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10 years of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’: 10 moments that took our breath away

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 23: Choreographers Stacey Tookey, Christopher Scott and Spencer Liff, host Cat Deeley and judges Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe speak onstage at the 'So You Think You Can Dance' panel during day 3 of the FOX portion of the 2012 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 23, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

For 10 years now, Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” has stood out as one of the most critically-acclaimed reality series on TV.

In recent years — and days — it’s finally gotten its fair share of Emmy nominations, including some for one of the best TV personalities around, host Cat Deeley.

But it’s the dance routines themselves that have drawn a loyal audience over 12 seasons.

No less than first lady Michelle Obama is a fan, and judge/executive producer Nigel Lythgoe likes to note that Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and One Republic all made appearances on the show early in their careers.

As the show celebrates its big anniversary, here are 10 moments that gave us all the feels.

1. Heidi and Travis, “Calling You”

It was way back in season 2, but this is the routine that put “SYTYCD” on the map.

You had two extraordinary dancers, Travis Wall and Heidi Groskreutz, a bench and pure magic. It also made Mia Michaels a favorite choreographer to fans.

2. Chelsie and Mark, “Bleeding Love”

In the fourth season, this portrayal of a woman’s troubles with a workaholic partner showed that the hip-hop genre can tell a story quite well.

Married choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon made a splash here as well, while dancers Chelsie Hightower and Mark Kanemura went on to bigger things (Hightower on “Dancing with the Stars” and Kanemura on Lady Gaga’s tour).

3. Alex and tWitch, “Get Outta Your Mind”

One of the greatest examples of how dance styles are mixed on this show was Alex Wong’s insanely good hip-hop routine with Stephen ‘”tWitch” Boss, perhaps the first one to go truly viral in the streaming video era.

It was so memorable that Ellen DeGeneres stepped in for an injured Wong in that year’s season finale.

4. Kayla and Kupono, “Gravity”

This one has really stuck with fans over the years, an incredible symbolic representation of what it is to be an addict. It’s hard to watch this without getting chills to this day.

5. Allison and cast, “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”

Yes, there’s a lot of Michaels on this list, because she was just that good in her years on “SYTYCD.” Here we have her choreographing the contestants, along with Allison Holker, one of the most talented dancers in the show’s history.

Affectionately called “Alice in Mia-Land,” it’s simply brilliant.

6. Katee and tWitch, “Mercy”

This routine to the hit song by Duffy almost certainly had to be inspired even more so by the late Amy Winehouse. Once again, it’s Michaels and once again, it’s tWitch.

Such great use of the door here.

7. Jaimie and Hok, “The Chairman’s Waltz”

Pure artistry in what is also called the “Hummingbird Dance.”

8. Lauren and Kent, “Collide”

Travis Wall came back as a choreographer. He’s done many standout routines, but this one sticks with you the most.

9. Amy and Fik-Shun, “After Party”

This Tabitha and Napoleon routine is just pure fun and it’s the two eventual winners from season 10.

10. Bryan Gaynor’s performances

This dancer — who never officially made the show, but kept coming back — did more than anyone in introducing the “animation” style, and the fact that he also has scoliosis shows that anything is possible on “SYTYCD.”

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1 Comment

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