So You Think You Can Dance shook up the formula in season 12, dividing dancers into Team Stage and Team Street based on the style of dance they knew best. But once the show hit the top 20, any genre was fair game — and as the top four dancers told EW after Monday’s finale, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I actually love hip-hop so much,” said Team Stage runner-up Hailee Payne, “and to be able to do it on the show with Virgil, with Fik-Shun, with Jaja, was incredible, and to work with those choreographers. That’s what I want to do. I actually want to be more in the street world, which is kind of weird. I mean, just more in the commercial world, which is more hip-hop, and more jazz, and more jazz funk.”
Meanwhile, contemporary struck a chord with the Team Street finalists.
“I am a very emotional person, and I’m a very dramatic person, and contemporary is kind of like that,” season 12 runner-up and Team Street winner Jana “Jaja” Vankova told EW. “The intention behind it is kind of like that. I feel like, in contemporary, I can put more of my style in it, so that’s why it touched my heart.”
“I love my hip-hop, that’s what I grew up doing, but I also do a lot of other styles as well,” said Team Street runner-up Virgil Gadson. “So everything, I love it all. But, you know, contemporary is whispering in my ear. I like it a little bit.”
And as Team Street captain tWitch noted, every member of the top four could go on to great things. “The runner-up club is a very prestigious place to be,” said tWitch. “Myself, Travis, Danny Tidwell, Brandon Bryant — who was an all-star — Cyrus … We’re in here! Sasha! We’re in here! I can go on and on about the runner-up club. But here’s the thing: It’s a beautiful thing, because you almost taste that money. You almost taste it, so then from there you hit the ground running.”
With reporting by Mary Sollosi.
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