So You Think You Can Dance And Change Your Fate?
The eleventh season of So You Think You Can Dance has finally come to an end with the announcement of the winner; Ricky Ubeda. Since the start, the season had been a roller coaster ride for both the participants and the audience. Every week the biggest question on everyone’s mind watching the show was, “Who’s going home today?” Having more than sixty million views in total, the show has kept the audience on their toes with some amazing performances by the contestants as well as the guests. The judges add to the flavor of the show with their compliments and critiques and no So You Think You Can Dance episode would be complete without the presence of the charismatic Cat Deeley, the face of the show since the second season.
But So You Think You Can Dance is more than just your average reality TV show. Forget the hype that the finale of the last season created for a moment and take a look back on how this one show has changed and inspired the lives of these talented dancers from across the nation. Let’s start with the winner of the first season and delve a little deep into how these lives changed after their So You Think You Can Dance journey.
Dancing since the age of four, contemporary jazz dancer Nick Lazarrini doesn’t need an introduction. The winner of the first season of So You Think You Can Dance and the first person ever to make it to the cover of Dance Spirit twice, Lazarrini’s win gave him the impetus to move forward and within a year he became the founding member of the Evolution Dance Company.
Things always happen for a reason. They did at least for Benji Schwimmer who returned to dancing after his girlfriend broke up with him. But that wasn’t the only reason. Schwimmer saw a Lazarrini performance in a video and was all pumped up for the auditions to prove his dancing skills, which he eventually did by winning the second season. Today, he is a world renowned dancer and a choreographer whose works include Evolutions of Dance 2009, American Idol and many more.
In third season, we had the first female winner of the show; Sabra Johnson, the contemporary dancer from Netherlands. The following year, she was performing with the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and danced in many countries including Germany and Mexico City. We are hoping to see her on Broadway soon.
For Joshua Allen, winning the fourth season was a ticket to Hollywood, where he made his debut with Step Up 3D in which he appeared as a featured dancer. Allen also starred in the second season of Dance Your Ass Off, TV shows; American Horror Story and Community, and the remake of Footloose. He plans to release his first album soon.
The brilliant hip-hop dancer from Miami, who won the fifth season at the age of eighteen became the youngest dancer ever to win So You Think You Can Dance, Jeanine Mason is currently making strides in her dancing and acting career. She is a permanent member of the cast of Bunheads in which she appears in the role of Cozzette. Her recent appearances include Big Time Rush, The Bling Ring, Hollywood Heights and many more.
Best known for his krumping skills across the nation, Russell Ferguson came in the limelight in the sixth season and became the first krumper to be crowned as America’s Favorite Dancer. After his win, he got a chance to choreograph for the show’s Ukraine version, and performed a featured role in East Side Story. Above all, he started his own company by the name of SideStreet. In 2013, this Boston native appeared in Tony William’s original holiday classic, Urban Nutcracker, proving that he is more than just a hip-hop dancer.
The pixie head from Marietta, Melanie Moore, captured the imagination of the audience and won the eighth season with 47% votes. From performing on Season 10 of All Star to Glee to the Primetime Awards ceremony, Moore has quickly established herself. She is now a member of Shaping Sound, a contemporary dance company. She also appears in All the Right Moves, and recently took the stage at the Tony Awards as Peter Pan during the preview of Finding Neverland, an upcoming musical.
Inspired by Billy Eliot, Wespi-Tschopp’s dancing career had been a whirlpool from the very start. But after being crowned as America’s Favorite Male Dancer in the ninth season, things started happening for him and his career took a new stride. Wespi-Tschopp is making his way towards being a choreographer now.
Follow your passion, wherever it may lead you! Yes, that’s what Eliana Girand, who emerged as the America’s Favorite Female Dancer in the ninth season, did. Leaving behind Cirque du Soleil where she had a steady job and income as an aerialist, Girand came for auditions, looking for artistic fulfillment and ended up not only having this by the end of the season, but also a cash prize exceeding $100,000. But the ballerina didn’t stop there. She was in Australia with Taylor Swift on her Red Tour and in fall 2014, you will be seeing her on the Celebrity Convention Tour.
Amy Yakima & Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall
Never doubt the power of two! From their first routine together on an emotional contemporary piece, Amy Yakima & Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall proved to be the best couple on the show. It was no surprise that these powerhouses won the titles of America’s Favorite Dancer.
With a passion to learn, teach and practice more, Yakima took up every opportunity that life gave her. She was a trainer on the NTC Nike Tour in March, broke the dance floor at America’s Ultimate Dance Festival, Dancer Palooza in July and taught classes at Powerup Dance Center in August. Things also went pretty smooth for Fik-Shun as well, who appeared on stage dancing live at events like WOD Live.
And lastly, we have Ricky Ubeda who is currently making waves in the dance world as the winner of the show’s eleventh season. Apart from the cash prize, this Miama based dancer is also going to make his Broadway debut on the 2014 revival of the 1944 musical, On The Town. He will also be touring across the nation as a part of the top 10 finalists of the season on the So You Think You Can Dance Tour. With this and a lot more opportunities out there, let’s see what heights Ubeda would reach in the next few months.
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