Will 'So You Think You Can Dance' Have a Ballroom Winner in Season 16?

by Kristyn Burtt | 7/31/2019 1:52 PM

Photo credit: FOX.

With Season 16 of So You Think You Can Dance underway and fifty percent of the Top 10 revealed, it's time to take a look at the numbers over the years. With 15 seasons of shows behind us, what does the breakdown look like for the winners? Does the show favor guys over girls? Does a contemporary dancer have a better chance of winning than another style? Some of the numbers will surprise you.


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Seasons 1-15 winners:


1. Nick Lazzarini: Contemporary Jazz   


2. Benji Schwimmer: Swing/Latin   


3. Sabra Johnson: Contemporary


4. Joshua Allen: Hip-hop


5. Jeanine Mason: Contemporary   


6. Russell Ferguson: Krump   


7. Lauren Froderman: Contemporary


8. Melanie Moore: Contemporary


9. Eliana Girard: Ballet   

    Chehon Wespi-Tschopp: Ballet


10. Amy Yakima: Jazz   

      Du-Shaunt "Fik-Shun" Stegall: Hip-hop   


11. Ricky Ubeda: Contemporary


12. Gaby Diaz: Tap 


13. Leon "Kida" Burns: Hip-hop


14. Lex Ishimoto: Contemporary Hip-hop


15. Hannahlei Cabanilla: Contemporary


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Out of 15 seasons, nine of the winners are male and eight are female. However, two of these seasons — 9 and 10 — had a male and female co-winner. SYTYCD has a great track record of equality when it comes to awarding America's Favorite Dancer.


When we take a look at the styles, this is where the disconnect begins. Contemporary dance is favored over any other style on the show with six winners under the contemporary umbrella. If you add in the hybrid styles like Contemporary Jazz with Season 1 winner Nick Lazzarini or Contemporary Hip-Hop with Season 14 winner Lex Ishimoto, that number goes up to eight.


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A style like tap has seen one winner with Season 12's Gaby Diaz, ballet has co-winners Eliana Girard and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp in Season 9 and we have to go back to Season 2 to see swing dancer Benji Schwimmer and Season 6 krumper Russell Ferguson. Hip-hop has three winners, or four winners, if you count Lex's hybrid style again.


There's always a debate as to whether Benji was the first ballroom winner since swing gets lumped into that category. On To The Pointe in 2018, he stated he was the first "partner-dance winner” on the show and that there hasn't been a ballroom winner on record on SYTYCD.


We don't know who will emerge as a top contender for the title on SYTYCD this season, but keep these numbers in the back of your head. Will Season 16 be the year a ballroom contestant wins? Will the men emerge with another title or will the ladies tie up the score? Find out as all 10 contestants hit the stage on Monday, Aug. 12.


Don't miss Dance Network's 'To The Pointe' interview with 'World of Dance' favorite, Eva Igo:

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