’umo

08. “DIRTY DIANA”

Season: 11 ● Performed By: Allison Holker & Rudy Abreu ● Choreographed By: Ray Leeper

07. “I WON’T GIVE UP”

Season: 11 ● Performed By: Valerie Rockey & Ricky Ubeda ● Choreographed By: Lacey Schwimmer

06. “WICKED GAME”

Season: 10 ● Performed By: Amy Yakima & Travis Wall ● Choreographed By: Travis Wall

05. “LIKE REAL PEOPLE DO”

Season: 11 ● Performed By: Jessica Richens & Casey Askew ● Choreographed By: Travis Wall

04. “OUTTA YOUR MIND”

Season: 7 ● Performed By: Alex Wong & Stephen “Twitch” Boss ● Choreographed By: Napoleon and & Tabitha D’umo

03. “WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU”

Season: 9 ● Performed By: Tiffany Maher & Benji Schwimmer ● Choreographed By: Jean-Marc Généreux

02. “AFTER PARTY”

Season: 10 ● Performed By: Amy Yakima & Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall ● Choreographed By: Tabitha & Napoleon D’umo

01. “I AM THE BEST”

Season: 10 ● Performed By: Jenna Johnson & Mark Kanemura ● Choreographed By: Mark Kanemura

Now it’s your turn! Are you (or have you ever been) a fan of the show? What are some of your favourite routines? Who are you rooting for this season? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!

11 responses to “Pass The Popcorn: Top 12 Favourite So You Think You Can Dance Routines”

  1. The only thing better than Outta Your Mind with tWitch and Alex is Outta Your Mind with tWitch and Ellen IF YOU ASK ME.

    No, but serious, I love this show so much and I have SO MANY FAVORITE ROUTINES I don’t even know where to start perhaps I need to compile an email’s worth of YouTube clips and just send them all to you for mutual fangirling.
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  2. Oh my gosh, I love SYTYCD. I just realized that I haven’t watched it in so long. #11 is one of my favourites as well! There is one I remember loving so much. I need to go find it so I can share it with you.

    GOT IT! In season 2, Allison Holker and Ivan Koumaev do a contemporary routine to the song “Why” by Annie Lennox. The contemporary routines are usually my least favourite to watch. But I loved this one so much that I still remember it after all these seasons. I think I actually cried when I first watched it.


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    • Lacey was always pure magic on the dance floor, wasn’t she? And the speed of that routine – I’m exhausted just watching it! 😉

      Contemporary routines are some of my least favourites as well (I tend to prefer hip hop, ballroom or jazz) but I can certainly see why that one remained ingrained in your memory! Both dancers bring their own flair to the routine and the result is simply gorgeous. I’m so glad you shared it with me!
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  3. I saw SYTYCD and came running… as a long time fan of the show, it was so fun watching all these routines again. However, and I hate to say this, but its not the same for me anymore. I am struggling to keep watch this season. I feel like these routines, as good as they are, just aren’t original to me anymore. I can instantly pick out who the choreographer is because I feel like their style has become repetitive. The first few seasons, especially two and three, were among my favorites. At the time, what we saw was so ground breaking and original. I miss that. Though I’ll still call myself a fan of the show, the later years just haven’t lived up to what occurred in the beginning for me. Travis Wall is the best thing to come out of this show, though. His talent amazes me. I can’t get enough of that man! Watching his successes through the years has been so great.
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  4. Goodbye to the rest of my afternoon! As soon as I start watching these videos I will fall into a YouTube SYTYCD hole so deep I’ll never get out. (At least until it’s time to leave work.)

    I love so many of the ones you’ve listed here, but two of my personal favorites aren’t on your list – the Ramalama Bang Bang group number and Gravity. Now I need to go watch those again, too…
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  5. I love SYTYCD, though the last few seasons haven’t been as awesome as the first ones. And I don’t like the one show set up, but oh well.

    You have an excellent top 12 list. My #1 favorite is Twitch and Alex “Outta Your Mind.”
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  6. OMG! OUTTA YOUR MIND was one of my favorites!!
    This was one of my favorites too:

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0MIwbyNA4M&w=640&h=390%5D
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  7. Hands down, Twitch & Alex and OUTTA YOUR MIND!!!!

    I still get chills when I watch that video, even now — and I’ve watched it a thousand times over! Who would even guess that Alex is a classically trained BALLET DANCER???? And Twitch — man, he makes every single person he dances with, even better. And let’s not even start on the brilliance of NappyTabs! They are amazing choreographers and so fun to watch!

    I was so bummed when Alex got hurt…he would’ve won that season, no contest.

    I love this show. And so excited to see this blog post — yet another reason why I love you, J.!

  8. Alexa S. says:

    I’m not a regular viewer of the show, per se, but I do have a few favorite routines! I loved Heidi and Travis when they did the routine to Calling You, and Chelsie and Mark when they danced to Bleeding Love. I used to watch those two routines over and over!
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  9. AHHHH I LOVE SYTYCD! I’m still a regular viewer of the show, though I agree with Ginger that I don’t love it as much now as I did in the early years. And there’s something about the changes they’ve made this year that I find particularly frustrating. I know they’re trying to do what they can to grow their audience, but I just feel like it’s gotten more repetitive and lost some of the fun energy. I miss when choreographers were also judges – or even when there were guest judges (Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Christina Applegate are two of my favorites). It’s fun to see what 12 stand out for you, and it made me think about what I’d have in my list. I definitely agree with the “Get Outta Your Mind,” “After Party” and “Wicked Games” routines. Those would make my list, too! Now I’ve gotta go figure out what the other nine would be for me…
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