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HOME > So You Think You Can Dance > So You Think You Can Dance 10

'So You Think You Can Dance' winner Amy Yakima: Fik-Shun taught me something amazing about dance


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/13/2013 

So You Think You Can Dance crowned female dancer Amy Yakima and male dancer DuShaunt "Fik-Shun" Stegall its two tenth-season champions during Tuesday night's live finale broadcast of the Fox reality dance competition.

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Amy, a 19-year-old jazz dancer from Northville, MI, and Fik-Shun, an 18-year-old hip-hop dancer from Las Vegas, NV, were declared the winners of So You Think You Can Dance and "America's favorite dancers" based on home viewer votes cast for the Top 4 finalists immediately following last week's performance show. Amy had pulled in the most home viewer votes of all the remaining finalists.

As the season's champions, Amy and Fik-Shun will each receive over a $100,000 cash prize and a cover appearance on Dance Spirit magazine. They beat out the runner-up female and male dancers Jasmine Harper and Aaron Turner respectively.
 
During a Wednesday conference call with reporters, Amy talked to Reality TV World about her victory and overall experience on the show. To read what she had to say, click here. Below are some additional highlights from her call. Click here to begin reading Fik-Shun's interview.

Something obviously clicked when you and Fik-Shun were paired together, it was the perfect combination.  What was your reaction the first time you got paired with him?  What struck you about him just as far as what you had in common with him or opposite him that you found interesting? 

Amy Yakima: We were talking and I think we have the same work ethic.  We're kind of perfectionists when it comes down to it.  Yes, there are little things that were different and we learned how to work with each other and communicate, but at the start, our chemistry just clicked right away because of how hard we worked.

How tall are you? You and Fik-Shun appeared to be a couple of the shorter contestants this season. And then please talk about your hip-hop background a little bit.

Amy Yakima: I'm 5'3", so we're definitely "Team Small."  Actually, my boyfriend's a hip-hop dancer, and I've just grown up taking hip-hop classes.  I don't feel comfortable, yet, and I don't think I ever will feel comfortable, but I still want to pursue hip-hop and keep training in it. 

I've always had hip-hop classes since I was little, but I'm definitely going to add a lot more, especially because I have Fik-Shun to keep up with over here.

I was just wondering what your plans are for the future.  I know you've got the tour coming up, but what do you plan to do once the tour is over?

Amy Yakima: Just keep pursuing dance.  I want to keep training, I want to keep getting better, I want to keep growing.  I don't want to close any doors; I want to open many possibilities. 

I want to do movies, I want to do companies, I want to be in a music video, go on tour with someone.  I want to do it all. I just want to dance.  It's just the beginning.  We've only done So You Think.  We've got to get ourselves back out there, because now it's on us to dive into the dance industry.

I read that you're at school studying now and that you're taking some online classes.  Are you planning to still study, and what are you actually studying?  What's your major?

Amy Yakima: I'm planning on still studying.  One of the things I've always wanted is to never put my dance career on the side for school.  I want to do it all at the same time, I want to make room.  I know that's a lot to put on my plate, but if I just relaxed, I only have one life, so I've got to do it all now.

I'm going to keep taking classes online.  My cousin has been taking classes online.  She's my biggest idol.  I'm kind of following her.  I don't know major-wise -- I'm actually, it's not related to dance.  It's more computer graphics.  I want to major in that, as well as dance can be my true, true passion.

How was it to share your victory moment with Fik-Shun considering you guys had been paired since Top 20?

Amy Yakima: It was kind of perfect.

Season 10 was certainly full of a lot of extremely talented dancers, including your fellow finalists, Aaron and Jasmine.  What do you think set you and Fik-Shun apart from the rest of the pack?

Amy Yakima: I think that, yes, we were "Team Tall" and "Team Small," but I think all of us were completely different dancers.  Fik-Shun was a hip-hop dancer that had not as much training as everyone else.  I was a technical dancer; I was more jazzy than contemporary.  Jasmine could just do everything, she was just beautiful.  And Aaron's a tap dancer and is the best performer I've ever seen.

We all had something different.  Also, they were partners from the beginning too, so people saw them grow together as well as they saw us.  We really got to shine together, and then we really got to shine when we got to dance with all-stars.

It was a whole journey.  You had to be yourself.  That's what I wanted to do since the beginning, just to go on the show, not let it change me, and just be who I was from the beginning.

Are you planning on staying in Detroit or moving to Los Angeles or New York or something?

Amy Yakima: I think LA is my next step.  The dance world is really out here.  If I want to start in the business, I'm going to have to go to auditions.  It's only the beginning.

You mentioned your cousin is an inspiration to you. Could you tell us a little more about her?

Amy Yakima: Yes, she is from Detroit.  [Her name is] Elisabeth Bork.  I'm the oldest out of my two younger sisters, so she's been my big sister.  She was always someone that we could talk about boys, and we talk about all the things that I never got to have. 

She just pushed me in the right path to lead my life.  She's from Detroit.  She's a dancer; She's a Rockette.  She's also the sweetest, most humble person you will ever meet.  So I think that's one thing I will always aspire because of her.

