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In honor of So You Think You Can Dance kicking off their 10th season this week, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 most memorable routines in the show’s history.

As fans of the show know, SYTYCD is so much more than just a “dance show.” There are routines that will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you scream in disbelief that someone can actually move their body like that. There have been so many amazing routines in the show’s history (Emmy winning/nominated routines, as is the case with almost every one on this list) that this is just a very small sampling. Tune in to season 10 and we guarantee you’ll be hooked!

‘So You Think You Can Dance’
Top 10 most memorable routines

10) ‘Misty Blue’ – Twitch and Sasha (Season 8)

Christopher Scott choreographed this hip-hop routine for season 8 runner-up Sasha Mallory, and all-star and fan favorite Stephen “Twitch” Boss. The Dorothy Moore classic sets the scene for an everyday suburban breakfast between a frustrated husband and wife that turns into much more. If only all breakfasts were this hot and involved this much Twitch.

9) ‘Fix You’ – Robert and Allison (Season 7)

All-star Allison Holker and season 7′s Robert Roldan took on the difficult and important role of stepping into choreographer (and season 2 contestant – you’ll see more of him later) Travis Wall’s shoes in this emotional routine. Travis based this routine on his struggle to help his mother in her fight with breast cancer. The subject matter struck a chord with Robert, with judge Mia Michaels, and many audience members, making this routine hard to forget.

8) ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ – Neil and Sabra (Season 3)

Everybody knows this Eurythmics tune, but who knew it would fit in so perfectly to a boardroom brawl? Mandy Moore (no, not that Mandy Moore) choreographed this routine for Neil and season 3 winner Sabra, calling it an “’80s jazz power lunch.” It had a conference table and everything! The part where Neil hovers over Sabra on said table is just ridiculous.

7) ‘The Garden’ – Courtney and Mark (Season 4)

Sonya Tayeh is basically the Tim Burton of choreography, and this awesome jazz routine was America’s introduction to her work on SYTYCD. Everything she does is just a little bit offbeat and strange, but beautiful in its strangeness. Mark’s unique dance style (he’s now one of Gaga’s backup dancers, if that tells you anything) worked well with Sonya’s unique choreography, and Courtney was such an outstanding dancer, she could really do anything.

6) ‘Bleeding Love’ – Mark and Chelsie (Season 4)

Another season 4 routine featuring Mark Kanemura, this time with partner Chelsie Hightower. This was the first season featuring choreographers Napolean and Tabitha Dumo (or Nappytabs, as they’re known to fans) and their lyrical hip-hop style, and this is one of their most famous routines. The dancers play their parts so well that you feel legitimately bad for Chelsie when Mark literally steals her heart.

5) ‘Turn To Stone’ – Melanie and Marko (Season 8)

They are statues come to life. That’s all you need to know. Season 8 winner Melanie Moore and her partner Marko Germar look like statues, and they dance like statues (in a good way) until they come to life. It’s a beautiful routine by Travis Wall, set to a beautiful Ingrid Michaelson song. This was their first dance of the season, and you could already tell they would go on to greatness.

4) ‘Calling You’ – Heidi and Travis (Season 2)

Before Travis Wall was an amazing SYTYCD choreographer, he finished in second place as a dancer on the show’s second season. His partner Heidi Groskreutz was a ballroom dancer, and had a hard time adjusting to the contemporary style of this routine, but she certainly rose to the occasion. This Mia Michaels dance is one of the most unforgettable uses of props in the show’s history, with something as simple as a park bench. See if your heart doesn’t stop when their hands touch through the bench seat.

3) ‘Mercy’ – Katee and Twitch (Season 4)

Another Mia Michaels routine (Mia is basically a legend). This one paired friends Katee Shean and Twitch, before he was an all-star. Their friendly chemistry manifested itself as more of a sexy chemistry in this routine. Katee plays the epitome of the psycho ex-girlfriend; Twitch the definition of “too cool.” Their personalities clash in this, with wonderful results. Please exercise caution when trying to recreate this dance at home on your bedroom door: don’t pinch your fingers.

2) ‘Outta Your Mind’ – Alex and Twitch (Season 7)

Twitch was paired with ballet dancer Alex Wong for this routine, and please keep in mind that Alex is a ballet dancer as you watch this dance. This Nappytabs routine is the fastest, craziest, most exciting hip-hop routine in SYTYCD history, and it was so incredible even Ellen DeGeneres came back to recreate it with Twitch for the finale. Unfortunately, early front-funner Alex was injured shortly after this routine, and had to leave the competition.

1) ‘Gravity’ – Kayla and Kupono (Season 5)

It’s no surprise that a Mia Michaels routine is at the number one spot on this list, but this particular routine is incredible. The dance represents addiction, with Kayla as the addict struggling to escape the hold of her terrifyingly malevelent addiction, played by Kupono. It’s an amazing physical interpretation of an otherwise abstract concept, and it paints an even more overt portrait of just how frightening addiction can be. Beautifully danced by both Kayla and Kupono, you’ll ache for Kayla’s addict, and be haunted by Kupono’s addiction.

