List of So You Think You Can Dance finalists (U.S. season 2)

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List of the top twenty finalists from the second season of So You Think You Can Dance. 116 dancers were invited to Las Vegas for a week's training. That 116 was eventually reduced to 41, and finally to 20.

Dmitry Chaplin[edit]

Main article: Dmitry Chaplin

Dmitry Chaplin is an international Latin dancer, born in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on July 14, 1982. He graduated from School #8 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Minnetonka High School in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and attended Brooklyn College for one semester. Outside of the TV show, Chaplin is currently partnered with Heidi Groskreutz and was a national finalist in the 2006 U.S. National Amateur Dancesport Championships in Provo, Utah.

Chaplin's dance style proved extremely popular with the audience, and other contestants sought his assistance in how to "dance masculine". Although generally rated positively by the judges, viewer votes repeatedly placed Chaplin in the bottom three couples each week. Three of his first partners (Joy Spears, Aleksandra Wojda, and Ashlee Nino) were eliminated, this so-called "curse" becoming a running joke. Chaplin reached the top 10 contestants before being eliminated with Martha Nichols on July 20. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. Dmitry Chapin also was on a season of Dancing with the Stars, partnered up with Playboy Model Holly Madison, being eliminated on week 3 in a double elimination. He then competed on season 9 of Dancing with the Stars and was partnered with singer, Mýa. They were runners-up to Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson. He recently competed on season 12 of Dancing with the Stars with supermodel Petra Němcová. They were the fourth couple to be eliminated.

Dances on "So you think you can dance"

Hip-hop-"Hit the Floor" Twista (ft. Pitbull)-Performed with Joy Spears

Samba-"Mas Que Nada" Sergio Mendes (ft. The Black Eyed Peas)-Performed with Joy Spears (Joy eliminated)

Waltz-"If I Were a Painting"-Kenny Rogers-Performed with Aleksandra Wojda (Aleksandra eliminated)

Contemporary-"Dance Dance" Fall Out Boy-Performed with Ashlee Nino

Pop-"Let Me" Rihanna-Performed with Ashlee Nino (Ashlee eliminated)

Lindy Hop-"Sing sing sing" Benny Goodman-Performed with Donyelle Jones

Samba-"Hey Mama" The Black Eyed Peas-Performed with Donyelle Jones (Dmitry eliminated)

Musa Cooper[edit]

Main article: Musa Cooper

Cooper is a dancer and fitness model who has had several television appearances and songs by him including both seasons of So You Think You Can Dance. He was born February 26, 1978, and raised in Camden, New Jersey. A dancer from a young age, Cooper specialized in hip-hop and b-boying styles, moving onto more rhythmic dances when he reached his early teens. He was a track star in the 1990s, and also known for exuberant gymnastic dancing moves, such as doing back-flips at pep rallies.

Cooper was a performer for Beyoncé Knowles at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, and has made cameo appearances on other television programs, such as Sex in the City. In 2005, he appeared in the short film It's Fun to Help Poor People, and was one of the first to audition for the first season of So You Think You Can Dance. He was prominently featured in initial episodes, and though judges were impressed with his dance style, he was eliminated. In 2006, he tried again at the New York auditions, and had improved so much that he was passed through to the Las Vegas auditions and eventually to the finals. He proceeded to the top 12, but was eliminated on July 13, 2006.

His assigned dance partner had been Natalie Fotopoulos who went on to become one of the top six finalists before herself being eliminated.

Dances performed

Mambo-"Nina" Joe Cuba Sextet-Performed with Natalie Fotopoulos

Contemporary-"Closer" Goapele-Performed with Natalie Fotopoulos

Quickstep-"Zoot Suit Riot" Cherry Poppin' Daddies-Performed with Natalie Fotopoulos

Disco-"Hot Stuff" Donna Summer-Performed with Natalie Fotopoulos

Hip-hop-"Promiscuous" Nelly Furtado (ft. Timbaland)-Performed with Natalie Fotopoulos (Musa eliminated)

Erin Ellis[edit]

Ellis is a jazz and lyrical specialist, and a dance teacher at DC Dance Factory. She was eliminated from the competition in the first week.

