So You Think You Can Dance has been TV’s tastiest summer treat thanks to its cast of high-quality hoofers, but this year, I’ve discovered a second reason to love the show. Indeed, watching SYTYCD (which has its season finale tonight on Fox…sadness!) is now my favorite way to find new songs, and to rediscover great oldies (Viennese waltzes set to the Goo Goo Dolls not included). Below, you’ll find my Top 10 Dance Playlist from SYTYCD‘s fourth season*. Press play and enjoy ’em, then post your favorite songs from the show in the comments section below.
“The Garden” by Mirah
This crashing beats and rapid riffs in this story of love and loss provided the perfect background for Sonya Tayeh’s crazy-cool choreography and Mark’s quirky moves.
“Mercy” by Duffy
Twitch and Katee’s raunchy domestic spat made the Brit songstress’s summer hit even hotter.
“No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown
Napoleon and Tabitha turned a decent R&B track into a work of art
that makes me cry every time I watch it.
“These Arms of Mine” by Otis Redding
Gev and Chelsie melted into each others’ arms to the strains of this classic soul track.
“Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis
Lewis’s U.S. debut has been inescapable for months, but it got a whole new lease on life (and on my personal playlist) after Chelsie and Mark popped, locked, thrashed, and fought their way through it during an explosive hip-hop routine.
“American Boy” by Estelle featuring Kanye West
Yeah, it was Rayven and Jamie’s last dance, but the upbeat duet has yet to get the boot from my iPod.
“Malaguena” by Brian Setzer ’68 Comeback Special
At last, a paso doble that didn’t make me hit the fast-forward button! And with all due respect to matador Kherington and Twitch the bull, I think the music had a little something to do with it.
“We Gonna Win” by Miri Ben-Ari
In less than a minute, Twitch transformed himself into a b-boy conductor at a street symphony, and introduced this song to a mainstream audience.
“Hometown Glory” by Adele
Katee and Joshua can turn any dance into gold, but Adele’s throbbing melody helped shape their contemporary routine (and that breathtaking assisted run).
“Ramalama (Bang Bang)” by Roisin Murphy
Okay, yeah, it’s a season-two number, but the bum-bum-ba-bum-bum of the music helped turn the Top 10 dancers into brilliant, staggering zombies. My iPod hasn’t been the same since.