Two So You Think You Can Dance routines were nominated in the Outstanding Choreography category at the Creative Arts Emmys this Sunday, but surprisingly, it was Quest Crew — a B-boy troupe from MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew featuring SYTYCD alumni Hokuto “Hok” Konishi, Ryan “Ryanimay” Conferido, and Dominic “D-Trix” Sandoval — that took home the trophy instead.
“We’re all related to [So You Think You Can Dance],” said Sandoval backstage at the ceremony, which took place at Los Angeles’s Microsoft Theater. “It’s crazy. I remember seeing [SYTYCD judge/producer/creator] Nigel Lythgoe — he’s been there since essentially the beginning of our careers. Some of us even met from that show… if it wasn’t for that show, I don’t think this [crew] would be here. So much respect to everyone at So You Think You Can Dance, for even giving us that platform.”
Quest Crew first triumphed in ABDC Season 3, and they returned for last year’s Season 8 reboot, America’s Best Dance Crew All-Stars: Road to the VMAs (which they also won). They earned their Emmy for a total of three Season 8 routines, but told Yahoo that their bench dance to Jack Ü’s “Take U There” — from week four’s “Crews’ Control Challenge,” during which they were given free rein over ABDC’s lighting, camera work, and staging — was the most meaningful to them.
“Basically the bench represented retirement as dancers,” explained crew member Steve “Dope Turtle” Terada, who seemed to get a little choked up just reminiscing about the routine. “It was really emotional for us, just because we know as we get older that we’re not going to be performing together, and as a dancer, you have a finite time to be onstage with your brothers. And since we are a crew and we’ve been together for so long, it really hit us in a different way that we never thought would be possible.”
“We have literally never been that emotional onstage ever in our careers,” Konishi said of the Emmy-winning piece. “So for that to be recognized for an award like this is just like a cherry on top, really. It’s amazing.”
Quest Crew tied for Outstanding Choreography with another underdog, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Kathryn Burns — in the process also beating out another Emmy frontrunner, Derek Hough of Dancing With the Stars. Watch their powerful, Emmy-recognized “Take U There” number below.
Click here for a full list of all the Creative Arts Emmy winners, handed out over two ceremonies Saturday and Sunday in Los Angeles. The Primetime Emmy Awards will air next weekend, Sunday, Sept. 18, on ABC.