Dances performed

Paso Doble-"Malaquena" Manhattan Pops Orchestra-Performed with Stanislav Savich (Both Erin and Stanislav were eliminated)

Jessica Fernandez[edit]

Born September 18, 1987, in Margate, Florida, Jessica Fernandez is a classically trained ballet dancer from Pembroke Pines, Florida, who won the American Ballet Competition in 2004. Despite her consistent performances and those of her partner Jaymz Tuaileva's, judges repeatedly chastised the pair for not connecting to the audience and getting enough votes to stay out of the bottom three couples. They were eliminated from the competition on July 6, 2006.

Dances performed

70's Disco-"Disco Inferno" The Trammps-Performed with Jaymz Tuaileva

Foxtrot-"Why Don't you do right" Sinead O'Connor-Performed with Jaymz Tuaileva

Contemporary-"Let Go" Frou Frou- Performed with Jaymz Tuaileva

Hip-Hop-"I Can Make You Dance" Zapp-Performed with Jaymz Tuaileva (Both Jessica and Jaymz were eliminated)

Natalie Fotopoulos[edit]

Natalie Fotopoulos is a lyrical/jazz specialist and dance teacher from Tampa, Florida. She began dancing at age 2, eventually teaching at her mother's dancing school in Tennessee, and then returning to Florida in 2005 to work in her aunt's dance studio. In 2006, she was chosen as a So You Think You Can Dance contestant, reaching the top 6 before being eliminated with Ivan Koumaev in the series' eighth week.[1]

Since then, she has traveled to her ancestral country of Greece to become a jazz/funk choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance (Greece). She is now on tour performing on the hit Broadway Tour, Wicked.

Dances Performed: Week 1-Mambo-"Nina"Joe Cuba Sextet-With Musa Cooper Week 2-Contemporary-"Closer"Goapele-With Musa Cooper Week 3-Quickstep-"Zoot Suit Riot" Cherry Poppin' Daddies-With Musa Cooper Week 4-Disco-"Hot Stuff" Donna Summer-With Musa Cooper Week 5-Hip-Hop-"Promiscous" Nelly Furtado (Ft. Justin Timbaland-With Musa Cooper (Musa Eliminated) Week 6-Jazz-"Wonderful" India.Arie-With Benji Schwimmer Week 6-Hip-hop-"She's Freaky" Pitbull-With Benji Schwimmer Week 7-Disco-"Turn the Beat Around" Vicky Sue Robinson-With Ryan Rankine (Ryan Eliminated) Week 7-Contemporary-"I Will Get You There" Boyz II Men-With Ryan Rankine (Ryan Eliminated) Week 8-Jive-"Route 66" John Mayer-With Ivan Koumaev-(Both Ivan & Natalie Eliminated) Week 8-Contemporary-"Every Time We Touch (Yanou's Candlight Mix)" Cascada- With Ivan Koumaev-(Both Ivan & Natalie Eliminated)

Heidi Groskreutz[edit]

Main article: Heidi Groskreutz

Heidi Groskreutz is a ballroom dancer, specializing in Latin and swing dancing. She auditioned for the series with partner Dmitry Chaplin and cousin Benji Schwimmer and all reached the top 20 contestants. She finished in fourth place.

Allison Holker[edit]

Main article: Allison Holker

Allison Holker is a contemporary jazz dancer and lyrical specialist from Orem, Utah, who appeared as a cheerleader in Disney's High School Musical. She reached the top eight of the series before being eliminated in week seven.

Donyelle Jones[edit]

Donyelle Denise Jones is a dancer, choreographer, director, teacher, singer and actress. She was born July 3, 1979, in Los Angeles, California, to Charles and Mary Jones. She is the youngest of three children of a military family. Ms. Jones chose her dance career at the age of six. Her love of dance and interpreting stories through movement was cultivated by her mentor, Broderick Wilson, until his death October 10, 1997. Following Mr. Wilson's death, Ms. Jones began her formal dance training under the direction of Lara Arnaiz at Extensions Performing Arts Academy in Lancaster, California, at the age of eighteen. She studied ballet, jazz, modern dance and hip hop as well as acting and sing. Currently, Ms. Jones is choreographer for the new spectacular Las Vegas Show at the Venetian starring Wayne Brady. She has been featured in musical theatre productions such as Hair, Nutcracker, and many more. Ms. Jones taught and directed the dance program at Palmdale High School for three years. Additionally, she taught at Orange County High School of the Arts. Ms. Jones teaches at Millennium Dance Complex, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio, Gold's Gym in Hollywood, Extensions Performing Arts Academy and at various dance conventions in the United States as well as Canada. Additionally Ms. Jones has been featured in music videos, movies and award shows. She has worked with Missy Elliott, Shanice Wilson, The Game, The Black Eyed Peas, and Master P. Ms. Jones has appeared in movies such as Be Cool and Beauty Shop. Emphasizing body movement, use of space, facial expressions and costume design through creative choreography continue to define Ms. Jones passion. She competed on America's Best Dance Crew (Season 4) with her crew, Artistry in Motion, and they were eliminated in the second week of competition.

