Danny Tidwell, Of ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ Dead At 35

Danny Tidwell on So You Think You Can Dance (screen capture)

Acclaimed dancer and choreographer Danny Tidwell, who first came to the national spotlight as the runner-up of Season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance, has passed away. He was 35.

Eonline is reporting Tidwell died in a car accident on Friday.

Travis Wall, who was the runner-up of Season 2 of SYTYCD, shared the news via a post on Instagram.

“My heart is broken,” began Wall. “Yesterday I lost a brother. And we all lost a gift. I’m not ready. But I never think I will be. Because I can’t believe this is real.”

“I can’t believe you’re gone,” continued Wall. “You were more than my brother. You were my inspiration. I idolized you growing up. Wanted to dance just like you. Wanted to be you!”

“I wish I could jump in your arms again like we used to when we were kids and onstage dancing,” he added. “We will all remember the joy and passion you brought to everyone you came in contact with through out your journey. A journey cut to short. You are a legend. And I love you so much Danny. Rest In Peace my brother. I can’t believe I’m even typing this . Please pray for my mom and my family during this difficult time.”

 

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My heart is broken. Yesterday I lost a brother . And we all lost a gift. I’m not ready. But I never think I will be. Because I can’t believe this is real. I can’t believe you’re gone. You were more than my brother. You were my inspiration. I idolized you growing up. Wanted to dance just like you. Wanted to be you! I wish I could jump in your arms again like we used to when we were kids and onstage dancing. We will all remember the joy and passion you brought to everyone you came in contact with through out your journey. A journey cut to short. You are a legend. And I love you so much Danny. Rest In Peace my brother. I can’t believe I’m even typing this . Please pray for my mom and my family during this difficult time. 💔💔💔

A post shared by Travis Wall (@traviswall) on

Tidwell was adopted by Wall’s mother when he was 12-years-old.

Tidwell began his dance journey when he was only 8-years-old in an after-school program for at-risk kids. He would go on to attend the Kirov Academy of Ballet and win a silver medal in the USA International Ballet Competition.

His performing career included dancing for Debbie Allen, Mia Michaels, and the American Ballet Theatre. In September 2009, he made his Broadway debut in Memphis.

Since September 2010, Tidwell has lived in Oslo where he was hired as a soloist for Norway’s National Ballet.

In 2014, Tidwell married journalist David Benaym who also paid tribute to his late husband on Saturday.

“I’m devastated that my Danny, the love of my life, my beloved friend, the artist, the talented angel, fierce mind, legendary dancer, my now late husband, Danny Tidwell died last night in a car crash while his friend was driving him home from work,” wrote Benaym. “We were so lucky to have him, life was so challenging for him. But he was a warrior, and he came back standing, always. We loved each other so much, he was and always will be family.”

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I'm devastated that my Danny, the love of my life, my beloved friend, the artist, the talented angel, fierce mind, legendary dancer, my now late husband, Danny Tidwell died last night in a car crash while his friend was driving him home from work. I'm thinking of Denise, Travis, Scott, Tyler and Shannon, Grandma, his sisters Latoya and Ronda, his friend that was with him, Eddy, that survives him, and all his dance family that is already expressing the state of shock we are all in. We were so lucky to have him, life was so challenging for him. But he was a warrior, and he came back standing, always. We loved each other so much, he was and always will be family. He made me the happiest for so many years, we were able to create so much together, a book and a show, Moving Still, an amazing magazine adventure for 7 years, movmnt magazine, that made us so proud. He had such an impact on the dance world, life gave him so much to deal with from a young age. I will write more about you Danny, tell your story, continue your legacy, make sure that you are not forgotten, that you are celebrated. An angel with no wings you said you were, you were flying all along, and you'll be our guardian angel from now on. I love you, I'll forever miss you. You're now in peace, mon Danny, and I know you know how much you were loved. #dannytidwell

A post shared by David BENAYM (@benaym) on

Rest in peace, Danny Tidwell.

Here’s just a small taste of the talent and brilliance we have lost.

Casting For Broadway CATS Revival To Include SYTYCD Winner Ricky Ubeda

Ricky Ubeda to play “Mr. Mistoffelees” in Broadway revival of Cats

Ricky Ubeda, season 11 winner of So You Think You Can Dance, will be featured in the upcoming Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats as “the magical Mr. Mistoffelees.”

Previews will begin July 14 prior to an official opening July 31 at the Neil Simon Theatre (250 W. 52nd Street).

From Playbill:

The company will include Giuseppe Bausilio as Carbucketty, Quentin Earl Darrington as Old Deuteronomy, Jeremy Davis as Skimbleshanks, Kim Faure as Demeter, Sara Jean Ford as Jellylorum, Lili Froehlich as Electra, Daniel Gaymon as Macavity, Shonica Gooden as Rumpleteazer, Christopher Gurr as Gus/Bustopher Jones, Tyler Hanes as Rum Tum Tugger, Andy Jones as Munkustrap, Kolton Krouse as Tumblebrutus, Eloise Kropp as Jennyanydots / Gumbie, Jess LeProtto as Mungojerrie, Georgina Pazcoguin as Victoria, Emily Pynenburg as Cassandra, Arianna Rosario as Sillabub, Ahmad Simmons as Alonzo, Christine Cornish Smith Bombalurina, Corey Snide as Coricopat, Emily Tate as Tantomile, Ricky Ubeda as Mistoffelees, and Sharrod Williams as Pouncival,as well as Richard Todd Adams, Aaron Albano, Callan Bergmann, Claire Camp, Francesca Granell, Jessica Hendy, Harris Milgrim, Madison Mitchell, Nathan Patrick Morgan and Megan Ort.

Casting for the role of “Grizabella” will be announced at some point in the near future. Elaine Paige won the Olivier Award for her powerful turn as the “Glamour Cat” in the original London company, and Betty Buckley won the Tony Award for her powerful portrayal on Broadway.

I have a personal interest in the production, and in Ubeda’s casting, as I spent two years of my early career playing “Mistoffelees” on the national tour of Cats back in the 1980s when the show first hit the U.S.

Congrats to Ricky and all the new kitties!

Me as “Mr. Mistoffelees” in Cats

Dance solo “Unstoppable” by Michael Dameski – So You Think You Can Dance Australia

Michael Dameski of SYTYCD Australia

Australia’s TV Tonight writes:

Judge Paula Abdul told TV Tonight, it was the most amazing routine she had seen on any version of the show.

“Professionally, I’ve never witnessed anything as special as this. You can’t even articulate it. I can’t begin to tell you, it was that awesome,” she said.

“It prompted an emotional response. I jumped up. The rest of the judges jumped up and the entire studio audience was on their feet, screaming and teary-eyed.”

The applause went on for so long the show had to drastically edit it down and re-introduce the remaining male dancers.

Dance: Ricky Ubeda “Vitality”

Ricky Ubeda of So You Think You Can Dance
Ricky Ubeda

Seventeen years old.  This is someone born to dance.

Besides the obvious flexibility and extension, note his technique, control, feel for dynamics, and connection to what he’s expressing – all right there.  Artistry.

He should have a terrific career.

From the clip description:

Choreography by Victor Smalley & Angel Armas
Age 17
Stars Dance Studio
League of Champions 2013
TITLE Winning Solo