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Benji Schwimmer and Heidi Groskreutz (From So You Think You Can Dance) Dancing at Showcase Division 2005 US Open Swing Dance Championships

Posted by techie on July 24, 2006

This Post has been moved to Benji Schwimmer and Heidi Groskreutz (From So You Think You Can Dance) Dancing at Showcase Division 2005 US Open Swing Dance Championships

Still amazing, but had to be moved off


29 Responses to “Benji Schwimmer and Heidi Groskreutz (From So You Think You Can Dance) Dancing at Showcase Division 2005 US Open Swing Dance Championships”

  1. Ginny said

    Heidi and Benji are so amazing! It’s too bad only one of them can win So You Think You Can Dance!

  2. techie said

    No it’s not. It would be interesting how they would react if they were number 1 and 2.

    However, I think number 2 might be a good thing kind of like it was for number 2(Clay Aiken) in American Idol.

  3. Jessie said

    I’m in love with Benji’s dancing and his personality. That boy is talented and has an awesome spirit!

  4. cgot said

    So You Think You Can Dance is an amazing show!

  5. techie said

    I’m not disagreeing that Benji is talented and has a great personality. I just still can’t wrap my thoughts around why Benji is so popular. Can you please explain?

  6. Cindy said

    For Techie——How can you ask that question!?! Not only is Benzi the most talented dancer alive—he is a wonderful person. I may not agree with the Mormaon church but you have to give the young man credit for standing up for his beliefs and even taking 2 years off of a very promising future to fulfil his obligations. He is my hero.

  7. vivv said

    benji’s cool….. DONYELLE AND BENJI’s AWSOME! I think that donyelle and benji will win. GO DONYELLE! (and benji)

  8. Krisite said

    LDS missions are very hard for these young people. My son went to college on a dance scholarship at BYU/Idaho (Ricks). He reminds me a lot of Benji.
    I just have a huge problem when people think being takes center stage. He’s a young man with a lot of talent. There are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MANY anti mormons out there. I worry about them getting the voting all jacked up because of their out right hate for us.
    It’s just a show, and he’s worked hard, before and after the show.
    I just want everyone to put the faith aside, and get a long. I am so tired of people bickering. I love all kinds of faith, and was taught to resepct all.
    Thanks for listening. And Go BENJI and HEIDI

  9. techie said

    I should first make it clear that I am mormon and that I served a mission for the LDS church like Benji(I served in Rome Italy).

    I can ask that question about Benji because I think that Benji is just an average professional dancer. Don’t get me wrong. He has skill, but I couldn’t see what in his dancing makes Benji so popular. I do agree that Benji has represented the LDS church(mormons) well and has stood up for his beliefs. If as you say people think he’s wonderful because he has values and beliefs that he stands for then I’m grateful that society hasn’t degraded as much as I’d first thought. Or maybe society is just looking for more people like Benji.

    I don’t think that the anti mormons will jack up the vote for Benji. They might if Mitt Romney runs for President, but I don’t think Benji, Heidi or Allison were seriously affected by being mormon. In fact, I think it is very likely that they benefited from it. You’d be surprised how many google searches have been sent to my blog with one of their names and mormon in it.

    I still wish Heidi and Ivan were the final 2 since they are my personal favorites. However, I think Benji and Donyelle will be the final 2. Which I must admit is an intrigueing pairing.

  10. Sue said

    Why is Benji so popular? That’s easy. This young man just glows. He lights up the stage every time he steps out upon it. He gives everything he does 110%, and it shows. He is a better than average dancer, to be sure, and is able to use his skills to his benefit in almost any style. He’s the best all-around dancer on the show and a wonderful entertainer. He’s the only dancer on the show I’d pay to see. Benji is a joy to watch.

  11. susan said

    i think that benji is an amazing dancer he is amazing at everything that is thrown at him and i hope that he wins
    go benji

  12. techie said

    All you wonderful Benji lovers make sure you see my new Benji Schwimmer TV Network and DVD and a classic Benji dance video.