Ivan Koumaev[edit]

Main article: Ivan Koumaev

Ivan Koumaev was born in the Far East of Russia, but grew up in Seattle, Washington. In high school, he was a member of the club "Dance Appreciation".

Martha Nichols[edit]

Martha Nichols, born July 14, 1987, in Brooklyn, New York, is a part-time dance teacher from Raleigh, North Carolina. She was eliminated from the series on July 20, 2006, with Dmitry Chaplin.

She was a dancer in Cirque Du Soleil's Criss Angel Believe.

Dances performed

Broadway-"Steam Heat" The Pointer Sisters-Performed with Travis Wall

Krump-"Clap Back" Ja Rule-Performed with Travis Wall

Hip-Hop-"Just Fine" Chris Brown-Performed with Travis Wall

Salsa-"Tango" Machito and His Afro-Cubans-Performed with Travis Wall

Foxtrot-"Witchcraft" Steve Tyrell-Performed with Travis Wall

Hip-Hop-"Me & U" Cassie-Performed with Ivan Koumaev (Martha Eliminated)

Smooth Waltz-"Sandy's Song" Dolly Parton-Performed with Ivan Koumaev (Martha Eliminated)

Jazz-"What You Waiting For?" Gwen Stefani-Solo (Martha Eliminated)

Ashlee Nino[edit]

Miley Cyrus with dancers Ashlee Nino and Mandy Jiroux.

Nino, born in Fort Worth, Texas, on January 11, 1985, is a dancer trained in hip hop, locking, breakdancing, clogging, tap, Irish step and popping (the latter her specialty). Ashlee currently appears in the Cirque Du Soleil show Believe,[2] starring Mindfreak's Criss Angel in Las Vegas at the Luxor resort and casino. (2008–2010)

She was partnered with Ben Susak for the first two weeks of the series, followed by Dmitry Chaplin for week three. She reached the top 12 before being eliminated with Musa Cooper on July 13, 2006. Since the show she has danced with artists such as Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Gwen Stefani, Jessica Jarrell, Sean Kingston, Mýa, The Roots, Kat DeLuna, Will Smith and Omarion, and has been a double for Hannah Montana (for the song We got the Party during Cyrus' Best of Both Worlds concert). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and dancing for Miley Cyrus. She is also dating Joey Clement, the bassist for Selena Gomez & the Scene.

Dances performed

80's Disco-"Flashdance...What a Feeling" Irene Cara-Performed with Ben Susak

American Jive-"Great Balls of Fire" Jerry Lee Lewis-Performed with Ben Susak

Hip-Hop-"Caught Up" Usher-Performed with Ben Susak (Ben eliminated)

Contemporary-"Dance Dance" Fall Out Boy-Performed with Dmitry Chaplin

Pop-"Let Me" Rihanna-Performed with Dmitry Chaplin (Ashlee eliminated)

Ryan Rankine[edit]

Rankine is a ballet and contemporary dance specialist, born on February 15, 1986, in Brooklyn, New York. He started dancing at age 8, and trained with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, San Francisco Ballet and Miami City Ballet and danced in the opening montage of the film Step Up. He left school before graduating, in order to participate in the competition, but was eliminated on July 27, 2006.

Stanislav Savich[edit]

Savich, born July 19, 1984, is a trained ballroom dancer from Brooklyn, NY, who started dancing at age 9. He was eliminated in the first week of the competition. His younger sister, Faina, reached the top 20 in the series' third season.

Dances performed

Paso Doble-"Malaquena" Manhattan Pops Orchestra-Performed with Erin Ellis (Both Erin and Stanislav were eliminated)

Benji Schwimmer[edit]

Main article: Benji Schwimmer

Benji Schwimmer was born on January 18, 1984, in Newport Beach, California. His father is "King of Swing" Buddy Schwimmer. He trained formally for 19 years, characterizing his style as 'West Coast Swing'. He taught dance for one semester at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa.

