The Most Twisted Routines on So You Think You Can Dance

Posted on December 17, 2009
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As a long time fan of So You Think You Can Dance, I appreciate all the choreographers’ efforts to create something that will stand out every week. This being said there have been certain routines that have made me wonder what was going through their minds. So here are the most twisted routines I could find over the past six seasons.

1. The Garden - Courtney and Mark

This was Sonya Tayeh’s first routine for the show and I think she made quite the statement of what was to come. Arguably one of the best numbers of season four, The Garden is a battle of the sexes that is unafraid to go to a really dark place. What makes this routine even better is that it was danced perfectly and really showcases Mark’s dark side and Courtney’s ability to personify any character that is thrown at her.

2. Cabaret Hoover - Sara and Jesus

Wade Robson is one of the best choreographers on the planet because he isn’t afraid to take risks and this routine proves that. The music is taken from the foreign animation film, Les Triplettes De Belleville and Wade has taken us into the world of the early 1900s where two vagabonds awake in the middle of the night to perform for the imaginary transients around them. The choreography itself looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie and Sara and Jesus did an excellent job playing the two vagrants.

3. Gravity - Kayla and Kupono

This is pure twisted brilliance on the part of Emmy-winning choreographer Mia Michaels. It’s one thing to tackle the difficult subject of addiction, but to ask one of your dancers to be addiction itself is taking to a whole other level. Kupono, despite struggling throughout rehearsals, played the role ruthlessly as he relentlessly consumed Kayla who struggled to free herself from his grasp.

4. Night of the Dancing Flame - Lauren and Neil

So this is what happens when the devil attacks and angel? I thought it might have been a little darker as this almost borders on cute. This is another routine from Wade Robson that has stuck in our heads for years. Neil plays the devil in disguise trying to lure Lauren, an angel, into his grasp, but when that doesn’t work he reveals his identity and chases the screaming angel around the stage.

5. Ramalama - Season 2 Top 10

Beware of dancing zombies! That’s right dancing zombies. Yet another foray into the twisted mind of Wade Robson, with incredible results. Yes this goes all the way back to season two but it is still one of the most remembered group routines ever on the show. It features all our favorites from that season as turn of the century zombies dancing to the song Ramalama by Wade’s favorite artist Rosin Murphy.

6. Tore My Heart - Ellenore and Jakob

Another routine that makes me wonder exactly what planet Sonya Tayeh comes from. As Adam Shankman noted in his critique, this number is reminiscent of The Garden and will no doubt be remembered for years to come. It is made even better by Ellenore’s natural quirkiness and Jakob’s insane level of technical perfection.

7. Felt Mountain - Ashley and Kupono

Wade takes us into his own little world where two crash test dummies fall in love. Kupono plays one that is afraid to fall in love and Ashley convinces him to open himself up. It kind of makes you wonder what else goes on in Wade’s head and what he’s going to come up with next.

8. The Chairman’s Waltz (a.k.a. The Hummingbird and the Flower) - Jamie and Hok

Pollination in dance form, this routine shows Jamie as a blooming flower and Hok a hummingbird coming to check her out. The Chairman’s Waltz from Memoirs of a Geisha provides a perfect backdrop for this nature inspired love story. Danced brilliantly to the stunning choreography of Wade Robson it stands as one of the most unique pieces of the show.

9. Wrestlers - Kourtni and Matt

The odd world of a graphic novel comes to life with Kourtni and Matt portraying two comic book characters. This quirky contemporary piece by Sonya and stands out from most of the other contemporary numbers that have been danced throughout the seasons. However what makes this even more twisted is the costume choice, I mean lime green leggings with a pink and yellow top, it kinda looked like they had done something to anger the costume department or something.

kourtni lind and matt dorame


10. The Dance - Charlotte Martin

I don’t know if a better Mia Michaels’ group dance exists. Reminiscent of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, this routine begins with some of the guys tapping large staffs on the stage before it erupts into movement everywhere. Mark stands out in this one as the twisted ringleader of this dance circus, complete with the occasional yelling fit. Amazing work by everyone who worked on this number.

11. They’re Everywhere - Kayla and Jason

Oh look more dancing zombies. This time it’s a Shane Sparks hip hop routine. This just proves that if you see a dancing zombie you should run away instead of provoking it with a dance battle. Kayla plays an innocent school girl who is being attacked by a zombie played by Jason. They battle it out, with dance of course, but in the end zombie is just too strong and strangles poor Kayla.

12. Arcadia - Ellenore and Ryan

This routine is about an evil angel trying to overtake a good angel, and Ryan and Ellenore really took to the characters in this piece. Choreographed by Sonya, this number is unlike anything else on So You Think You Can Dance. Although, the costumes made them look more like birds than angels. This is definitely a triumph not only for Ellenore and Ryan but for Sonya as well.

13. Koyal - Lacey and Sabra

Out of all of the routines on the show over the years, this one is probably the one that made me the most confused. Okay, so Lacey is supposed to be a mother fox and Sabra is her baby. Foxes, really Wade? I think that all across America, fans of the show let out a collective “huh” when they saw this, I know I did.

Written by Loni Perry – Copyrighted ©


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