SYTYCD season 10′s two-night premiere airs Tuesday night at 8/7c, and Wednesday night at 9/8c, following American Idol.

Did you agree with our ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ top 10? What is your favorite SYTYCD performance? Are you excited for season 10?

  • bandanajack

    needs more kent! how it ends was shattering and broke though so many taboos.

    barefoot joe was a delight, without the heavy drama, but terpsichorean dynamite.

  • Lucija

    Calling you will forever be the best performance they did in my opinion. But i am extremely biased because i LOVE Travis Wall! I wish i could see his company this summer

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=605784922 Kristen Wilhoit

    Is the show going to return to its two-night format? I became so frustrated with the one-night format (when it came to eliminations) that I didn’t even finish last season.

    • luna97831

      apparently nigel is still trying to convince fox to go for the two-night format

  • http://twitter.com/BrookWentz Brook Wentz

    Gahhh!! You have sent me down memory lane!! It’s been a while since I’ve gone back to watch these performances, but yeah, from time to time I still pull up my old favorites to reminisce. Seasons 3 & 4 were when I was really dedicated, but now I kind of want to pick it up again. So thanks for reminding me how brilliant this show can be!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1045615098 Riana-Tiana Menezes

    What about “This Woman’s Work” performed by Ade and Melissa? They danced it with so much emotion that it just brought me to tears. It needs to be in the top 5 at least.

  • http://xyue-mayx.deviantart.com/ Dreamer

    I don’t watch SYTYCD but this was amazing! I don’t care what weight lifters say, dancers are the fittest people I’ve ever known.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alicia.peckham Alicia Peckham

    So many, many great performances. I’m over the moon that it’s time again for this show that I love.

  • http://twitter.com/alexacadia alex

    my absolute FAVORITE routine is Collide, performed by Lauren and Kent. i cry every time i even think about that dance, it’s flawless. wish it had made it on this list. but these are all amazing numbers, i’m a huge SYTYCD fan and am excited for this season!!

    footnote – also LOVEEEE lauren and twitch doing my chick bad. hotttt

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001344528873 Wynona de la Calzada

      I loved Collide! And the kiss in the end!!

      • http://twitter.com/alexacadia alex

        don’t even talk to me. oh my god. kent and lauren are my one and only rl ship that i’ve ever had. ughughughughughhhh they are perfectttt.

  • luna97831

    in my opinion no season has held a candle to season 7 as of yet. dominic and robert’s clown hip hop, “collide” with lauren and kent, “fix you” with robert and allison,”how it ends” with kent and neil, “mad world” with billy and ade, “boogie shoes” with lauren and billy, “fallin’” with adéchiké and comfort, “my chick bad” and “power” with lauren and twitch and of course ALEX WONG in “hallelujah” with allison and “outta your mind” with twitch… in my opinion the level of talent has never been higher than season 7, partly because they did a top 11 instead of a top 20.

    wonderful article!!

    • guest

      I agree. There were just so many phenomenal people on season 7. It’s definitely one of my favorites, along with season 2.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kbonnice Kira Bonnice

    My favorite is still Season 5′s “If it kills me” danced by Jeanine and Jason. It matched the song so perfectly

  • http://twitter.com/VBBieber Mallory

    Gosh I love this show. Season 4 was the best. #ForReal

  • http://www.facebook.com/simplypanda Lisa Clark

    My favorite was from season 3, Jaime and Hok performing the bird and the flower to the music from Memoirs of a Geisha.> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZJpA9e7cCY

  • http://twitter.com/conroyheine Carolyn Heine

    Gravity is easily my favorite dance from this show, but my second favorite would be from season 9: Chehon and Kathryn’s contemporary piece to “Eli Eli” choreographed by Tyce Diorio. I felt so many emotions watching that number, and I think Mary Murphy ended up picking that routine to perform again during the final results show.

  • Lauren

    Season 2 was the first season I watched and it will always be my favorite, so there definitely needs to be more Benji and Donielle up in here!

  • Sanracas

    What even? Get out of here if you don’t have Katee and Joshua’s “No Air” routine?

  • Kim32

    This is a great list, but I would also include “Dreaming with a broken heart” with Kherington and Twitch, “Time” with Lacey and Neil and “No Air” with Katee and Joshua.

  • Ellen

    I was really into SYTYCD from seasons 2-5, then lost interest these past few years. I was thrilled to see this article include my all time favorites. “Gravity” definitely is my number one; I am still wowed every time I watch it! “The Garden” is a very close second. I also love “Mercy”, “Calling You”, and “Bleeding Love.”

  • cec

    Katee & Joshua – Hometown Glory….

  • Gabbs

    Will and Amila doing The Lovecats from season 8 is one of my favorites!

  • CDS

    What about Danny Tidwell in almost every dance he performed!

  • Dee

    I think season 3 with Jamie and Hok: “The Hummingbird” was beautiful. http://youtu.be/9ZJpA9e7cCY

  • Shay

    Sasha had one more with like a wall…That thing changed my life..LOL..It was unreal. I also loved a piece about like hobos on the street…

  • Kate

    Surprised that Collide isn’t here. The synchronization and fluidity there was just timeless.

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