  13. Sami said

    I love Benji and Heidi. I always thought that they were a good couple together and that they had good chemistry, but then I found out that they were cousins and I kinda grossed myself out…anyways, Benji and Heidi are very skilled dancers and I would be voting for them all the way…oh, and about the Morman thingy, I seriously doubt that it would become an issue because this is a dance competition, religion has little if anything to do with it…if Benji and Heidi become number 1 and 2 (which I hope) then I think that they would become popular together, since they were dance partners since Benji was 6…just my two cents…

  14. Julie said

    Why is Benji so popular? Because he is better.

    If you ever watch “Singing in the Rain,” there’s a number (Moses Supposes) with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. You can see the extra stretch to Gene’s arms, a little more bounce in his steps. Donald’s a good dancer, but putting them together, you can see why Gene was great.

    Watching Benji and Heidi made me flash back to that – Heidi’s very good, but Benji put in that little bit extra.

    It probably doesn’t hurt that he has had such great chemistry with Donyelle.

  15. Rob said

    Techie…….I just have to comment on your consideration of Benji as “an average dancer”.

    Are you watching the same show as the rest of us? Come on my friend…..even a ‘non-dancer’ can see the smooth, precise, energetic and focused performances that Benji delivers.

    As a professional dance instructor and choreographer (for many years now)I can honestly say that Benji is “THE WHOLE PACKAGE”. He’s what choreographers hope and pray for in their work – namely, someone who executes without the appearance of “thinking-through” the material while they are performing it; tells “the story” with their presence and without the audience needing to interpret the story; and one who draws the audience into “the moment”, because they are IN the moment.

    I predict that (if America gets it right)Benji will win this contest – and approppriately so. To that end, I believe it is important for American voters to keep a few basic principles in mind. First, this contest is not about who is the “most improved” over the course of the season. Although it is reasonable to expect that they will ALL improve to some degree, the show isn’t called “So you think you can learn”….the winner of this contest is supposed to “have already arrived” at the status that makes them worthy of the crown….the show is primarly a place to PROVE it….not simply an opportunity to “improve it”. Secondly (and perhaps most importantly), America’s “choosing” the best dancer (by way of voting)should simply be an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of the reality…not the creation of it.

  16. techie said

    Don’t get me wrong. Benji is a better dancer than 99% of the world. My point was that amongst professional dancers I think that Benji is an average dancer. I believe almost all professional dancers have “THE WHOLE PACKAGE” as you describe it. So comparing Benji to other professional dancers what makes him SO special? Fine, I’ll even give you that he’s in the middle ground of professional dancers with the potential to do great things with dance. However, that still seems to me like he’s an average dancer amongst professionals.

    Honestly, I’m not sure how you judge between professional dancers. They all have excellent technique which is the closest to objective as you can get. After that, I believe it is really a subjective preference that each of us may have or feel.

    I mostly agree with your improvement point. Improvement shouldn’t be the basis for you winning the competition. My only exception would be if you improve to the point where you are better than everyone else. If that’s the case then you should win. However, with so many dances I’m not sure this is really possible either.

    In the end Rob, I’m pretty sure Benji has a lock. That said, The American Idol effect could happen to Benji like it did to Allison. That effect being that America likes to support the underdog and those Benji supporters stay home because they think he has it made.

  17. Monique said

    I love Benji! I have watched him from the beginning of the show and he is awesomly great! He has nailed every dance theme. Benji shines! When he’s dancing, I can’t take my eyes off of him because I feel I might miss something. I hope he wins. And if not Benji, then Donyelle, she’s my second best dancer.

  18. Keith said

    I honestly don’t understand how anyone can have Ivan as a favorite. He has to be one of the least versatile dancers on the show. I’ll give him credit, he has grown quite a bit. Still, he shouldn’t have made it past the first cut, when they wrongly let Stanislav go instead of him. Ivan’s got potential but the show isn’t “so you think you can be a great dancer in 5 years)

  19. techie said

    I’m more amazed that you think Ivan will be a great dancer in 5 years. I think he could be a great dancer in his style. My bets against him ever being a great dancer in any other style.

