I think there should be a Teen Wolf / So You Think You Can Dance AU. Skip to the top ten, all the usual suspects. You’ve got the regular judges Nigel - who pretty consistently pervs on Erica all the female candidates (and their moms) - and Mary. Thank goodness this is a non-werewolf AU or those dudes eardrums would be shattered by how often Mary has screamed at their shirtless glory. Special guest judges include Finstock, who was possibly single-handedly responsible for getting Greenberg sent home early in the competition, and Deaton, whose critiques are so vague and cryptic that they are basically unintelligible. Peter Hale also did an episode as the sassiest guest judge ever, but they had to ask him not to come back again. For reasons.
The show has really been playing up the sweetheart couple Scott and Allison, two contemporary dancers who met during the very first round of auditions and have been an item ever since. They weren’t paired up until Greenberg got the boot, but since then they have proven their chemistry as dance partners, most notably in a Mia Michaels routine that actually made Finstock cry. Finstock later claimed that he was crying because he missed Greenberg, but there was no denying there had been a ~moment on stage. The routine was all about young lovers who were being kept apart, but the dazzling power of their love overcame all obstacles. Scott was shirtless. And possibly also crying. Whatever, it was beautiful.
So you’ve got Scott, bringing some serious power to his leaps and lifts and Allison all willowy and graceful. Scott can barely talk about anything but his exceptional partner in his interview clips and Mama McCall is a fierce cheerleader. Though she has learned to avoid being in Nigel and Mary’s line of sight, because if there is any more talk of hot tamales in her direction she will cut a bitch. And not sew that shit up, even though she knows how to because she is a nurse extraordinaire.
(Possibly Nurse!Mama McCall has stepped up on more than one occasion, most memorably that time Jackson was nearly concussed by a high kick gone wild. He doesn’t like to talk about it.)
Jackson and Lydia have been ballroom dance partners since childhood. They were the Junior Ballroom Latin Dance Champions two years running and have some sort of on-again, off-again relationship that translates into smoking chemistry on the dance floor and barbed sniping at nearly all other times (except that time Jackson got slightly concussed, but Lydia doesn’t talk about that).
They were not paired up for most of the competition, given their history, but the weeks they share the stage their routines are electric. Lydia owns the cha-cha and the way she and Jackson twirl and shimmy across the stage truly is a sight to behold. Mary is in love with them. She spends a lot of time rhapsodizing over Jackson’s “form.” Jackson... kind of loves that, ngl. Being on the show appeals not only to Lydia and Jackson’s competitive spirits, but is pretty ego-stoking as well.
The show has also done wonders for bringing hip-hop dancer Erica out of her shell. As the season progressed Erica grew in confidence while her costumes seemed to shrink in coverage. The top ten episode featured her and Boyd in a powerhouse Nappy Tabs hip-hop routine that brought all the judges to their feet. There is a lot of speculation about Erica & Boyd’s relationship, but there is no denying the chemistry between them on stage. It was that chemistry that surely saved them from getting eliminated the week they had to dance the dreaded Quickstep.
Isaac still can’t believe he is in the Top Ten. When he left the ballet company he was touring with to audition for the show, his father raged at him (nothing new, sad to say, his father had also had problems with Isaac pursuing ballet in the first place), but Isaac saw it for the opportunity it was. Ballet was Isaac’s first love, following in his mother’s footsteps, but he couldn’t help but want to broaden his experience. People still talk about Isaac’s audition solo and he will never get over hearing his name and Alex Wong in the same sentence.
Over the season Isaac has had several different dance partners as those around him continued to be eliminated. And Isaac would never want to disparage any of the other dancers, but it’s pretty apparent he has not had a partner so well suited for him until he was paired up with Danny. Danny, the contemporary dancer who has endeared himself to his competitors and fans alike. Danny has shone in routines as diverse as the tango, krump (no, really!) and Bollywood. But the Travis Wall choreographed contemporary routine he and Isaac dance is by far both of their best performances of the season.
When Isaac and Danny faced the judges for their critique they could not stop shooting small smiles at each other and didn’t stop holding hands the whole time. Cat Deeley looked like she wanted to eat them up. She sandwiched herself between them in a big hug, to the envy of many, many fans. When Isaac talks about how being on the show changed his life for the better he means that in the very best way possible.