How do you feel you grew during the season and what you were able to do that you couldn't ever have imagined doing when the process started?

Amy Yakima: This journey has been crazy.  Something that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be doing is an Argentine tango. I really, really want to take that up again. 

There are so many things that -- it's not like you didn't think you could do it, it's just you didn't even think of the possibility that you could, or were open to it.  I think being able to say, "Okay, you're going to do ballroom now, get in your heels and go," I think I'm going to bring that element to my own dancing as well.  That's what I'm going to take back from this journey.

Can you describe what happened onstage when you won?  Did you see your parents and your dance teacher and your friends and everyone who came out from Detroit to see you last night?

Amy Yakima: Yes, I did.  I was standing on the stage with Jasmine, and we were holding hands with each other.  I saw my mom and my dad, my sisters, my cousin, and some people -- they kind of had this look like, "Whatever happens, happens."  I looked around and thought, "This is the most amazing stage possible."

I was thinking back to all the memories, all the dances that I did on that stage, and it was so amazing to have the people I hold closest to me there watching.  Even if I didn't win, it was just to have them there.  I knew they were very, very proud.

Did you get to actually visit your family and friends after the show?

Amy Yakima: Yes, I did.  I finally got to run and give my mom a hug and all of them.  We were just grinning.  We saw them outside and were jumping up and down while still trying to give each other hugs.  It was definitely well worth the wait for that hug.

Did you learn anything from Fik-Shun about various aspects of dance?

Amy Yakima: Oh, I learned a lot from [him].  He has the best musical ear you could ever imagine.  He hears things that I'm like, "Where was that music?"  He taught me how to listen to the music and actually live through the music instead of just going by the count.  That's what I learned.

Are you anxious to get back home? Will you get to hang out at all?

Amy Yakima: I don't know, I'm hoping so.  It's the first city, so I can't wait to start the tour off in my own hometown.  That'll be awesome.

Were there any dance styles or choreographers that you have not had the chance to work with or perform with on So You Think You Can Dance that you would have liked to?

Amy Yakima: Oh, Spencer, Spencer Liff.  We never got to do Broadway on the show.  And he said that, he said, "I never got you two.  We did not do Broadway."

For the tour, were there any dances that other contestants performed you'd love to see danced on the tour?

Amy Yakima: Aaron and Jasmine's hip-hop.

What cities are you most looking forward to traveling to?

Amy Yakima: I think Canada. And then, the first city is my hometown, so I cannot wait to come back home and see everyone.

Tell me a little bit about how you got into the Detroit dance scene and what that was like?

Amy Yakima: Out in LA, there's a lot more dancing jobs, there's a lot more dance available.  Back in Detroit, I was just stuck in my studio teaching.  I was trying to get out there. 

I'll never forget my training and that's what brought me here and brought me to this time and place.  I don't know, I don't necessarily call it Detroit dancing, it's just one of those things that wherever you are, you get the training that you want because you love to dance.

Were you more excited or nervous going into last night's finale?

Amy Yakima: He nailed that.  You're excited, but you feel, though, that you have a little bit of expectation.  You did this number once, and you're expected to do it as well or even better.  I think one thing, going into the finale, it was just like, "This is our last time to dance on this stage, let's leave it all out there."  That's what I did and that's really what I'll remember from that night.

How do you think Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy did with their take on your "Let's Get It On" routine?

Amy Yakima: They are stars -- stars in the making. They have all the qualities. They really went for it.

Is it clear to you how much you're getting?  Is it $100,000, or $125,000?  Both sums have been mentioned on the show.

Amy Yakima: I don't even know! We don't know. I'll be happy with whatever I get.

What does it cost your family to give you the training and the experience that helped get you here?  Can you talk a little bit about the dedication that goes into something like what your past has been like?

Amy Yakima: I guess there's no real cost that comes into play.  I have, really, the world's best parents.  They can see that dance is my passion and I really want to pursue it, as well as my sisters.  They're willing to do whatever it takes to get me the training I need.

My mom is probably the best travel agency.  She knows how to contact everyone.  She has the best connections.  She knows how to get me the best opportunities and she's the best agent.  I don't know if I can get one without her. 

It hasn't cost my family anything because we wouldn't be as close as we are if we didn't have dance in our family.  It's just something that we all can relate to.  Even if it's not everyone's huge passion, it's always just been something that we all understand together.  Even my dad, even my cousin, my mom dances, as well.  It's always been about that's how we express ourselves and that's how our family works.

First of all, you mentioned your mom dances, your dad doesn't dance, is that right? 

Amy Yakima: My dad's an ER physician.  My mom was a cell biologist at the same hospital, that's how they met.  But she had three kids and they took over.  It took us forever to get my dad to start at our studio, and finally he agreed.  He may look like a goofball, but he loves it. 

He got a picture with Twitch yesterday and he was obsessed.  He was like, you know what, the only moves I can do are the "old man moves" and he was doing it.  It was so good.  I was like, "Dad, that's it. That's it." 

Above are some additional highlights from Amy's Wednesday call with reporters. Click here to read what she had to tell Reality TV World. Also, click here to begin reading Fik-Shun's interview.



(Photo credit Fox)


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