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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

How a Grace VanderWaal Song United Some of Your Favorite 'SYTYCD" Favorites

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

What happens when you pair a Dance Moms choreographer with an America’s Got Talent winner’s music featuring multiple So You Think You Can Dance contestants? One gorgeous music video.

The video was shot on a clear, but windy day, on a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles last March. Choreographer Kristin McQuaid gave an exclusive invite to Dance Dish to watch all of the magic happen four-stories high above the City of Angels.

McQuaid explained her reasons for wanting to do a video to Grace VanderWaal’s “Light the Sky.”

“The concept is spreading light to the world,” she explains. “The world is in such a dark place right now. Everyone is attacking each other instead of working as one. This video is so happy and it feels free.”

She brought together familiar faces from various seasons of SYTYCD to help elevate the profile of the piece. Fans will recognize Kayla Radomski, Valerie Rockey, Teddy Coffey, Moises Parra, Hailee Payne, Will Thomas, Alexia Meyer and Jacque LeWarne. They were all thrilled to be a part of McQuaid’s piece for the integrity she brought to her movement style.

Radomski, who has known McQuaid since her competitive dance years, is always eager to perform her work.

“Kristin is incredible at what she does,” says the Season 5 SYTYCD contestant. “She’s grown so much in the past couple of years, people aren’t ready for what she can do.”

The dance community in LA is busting at the seams right now with tremendous growth in the commercial area. The dancers are feeling that the art form is firing on all cylinders.

“The world is way more educated in dance because of shows like SYTYCD, America’s Best Dance Crew, Dance Moms and World of Dance,” explains Thomas, who was supposed to be a part of WOD with choreographer Jaci Royal, but had to pull out for Pitch Perfect 3.

Payne, who utilized McQuaid’s choreography for her solos on Season 12 of SYTYCD, was excited the VanderWaal project fit in her schedule. She’s currently a part of the Backstreet Boys show in Las Vegas.

“This is what you move to LA for. It’s always about working hard and staying humble,” shares Payne. “Kristin always has my back and I have hers.”

Director Ryan Parma, who utilized a drone to capture the close-up and overhead action, designed the magnificent cinematography and overall look. The results are a breathtaking collaboration of music, movement and fluidity.

The trust between the two collaborators is quite evident, as Parma has directed almost all of McQuaid’s projects. She says his career is “blossoming,” which is evident from his work with Dance Moms star Nia Sioux and YouTube sensation Todrick Hall.

The video debuted last week on Just Jared Jr. and is hitting all of the right notes with fans.

Watch Kristin McQuaid’s choreography to Grace VanderWaal’s “Light the Sky.”


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