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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 DuShaunt "Fik-Shun" Stegall: I have to be bigger than life when I perform because I'm small


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/13/2013 

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

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Fik-Shun, an 18-year-old hip-hop dancer from Las Vegas, NV, and Amy, a 19-year-old jazz dancer from Northville, MI, 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.

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

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

Fik-Shun: Working together for our first piece, which was a duet together, we had our little differences.  But realizing we were the same as far as work ethic, we really saw in each other that we really wanted it.  We wanted to work hard to get the best performance we possibly could.

Once we realized that that's how we think, that we think alike in that aspect, and that we had the chemistry when we went onstage, we pretty much knew that it was going to be a good partnership.  We knew that we could always connect.

How tall are you, just wondering?

Fik-Shun: Well, I'm 5'6 1/2."

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

Fik-Shun: Speaking of the tour, I'm really excited about that, to go travel and just go see different places where I don't travel much.  But after the tour, I think it's going to suck that the dance family -- we'll still be a family and everything -- but just to not perform with everybody again is going to be a little bit of a downer.

I definitely want to keep pursuing dance in any way I can and try to stay out there.  I would like to go into movies or any type of commercial work, that would be amazing.  Possibly, I don't know, some choreography.
 
I heard Nigel Lythgoe stressing to you guys that this is a launching platform and then you've got to decide what you're going to do after that.

Fik-Shun: He definitely did.  It made sense because he let us know that it really is only the first step to a bigger world because there's more out there than just So You Think You Can Dance.  He reminded us of that and informed us that we can do so much more with what we have and our talent.  We're definitely going to take those words into consideration and go for it. 

Fik-Shun, what are you studying now in school?

Fik-Shun: When I was going to school, I was studying in communications, because I figured if I'm not dancing, then I'm probably talking. (Laughs)  So that was definitely what I took up.  As far as right now, I'm going to probably put school on hold until after the tour. 

Honestly, my goal and my dream has always been to be a dancer first -- not that I don't appreciate having a good education.  I feel like it's good, I probably should go to school.  But right now, I really want to go as hard as I can in my dance career.  Just focus on "Plan A."

As partners from the very beginning of the Top 20, how was it to share your victory moment with Amy?

Fik-Shun: It kind of all just played out.  We just had to give each other a big hug and realize that we really started from the bottom, and now we're here.  It was really cool.

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 Amy apart from the rest of the pack?

Fik-Shun: I felt like, at the end, it was all about showing who you are and always staying true to yourself.  I felt like once we did that, you just let America see that and then they take it how they take it.  Some like it more than others, some reject it, but you don't know unless you try. 

You always want to give it your all, no matter what, and always stay true to yourself.  I feel like we did that the whole season, as well as Jasmine and Aaron.  To be honest, it was just in the hands of America to vote, and they just happened to vote our way, which was awesome. 

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

Fik-Shun: For me, I really feel like I've stretched my limits, and gone beyond my thought of what I can and can't do.  To be honest, I never tell myself I can't do anything, but I always have my doubts about how hard it's going to be -- if I can do it to the point to where I feel it should be presented. 

I was really challenged with doing that every week with different styles, especially ballroom because there's so much technique in it and you have to retain it all and also perform, which was really a challenge.  It was really cool that I got to grow as far as learning different techniques and different styles. 

I felt that I could put that with my own style, as well.  I strongly believe in versatility, and I feel like throughout the journey, I've gotten to learn that with dance, especially dancing with Amy, just being more aware of the things I'm doing wrong, like making things bigger.  That's one thing that Amy always drilled into my head.  Now, whenever I perform, I think I have to be bigger than life because we're small people. 

Do you have a sense of whether it's easier for some kinds of dancers who specialize in certain styles or genres -- whether it's hip-hop or ballroom -- to succeed on So You Think You Can Dance?  Obviously, you and Amy come from two different backgrounds, so do you think some people have it easier because of the kind of dancing they do or is it just whatever their training might be?

Fik-Shun: Honestly, I feel like it's more about your mindset and your ability to learn and pick up really easily.  Some people are visual learners, some people can just hear things and learn that way.  Me, personally, I'm a visual learner.  When I see it, I try to mimic it as closely as possible and then try to add my own flair to it. 

But I don't think it had anything to do with the dance on the show.  I feel like you just have to be open to know that you're about to be out of your comfort zone, so go for it as much as you can and work hard to get it where you know it needs to be. I believe it's more of a mindset than you coming in with a specific style. 

Have you had the kind of formal dance training that Amy has?  Did Amy make you better, do you think?  Did you learn a lot from her about various aspects of dance?

Fik-Shun: Amy's definitely had more training than me, by far.  I felt like I definitely did grow a lot because of her -- of her stature as far as her technique and what she can do.  [I'd say], "Tell me what it is I should be doing and then explain it to me in a way that makes sense." 