  20. bob schwam said

    heide in a great dancer the winner in my book

  21. Jenga said

    mmkay. a couple things to say… first, you may already know this, but if either benji or heidi win, they’ve decided to split the money. 🙂

    second, sometimes i doubt the judging/voting/audition process. this routine is the same one benji did with heidi when he had to dance for his life in the vegas round. seeing what a fantastic dance benji is, i find it hard to believe that his dancing abilities were EVER actually doubted by the judges. furthermore, benji’s father was originally supposed to be a choreographer on the show and he told nigel that since his son was going to be auditioning, it would be a conflict of interest and therefore couldn’t be on the show. clearly, going into the vegas round, nigel and the judges had to have the following information:
    1. benji came from a family of world renowned dancers.
    2. benji (together with heidi) won the 2005 U.S. Open Swing Dance Championships… this would be pretty obvious based on their resumes.

    personal conclusion: the only reason they asked benji to dance for his life is that, with both performers so conveniently in the audition process, the producers wanted to showcase this fantastic, award winning routine to boost ratings.

    i simply refuse to believe that benji ever would have truly given the judges a reason to doubt his dancing ability.

  22. Rob said


    I hear ya. BUT a few points of edification (if you don’t mind).

    First of all, Benji is NOT a professional dancer (not yet, anyway). Don’t get me wrong, I love this guy. But by definition, a professional dancer is someone who (quite literally) dances as a profession. THAT’s what makes Benji SO special….the fact that he is already as good as he is, WITHOUT being a professional. (I can only imagine what he would be like with a few more years of ballet, jazz, etc……this guy is clearly Broadway-bound if he so desires).

    You say that: “almost all professional dancers have “THE WHOLE PACKAGE” (boy, do I wish that was true….my job would be SO much easier)!

    This simply is NOT true. In fact, only a minority do. I know….I choreograph (for a living) true professional dancers (Broadway National Tour folks). They all WISH they had “the whole package”, but they don’t (and most of them would comfortably admit it). The truth is, in the history of professional dance, “whole packages” are NOT the majority – quite the contrary.

    You also say: “…I’m not sure how you judge between professional dancers. They all have excellent technique which is the closest to objective as you can get. After that, I believe it is really a subjective preference that each of us may have or feel.”

    Excellent technique is NOT the only element of critique. You may recall one couple being criticized as “dancing by numbers”. They “did the right steps” (and they did them accurately), but it was empty otherwise. What was missing was the all important issues of “line” (alingment), expression, flow (gracefull, seamless continuity), ability to emote, and endurance (note that Benji is one of the FEW contestants on that show who doesn’t “loose steam” half to three-quarters of the way through an up-tempo routine (by this choreographer’s observation). These elements are measurable – subjectively AND objectively – and at the end of the process, the dancer who has “the whole package” is the dancer who excels in each of these criteria (e.g., Benji).

    We DO agree on the improvement issue, and I also offer agreement that the “idol effect” could impact the outcome of this or any contest that depends strictly on “call-in” votes. If I were Benji, I would rally the entire national LDS community into a “call-a-thon” for that last show. Afterall, I believe his talents are “God-given”…..why shouldn’t they be endorsed via a similar mechanism 🙂

  23. techie said

    Benji owning a dancing non profit organization is as good as a professional dancer I think. However, if you want to say he is anything but an average dancer then I think you have to compare him to professionals. Let’s not get picky though. He’s going to be a professional dancer after this.

    I can’t believe that many professional dancers would admit that they don’t have the whole package. Our dancers the first performers ever that are humble enough to admit it? I’d like to see that.

    Thinking about my initial remark, my intent was to ask why America was so crazy about Benji. Even if I give you that Benji is a fantastic dancer with the “whole package”, why does America know the difference? My guess is that first impressions are more important than actual dance technique. Unless of course you really suck, but that wouldn’t really fit any of the finalists.