Derek Hale does not know why he is on this stupid show. He is so mad at himself for letting Laura convince him to audition. And now here he is stuck in the Top Ten. He knew when Laura didn’t make it through initial auditions as his Ballroom partner that he should have called it quits, but she pushed him to carry on, and he couldn’t let her down. Besides each other, dance was the one thing they had left from before and it kind of meant the world to both of them. But it didn’t mean he was happy to still be on this stupid show. No, not at all.
It wasn’t Derek’s fault he made his first partner cry. If she couldn’t pick up the stupid routine, why was she even on the show to begin with? And Derek did not understand the costumer’s aversion to shirts. Doing the Vienese waltz in nothing but some snug black dress trousers didn’t make a lot of sense to Derek. But nothing about this stupid show made sense to him. Why was Mary always yelling? Why were they always trying to interview him? Especially about his past. He just wanted to dance, dammit.
Derek did not do a very good job of smiling at the camera like the producers wanted him to, but he had yet to be in the bottom three. He never had trouble handling the different routines that came his way (though, jesus, that Tyce jazz number, seriously?), but he had yet to really connect with a partner. See above: made that one girl cry. But this was the last straw. He was done with this show and he would gnaw his own foot off if he had to. Because for the Top Ten he was paired with none other than the tapper, Stiles.
Stiles, who talked non-stop and did the LOUDEST form of dancing possible. Derek had done his level best to avoid him all season. If, by avoid, you mean kept Stiles’ syncopated everything on his radar in such a way as to always know where he was and what he was doing on the pretense of never having to interact with him. Just looking at Stiles made Derek feel tired. And whenever he danced a solo (which was often, Stiles always seemed to just squeak by into the next round of competition, despite Nigel’s support of having a tapper on the show), Derek felt like he needed a nap afterwards. Or maybe a cold shower. Because seriously, why couldn’t that kid just close his mouth when he was dancing. Those lips, parted like that, were possibly going to kill him. If the goddammed TAPPING didn’t first. Derek had a problem.
Stiles was pretty sure he would not survive past the Top Ten. He wasn’t worried about elimination, he was worried about death by Derek Hale. He wasn’t sure if it would be the hotness or the eyebrows of doom, but there was no way he was going to make it out of this last round alive. He’d seen that poor girl crying in the wings after dancing with Derek. This was going to be so much worse. Scott had tried to give him a pep talk, but got distracted by thoughts of Allison, and Stiles couldn’t blame him. HE had a partner he could dance with. One he could win the show with. One that didn’t want to kill him (also, true love, blah blah blah).
Scott and Stiles had been friends since they were small children, dropped off at the dance studio by their overwhelmed parents. Stiles’s dad had missed the sign up deadline for swim lessons that year and decided any outlet for his overactive son was a good one. As with all their other adventures, he had dragged Scott along. The dancing stuck, though they each found a different niche in which to shine.
But all that training was going to be wasted because Stiles was going to be dead. He was sure of this. Rehearsals had been brutal. Sonya, their choreographer was clearly a maniac. Derek barely spoke a word to him and took a little too much delight in slamming him around during the dance. And even as he stood on stage, in a red hoodie, waiting for the stage lights to come up, Stiles was still convinced there was no way this would not end in (his) blood and (his) tears.
But when the music swelled and Derek stalked onto stage, all animal menace, the nagging worries crept to the back of Stiles’s brain. All there was was this moment, the dance. Derek the aggressor, moving with power and purpose. Stiles retreating, but never all the way, taunting leaps full of surprising grace and sly humor.
It flew by in a blur and Stiles felt himself blinking stupidly in surprise as the music faded and the lighting changed. He was panting heavily, pinned by Derek’s sweating (shirtless) body. Derek who was also looking a little dazed. After they finally righted themselves, it took Cat three tries to say something to the both of them without being drowned out by the roar of the audience. Stiles could just make out his dad, proudly yelling “that’s my son” to anyone who would listen. In the wings Scott was shooting him the cheesiest thumbs up. And next to him, Derek. Derek, who had not killed him (yet). Derek, who had not taken his eyes off him since he hit the stage. Derek who was holding his hand so tightly, something was in danger of breaking. And there was no way Stiles was letting go.