A Look Back on Some of Stephen 'tWitch' Boss's Most Memorable Dance Performances

The So You Think You Can Dance breakout star, who died by suicide on Dec. 13, had a gift he shared with the world

Fans of Stephen "tWitch" Boss knew he had an incredible gift.

The dancer, who broke into the business as a contestant on MTV's The Wade Robson Project before becoming a runner-up on Star Search, eventually competed on So You Think You Can Dance in 2008, ending season 4 as a runner-up and later returning as an All-Star.

On Dec. 14, PEOPLE confirmed the 40-year-old, a father of three with wife and fellow dancer Allison Holker, had died by suicide in Los Angeles.

Here, a look at some of the dance routines that made him a star.

'Mercy,' So You Think You Can Dance

It was on SYTYCD season 4 in 2008 that Boss earned a legion of devoted fans who admired the passion he showed for the art and the skills he shared with the world. But it was season 5's "Mercy," with contestant Katee Shean, that truly helped him stand out.

Boss reflected on the piece alongside Holker in a video posted to the couple's YouTube channel in June of 2022.

"During that kiss we hit each other's teeth so hard because we didn't rehearse before," Boss recalled of what fans called "the door routine," which earned Mia Michaels an Emmy Award nomination for choreography at the time of its debut.

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"I liked that routine a lot," Boss added. "The man I could bring to that routine now is so much different than the guy that was on stage then. I've got a couple more grays in the beard and have had a little more brown liquor than I did at the time, you know what I'm saying."

'Dreaming with a Broken Heart,' So You Think You Can Dance

Following the news of Boss' death, hundreds of fans shared a clip to Twitter of his routine with Kherington Payne, set to "Dreaming with a Broken Heart."

"It's a lot to get over, I don't dance in bare feet," Boss said while reflecting on his work months ago. "But I'm not going to lie, this is one of those routines that I'll remember forever. I was talking about textbook moments for So You Think couples, and Kherington really helped me out with this one a lot and really helped ease a lot of my insecurities around this, too."

'Outta Your Mind,' So You Think You Can Dance

Boss' SYTYCD All-Star dance to "Outta My Mind" with Alex Wong was "one of my proudest, if not my proudest, All-Star moment," he said in an October YouTube video.

"This routine could've gone down really badly," he continued. "Alex is a ballet dancer. So doing this routine was huge for him. And he went big. This was a moment for him, it was really dope. The ability and confidence that Alex brought to this, I remember hitting that last pose with him and just thinking, 'Yo you just blew this place up my guy.' "

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Boss also shared that he met future employer Ellen DeGeneres because of the routine. "It was a gift that kept giving," he said. "It started that entire journey. Ellen and I recreated this routine in honor of Alex because he injured himself the week after this, and [she and I] performed it on the [season 7] finale. It was a game changer for many reasons."

His Many Dances with Holker

In February 2022, Holker and Boss looked back on some of the dances they did together over the years.

"This was our first time ever dancing together," Holker recalled of an All-Star routine on an early episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "We hadn't even talked."

"It was my first time on the Ellen show," Boss added.

"That was so full circle," said Holker.

Years later and then engaged, the pair took the spotlight on an episode of Dancing with the Stars. with musician Lindsey Stirling. "I was mad nervous to do this," Boss said. "To dance with Alison is like dancing with a dance god. You can't be out here half-stepping it at all. I remember being mad nervous this whole time."

"It was really special to dance with you," Holker added.

Anything from The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Though some of his dances during his time as DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show weren't quite as technical as his other routines, he never stopped moving during his stint on the series.

In a tribute to Boss five years ago on her 2,500th episode, DeGeneres asked him, "Do you want to know my favorite thing we've added [to the show]? It's you. I love you so much."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.

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