Over its 17 seasons, “So You Think You Can Dance” has propelled gifted dancers and choreographers.
Few, however, matched the impact of Steven “tWitch” Boss (shown here), who died Tuesday (Dec. 13) at 40.
The death – ruled suicide by the Los Angeles County medical examiner – is inexplicable. Boss was a vibrant force who had a wife, three kids and an enviable career.
Long, lean and limber, he was a hyperactive kid who got his nickname early. He grew up in Alabama, studied dance in college, was a semi-finalist on one show (“The Wade Robson Project”), then made his mark on another.
“So You Think You Can Dance” seemed to lean strongly toward contemporary dancers. Contestants keep switching choreographers and partners, while doing duets that often tell stories.
Boss didn’t quite fit. He was taller (at 6-foot) than most dancers and accustomed to freeform, hip-hop moves. He was eliminated early in the third season, but came back the next year, when hip hoppers finished first (Joshua Allen) and second (Boss).
Ever since, the street styles – hip hop, krump, popping, etc. — have done fairly well on the show. Boss became one of the “all-star” dancers, then a guest judge and a mentor. He was often on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, as a DJ, a sidekick and even an executive producer.
After a two-year pandemic pause, “So You Think You Can Dance” finally returned to Fox this summer. Nigel Lythgoe, the show’s producer and main judge, wasn’t brought back; instead, Boss was in the center of the judging panel, taking on some of the duties. He seemed, as always, to be someone who loved dancing, people and life.