I feel like she knows it so inside and out that she knows how to explain it to someone who doesn't do that or wouldn't get it if you explained it to somebody who understands more about jazz and contemporary and whatnot. So definitely a big help was from Amy, hands down.  It definitely made our rehearsals easier.  I can definitely just say thank you.

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?

Fik-Shun: Amy and I really would have loved to get Spencer Liff or [Dee Caspary], we never got Dee.  I've seen his work and I was really just like, "Wow, that would be something that I would want to do."  So yes, there are a couple that we definitely didn't get a chance to work with that I would have loved to work with.

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

Fik-Shun: I would definitely want to see Aaron and Jasmine's hip-hop.  And I would love to see [Paul Karmiryan] and [Makenzie Dustman]'s Viennese waltz.  That one was really -- when he did his waltz, when Paul did his waltz, I really thought [about it], because I had to waltz later on. 

I remember the choreographer asking me, "If you could be like anybody sophisticated, who would it be?"  And I said Paul, because when he does his ballroom, he's just like Prince Charming.  I just feel like he has "it."  That was the "it" that I had to look for and find for my waltz.  I would definitely love to see that one on tour.

So you don't even get a chance to relax, now.  It's straight on to that 42-city tour.  How do you carry the energy from the season into the tour or do you feel like it's going to be a more fun, less pressure situation?

Fik-Shun: I feel like it's definitely going to be a lot of fun, but I also feel like 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.  As Season 10 as a whole, 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.  We just talked about what we had to do and focused and we just gave each other everything we had of ourselves. 

I feel like that's the same thing we're going to do on tour.  I think it's going to be fun; There's going to be less pressure because it's not competition.  We're going to be able to just enjoy it, just enjoy ourselves and continue to give each other that energy that we need to boost our spirits. 

I just wanted to narrow down the timeline a little bit for you.  First of all, Fik-Shun, they always list you as from Wichita but actually performing and residing in Las Vegas.  Tell us, was there a time when you moved out to Las Vegas?  And tell us when you became "Fik-Shun."

Fik-Shun: I was in Kansas up until my sixth grade year.  I think I was about 12-years-old.  Then I moved to Las Vegas for seventh grade through my high school graduation.

Not many people move to Las Vegas.  Were your folks working out there, or what happened?

Fik-Shun: They figured there'd be more opportunities for my whole family, for all of us, if we moved to Vegas.  In Wichita, Kansas, I was a dancer back then and I've loved it since I was two, but there's really not much you can do in Wichita, Kansas as far as dance and being seen much. 

So my dad just thought it'd be a good opportunity for everybody to go to Vegas and try things out there.  I feel like it turned out really good.  That's where I found street performing and also where I found the name "Fik-Shun." 

Better yet, it was given to me by a friend of my mine my freshman year in high school.  He saw me dance and he was telling me how when I dance, it doesn't look real.  I told him, "Yes, I get that a lot."  He was like, "Okay, if you really want a dance name, you should be 'Fik-Shun.'"  Then I sat on it for a little bit and it just slowly grew on me.  Vegas was definitely a good move for me, I believe.

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

Fik-Shun: Honestly, it was funny, I didn't even know myself.  I sat down and talked to Marco, one of the all-stars.  He was telling me, "How do you feel?" And I was like, "I'm nervous."  And he was like, "No, you're not nervous."  And I was like, "No I am.  I can feel it in my body.  I'm getting butterflies, my fingers are tingling," and all this stuff. 

He was like, "No, you're getting nervous confused with excited.  You want to go out there, you want to dance, and you want to have fun, right?"  I was like, "Yes, I do."  And he's like, "Yes, that's because you're excited.  Don't get your nerves mixed with excited.  You're not about to pass out and you're not hyperventilating.  You're not nervous, you're excited."

We just had a little talk about that, and I realize now that I was just more excited to have fun and dance like those last times onstage and do some of my favorite numbers.  So yes, I definitely have to say I thought I was nervous, but it turns out I was just really excited.

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

Fik-Shun: Honestly, I think it was one of the best of the night. They are [stars].  They have that "it" factor.  It was all there.  I mean, some of the technique was a little -- but the performance was awesome. (Laughs) They definitely brought it in the performance.

Fik-Shun, when your whole family moved out to Las Vegas, what did your folks there?

Fik-Shun: Well, my stepmom's in the military.  She was in the military even in Kansas, and she just continued that in Vegas.  My dad, he taught a martial arts school in Kansas for about 15 years.  He opened up another school in Vegas, and he also does a lot of security work in Vegas.  Yes, that was their thing.  My dad's definitely a martial artist first and then security second.

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



(Photo credit Fox)


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