Bay Area viewers might recognize some of the moves on tonight’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance. The pair behind a San Francisco hip-hop dance crew are choreographing the opening number. Christopher “Pharside” Jennings and Krystal “Phoenix” Meraz’s dance group Academy of Villains is also featured on the show this season. They have a fast, precise, and theatrical style reminiscent of old-school San Francisco street dance crews like Demons of the Mind. Meraz describes it as “illusional dancing” that blends different styles together. 

For tonight’s piece, they’ll be blending the ballroom, contemporary, jazz, and hip-hop skills of the remaining 18 contestants, who will all dance together before they compete. 

Pharside and Meraz moved to Los Angeles a couple of years ago, but we forgive this transgression, because that’s really the only way to make a living as a hip-hop choreographer, and they have a long history of reppin’ the Bay. Pharside danced in E-40 videos before he was on FOX or in Xbox commercials. Meraz went to the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. So tune in tonight and catch the handiwork of a couple of hometown heroes. To get an idea of their style, check out this video of Academy of Villains on America’s Got Talent


So You Think You Can Dance airs Wednesday nights on FOX at 8 p.m.

Photo by Rod Laguisma courtesy of Academy of Villains.

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