So You Think You Can Dance wrapped up its 12th season — the first to feature the new Stage vs. Street format — on Monday, and while Team Street didn’t take first place, its captain has no regrets.
“I’m not bummed at all,” Team Street captain tWitch told EW after the finale. “You will not see the end of the dancers that you’ve seen on Team Street right now. And here’s the thing: The runner-up club is a very prestigious place to be.” Both tWitch and Team Stage captain Travis Wall were runners up in their seasons, as were many of the All-Stars featured this year.
tWitch had nothing but praise for Team Stage winner Gaby Diaz — “Gaby was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful dancer that was also incredibly focused … Her work ethic [is] incredible” — and he complimented the new, competitive format for bringing “the culture of street dance, and a deeper culture of street dance, to the forefront.”
“I think a lot of the time with this show, they knew hip-hop as just hip-hop; it was just an umbrella phrase,” said the season 4 finalist. “But now we have poppers, lockers, krumpers, b-boys — things like that, that the general public usually would not know about and just kind of classified as hip-hop. So now, just like we have contemporary, we have lyrical jazz, we have African jazz, all that stuff like that, we now have the various styles in hip-hop under the belt as well, so that’s great.”
tWitch also reflected on SYTYCD‘s legacy in the dance industry, noting, “What’s happened is, with dance, it’s been kind of pushed to a background, environmental situation. Usually there’s artists in front of the dancers, or shall I say, dancers behind the artist, dancers behind the actors and things like that, whereas So You Think You Can Dance actually makes dance the main character.”
“I can’t think of the last time that has happened, where you usually get hooked emotionally to a dancer. That, in itself, is powerful, because we love actors, we love singers, we know musicians, we know those things, but to have a place where we can lock onto a dancer that we love and know why we love them, know where they’ve come from, what influences their style — that’s a beautiful thing, and that’s what So You Think You Can Dance brings every week.”
Finally, tWitch offered his advice to the next generation of dancers: “You gotta be fresh. But that comes from practice and really working and beating on your craft. If you love it, if you really have a love for dance, you have something as an individual to offer to the art form, so go practice that and get it out and get used to putting out. Just go hard, man, be the hardest worker in the room.”
With reporting by Mary Sollosi.
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