So You Think You Can Dance
Photo: Fox
PAGE 3
If you love...So You Think You Can Dance
You might want to give back to...The Susan G. Komen Foundation

When Tyce Diorio choreographed a contemporary dance routine last season, his intention wasn't to bring the reality competition's unflappable judges to tears, even though he did. He had no plans to raise breast cancer awareness in the entire arts community, though he did that too. He just wanted to give a friend a gift. "I had a really dear friend who was dealing with breast cancer. I thought I could maybe choreograph a piece for her to let her know I was thinking about her and was with her in spirit," he says. The piece featured two dancers, Melissa and Ade, playing out a married couple's journey when a woman learns she has breast cancer. "I was thinking, 'What really happens to two people when they have to face that together?'" Diorio says. "There's a moment when Melissa runs up to Ade, grabs his face and starts beating on his chest. I thought that would really happen, or it would feel like that's what you want to do, just punch the wall. I told Ade he would be like a brick wall for her. I would imagine that a husband has to be that for his wife." Even the costume choices packed a punch. "I was trying to decide whether or not I would put Melissa in a head scarf. Some friends told me not to, but I thought, 'How do you tell that story without telling the truth?'" The dance became a series favorite, but better than the judges' gushing reaction was the phone call Diorio got on the morning of the season finale. "My friend called and said: 'I got my test results today. I'm cancer-free.' It was unbelievable," he says. "Life imitates art, and art imitates life. It was a very special moment in time."

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