From the very start, Amy Yakima and Fik-Shun Stegall, both 19, were a package deal. America seemed to think so too, since viewers voted them America’s favorite female and male dancers on season 10 of So You Think You Can Dance.
The duo, affectionately deemed “Team Small” by viewers, is the first set of winners to also have been dance partners from the beginning of the season. (Remember that hip-hop bellhop routine?)
Despite Yakima’s jazz background and Stegall’s hip-hop inclinations, the pair clicked right away.
“I think we have the same work ethic,” Yakima told reporters after the victory. “We’re kind of perfectionists when it comes down to it. I think America loves to watch two people grow together, and we did.”
Admittedly, runners-up Jasmine Harper and Aaron Turner grew together, too. Yakima spoke to the talent of their competitors: “Jasmine is a beautiful dancer. She dances way longer, more extended than [me]. And Aaron’s a tap dancer and is the best performer I’ve ever seen.”
So what pushed Yakima and Stegall ahead? “To be honest, it was just in the hands of America to vote, and they just happened to vote our way, which was awesome,” Stegall said.
But perhaps the growth that the winners demonstrated helped turn the vote their way. “We started literally from nothing; we had no idea who each other were or what we were about,” Yakima said. “We grew every single week with whatever style we were given.”
The pair credits their improvement to one another. “Amy’s definitely had more training than me, by far,” Stegall said. “I felt like I definitely did grow a lot because of her. [She] tells me what it is I should be doing and then explains it to me in a way that makes sense.”
“He taught me how to listen to the music and actually live through the music instead of just going by the count,” Yakima said of Stegall.
There’s no rest in sight for the SYTYCD winners and finalists. Training has already begun for a 42-city tour.
“I think it’s going to be fun; there’s going to be less pressure because it’s not competition,” Stegall said. “We’re going to feed off each other’s energy. I feel like that’s how we’ve made it this far, throughout the season. The Top 20— we were all so close— and anytime we had to go through the long days, we always huddled up, we always came together.”
With sights set beyond the tour, both Yakima and Stegall view SYTYCD as a stepping stone to a bigger dance career.
“I think L.A. is my next step. The dance world is really out here,” Yakima said.
The two winners walk away from the show with a cash prize of $125,000 each.
The “So You Think You Can Dance” tour comes to Sands Bethlehem Oct. 16, Pine Belt Area in Toms River, NJ, Oct. 17 and Mohegan Sun Arena Oct. 18.