    I still want to disagree with you that “line” (alingment), expression, flow (gracefull, seamless continuity), ability to emote, and endurance can be looked at objectively. What’s the standard? Thinking outside of the box has been emphasized by the choreographers time and time again. Doesn’t that often mean that the conventional “standard” lines, expression and flow could be thrown out the window and still make something beautiful? Beautiful and all the other adjectives that the judges use are really quite subjective without a standard.

    I agree that Benji has awesome endurance. Look at the video at the top and you’ll know that. Swing dancing is an awesome workout(and tons of fun). However, here again I don’t know why America cares about endurance? They don’t!!

    An LDS community “call-a-thon”? Sounds like a good idea. All the Young Men and Young Women could have a super-mutual night where they all vote for Benji and Heidi. Sounds like a great idea to me.

    I’m not sure if you are right or wrong about the producers staging Benji to dance with Heidi. If they did stage it…then it had the desired effect on me. I’ve loved Heidi ever since Heidi saved Benji!!

  24. Rob said

    Techie……Important point of correction: Benji doesn’t own a “dancing” nonprofit organization……facts are important here! He founded a charitable organization to which dancers (mostly non-professional) contribute. But for the sake of analogy….what if he WAS the owner of a professional dance organization?……would that make him a professional dancer??? Could a non-dancer own such an organization – and if so, would that make him/her a professional dancer? I think not. Clearly you present a false syllogism….it’s like saying that Jerry Lewis is a doctor because he chairs the muscular dystrophy foundation.

    As far as professional dancers’ admissions…..that’s all I work with…..believe it or not.

    As far as ““line” (alingment), expression, flow (gracefull, seamless continuity), ability to emote, and endurance…there are standards, but to explain them to you here is FAR too laborious. It would be like a mechanic trying to explain fuel injection and rear-wheel suspension to me. Suffice to say I’ve spent my life studying dance and choreography, consequently, I know what I know.

    Ah…the lurking question of how does America know the difference?….I’m not sure that they do…or even have to. I believe Nigel answered that question for all of us on this evening’s show…….he captivates them…..he “draws them into his performance (“even when another dancer might do a certain move better”)”. Well said Nigel! Or as Blaise Paschal would put it: “The heart has its reasons, of which the mind knows nothing.”

  25. Jules said


    I too am a dancer.

    I am also an LDS member and did serve a mission in Rome, Italy also.

    One of the mamy things that I learned on my mission, is that, it is the spirit that counts!

    So what if Benji is not Technically Perfect…he didn’t look terrible to me. It’s the feeling that moves people and that is why Benji won. Not because of his Technical ability but how he made people feel when he performed. After all, isn’t dance a physical representation of what we are feeling inside when we hear music. What about tribes in Africa that dance to the beats of drums…are we looking at how technically correct they are?? OR are we trying to feel the inner connection that they have to their music. After all isn’t one of the roles of The Holy Spirt to connect with our own spirit through feeling???

    That is exactly what Benji did and techincal dancing will never substitute the spirit of the man in dance when he’s connected to its purpose.

    Dancing is a feeling first!!

    To answer your question you made at the Beginning….it’s that wonderful, beautiful feeling of his spirit when he dances, that tingles us all on the inside, that makes our spirit crave for more.

    As brother in Christ, I hope that you have not reached that dangerous point that has been written in the sciptures, that an individual has reached “Past Feeling”

  26. bruce said


  27. sytycd said

    Bruce, Are you nuts? Benji isn’t a jew so I have no clue what you are talking about. Don’t be ridiculous.

  28. abeer said

    i am in love with Dmitry Chaplin

  29. […] Benji Schwimmer and Heidi Groskreutz (From So You Think You Can Dance) Dancing at Showcase Division … In my previous post about Dmitry Chaplin and Martha Nichols Get Sent Home on So You Think You Can Dance I put a link to […] […]

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