Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

20 So You Think You Can Dance Routines That Make You FEEL Things

  1. Begin
    SYTYCD_Routine_Opener
    Photo: Courtesy of FOX.

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    "Dance is the only art wherein we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made," reads a very popular poster that hangs on the walls of countless dance studios around the world (the one where I spent my formative years included). As cliché as it sounds, it's absolutely true. So You Think You Can Dance has proven the adage time and time again.

    Ever since it exploded onto the reality competition scene in the summer of 2005, SYTYCD separated itself from other shows by the sheer level of artistry. During nationwide casting calls, aspiring dancers with years and years of training, in various styles, have one minute to impress a panel of judges. Some of the joke auditions are just that, and we all enjoy watching someone waste Nigel Lythgoe's time. Once the top 20 dancers are selected, however, it's game time.

    Week after week, the dancers have to memorize and perform breathtaking choreography. As the seasons progressed, it became increasingly important that each routine tell a story, and some of the topics addressed include addiction, unrequited love, cancer, and death. The dancers and choreographers made these numbers evoke feelings you didn't even know were possible through movement alone.

    Watch these 20 stunning routines before the season 12 premiere tonight. They may not get you on the hot tamale train, but they will take you straight to Chills City. Hello feelings, my old friend.

    Begin Slideshow
  2. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kgFZ6WIaIS0?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    9 Comments
    See All Slides
    0 of 21

    Travis & Heidi, “The Bench”
    Style: contemporary
    Song: “Calling You” by Celine Dion
    Choreographer: Mia Michaels

    Not since Forrest Gump has a bench played such a pivotal, emotional role in a story. By the time Travis Wall flops down on the bench like a dejected rag doll, and Heidi grabs the sunflower with her foot, you've effectively turned into a ball of crushed dreams.

  3. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Y4hdHrXNw5A?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    9 Comments
    See All Slides
    1 of 21

    Sabra & Neil, “Sweet Dreams”
    Style: jazz
    Song: “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics
    Choreographer: Mandy Moore

    A spot-on depiction of the ‘80s power lunch, right down to the under-the-table handshakes, and above-the-table power plays.

  4. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/javjRYXgAhY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    9 Comments
    See All Slides
    2 of 21

    Katee & tWitch, “Mercy”
    Style: contemporary
    Song: “Mercy” by Duffy
    Choreographer: Mia Michaels

    All I’m saying is that Katee and/or tWitch can come and knock on my door ANY time.

  5. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/xk8ImwtnCug?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    9 Comments
    See All Slides
    3 of 21

    Jeanine & Jason, “The Locket”
    Style: contemporary
    Song: “If It Kills Me” by Jason Mraz
    Choreographer: Travis Wall

    This is basically foreplay, in dance form.

  6. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1xtBhQlCwlE?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    9 Comments
    See All Slides
    4 of 21

    Melanie & Neil, “Total Eclipse of the Heart”
    Style: contemporary
    Song: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler
    Choreographer: Mandy Moore

    Once upon a time I was falling in love, then I watched this routine, and now I’m only falling apart. Mostly from this flying leap.