After being shown a video of the winning performance from the 2005 series of So You Think You Can Dance, Schwimmer decided to audition for the 2006 season of the show, along with cousin (and childhood dance partner) Heidi Groskreutz and her former dance partner, Dmitry Chaplin.

Schwimmer reached the final four, neither he nor partner Donyelle Jones being voted into the bottom three rankings at any point during the series run. He was named overall winner on August 16, 2006 after receiving the majority of 16 million telephone votes from viewers. During the series, judges routinely commented that while not necessarily the best technical dancer in styles other than his own, Schwimmer was outstanding in terms of performance and personality.

Although the prizes included a one-year contract to perform in Celine Dion's Las Vegas show, Schwimmer stated in an interview for the Seattle Times that the genre did not suit him and that he had turned the contract down.

Joy Spears[edit]

Joy Spears is a jazz, lyrical and hip-hop specialist from Killen, AL; she was born on August 19, 1987, and started dancing at age 3. She reached the top eighteen contestants of the series before being eliminated with Jason Williams on June 22, 2006.

Dances performed

Hip-hop-"Hit the Floor" Twista (Ft. Pitbull)-Performed with Dmitry Chaplin

Samba-"Mas Que Nada" Sergio Mendes (Ft. The Black Eyed Peas)-Performed with Dmitry Chaplin (Joy eliminated)

Benjamin Susak[edit]

Benjamin Susak, born November 2, 1987, in Phoenix, Arizona, is a specialist in contemporary dance, trained in ballet, tap, lyrical and hip-hop. He reached the top 20 contestants before being eliminated with Aleksandra Wodja in week three of the series.[3] He also auditioned with Glee star Heather Morris, who was sadly voted out in the green mile.

Dances performed

80's Disco-"Flashdance...What a Feeling" Irene Cara-Performed with Ashlee Nino

American Jive-"Great Balls of Fire" Jerry Lee Lewis-Performed with Ashlee Nino

Hip-Hop-"Caught Up" Usher-Performed with Ashlee Nino (Ben Eliminated)

Jaymz Tuaileva[edit]

Tuaileva, an American jazz dancer, was born February 25, 1986, in Orem, Utah. He trained at the Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem, and has danced as an extra in the film Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde[4] and High School Musical 2, where he also had a speaking role. He reached the top fourteen couples before being eliminated with Jessica Fernandez on July 6, 2006.[3]

70's Disco-"Disco Inferno" The Trammps-Performed with Jessica Fernandez

Foxtrot-"Why Don't You Do Right" Sinead O'Connor-Performed with Jessica Fernandez

Contemporary-"Let Go" Frou Frou-Performed with Jessica Fernandez

Hip-Hop-"I Can Make You Dance" Zapp-Performed with Jessica Fernandez

Travis Wall[edit]

Main article: Travis Wall

Travis Wall is an American dance teacher, specializing in contemporary dance. He began dancing at the age of 3, training at his mother's studio, Denise Wall's Dance Energy, and at conventions. He was runner-up for the series.

Jason Williams[edit]

Born on May 5, 1986, in Wilmington, North Carolina, Jason Williams is a lyrical, hip-hop, jazz and funk specialist who started dancing at the age of 4. He was a top 20 finalist but was eliminated in week 2 of the series, with Joy Spears. He currently lives in North Hollywood, CA. He is now currently working as a choreographer at So You Think You Can Dance

Dances performed

Contemporary-"Unwritten" Natasha Bedingfield-Performed with Aleksandra Wojda

Hip-hop-"Wrath of Kane" Big Daddy Kane-Performed with Aleksandra Wojda (Jason Eliminated)

Aleksandra Wojda[edit]

Aleksandra Wojda, born on October 8, 1983, in Pretoria, South Africa, is a dance teacher specialising in contemporary, lyrical and jazz. She began dancing at age 5 and taught at the Inspire School of Dance in Plainfield, IL. for two years. She was initially paired on the series with Jason Williams but after his elimination in week two, was partnered with Dmitry Chaplin. She was eliminated with Ben Susak in week three. Once she was eliminated her partner Dmitry was joked around as having a curse because he lost 2 partners in a row

Contemporary-"Unwritten" Natasha Bedingfield-Performed with Jason Williams

Hip-Hop-"Wrath of Kane" Big Daddy Kane-Performed with Jason Willams (Jason was eliminated)

Waltz-"If I Were a Painting" Kenny Rogers-Performed with Dmitry Chaplin (Aleksandra eliminated)

See also[edit]