AdéChiké Torbert’s SYTYCD Journey

AdeChike Torbert came in fourth place on Season 7.

Contemporary dancer AdéChiké Torbert was one of very few dancers to never fall in the bottom three. He made it all the way until the second-to-last week before receiving the fewest number of votes. We caught up with AdéChiké on a press call the morning after his elimination to learn more about his thoughts on being critiqued, going on tour, and more.

Getting critiqued by the judges can be really tough, but AdéChiké had America’s support throughout his run on Season 7. AdéChiké explained, “It’s hard to stand up there and take the negative criticism, but it only made me stronger and made me want to fight more. I’m thankful I had the fans’ support.”

AdéChiké said the best advice he received from the judges was to have fun. Over the past couple of weeks, the judges kept praising him for coming into his own. What changed? “I stopped dancing for the judges and started dancing for myself,” the New York native said. “I wasn’t looking for their approval any more.”

Growing up in Brooklyn, AdéChiké found it tough to be a male dancer. He hopes to have changed the perception of male dancers and told us, “I hope that dancing is now cool in guys’ eyes. I hope I can be a role model and an inspiration.” To the SYTYCD hopefuls of the future, AdéChiké advises, “Stay focused, and if you love something just stick with it no matter what anyone says. Follow your heart and your dreams and be a master of your destiny. Just create it.”

Early on in the season, AdéChiké mentioned that Desmond Richardson is a huge role model and inspiration for him. Fortunately, AdéChiké had the opportunity to have a dance choreographed for him and all-star Kathryn McCormick by Desmond this week. AdéChiké said this became his favorite dance of the season. In addition to performing this dance on tour, AdéChiké hopes he gets to reprise his duet with Kent Boyd – the Dee Caspary Contemporary piece. “That was a really fun piece and I hope it makes it on tour,” AdéChiké commented.

With so many injuries this season, AdéChiké was one of the lucky ones to make it out unscathed. What did he do to stay healthy? “I tried to get as much sleep as possible and warm myself up. I listened to my body. Our bodies take so much abuse on this show; we’re constantly pushing ourselves. If something didn’t feel right I’d let the choreographer know.”

What’s next for AdéChiké? After the fall 2010 So You Think You Can Dance Tour, he’d to a lot of different things in show biz. “I’m in the process of getting an agent,” AdéChiké revealed. “I would really like to do some things on Broadway. I’m also thinking about moving out to L.A. to get into TV and movies.”

To all of his supporters AdéChiké says, “Thank you to everyone. It’s been such an awesome journey. I’d like to thank the fans for putting me through every week. It’s such a great opportunity and I encourage all dancers to at least audition. It’s an amazing opportunity and I’m excited to see where the future will take me.”

>>Watch AdéChiké’s signature move.
>>View photos of AdéChiké.


42 comments on “AdéChiké Torbert’s SYTYCD Journey“

  1. Mary Anne - wrote:

    Keep on dancing Adechike. You are spectacular, and I hope to see you as the star performer on Broadway. Stay true to yourself — you’re a beautiful person and a wonderful dancer.

    8/6/2010 11:29 AM UTC

  2. TPN - wrote:

    I should be astonished at the level of chicanery involved with the judging of an obviously stellar talent such as Adechike. But, given the framework in which he had to operate, he actually went farther than expected. The show was only partially about talent it seems. The judges morphed into lobbyists for their personal favorites by means of gushing on and on about the more mediocre dancers and simply dismissing one of the best of the show. Ultimately the show will suffer. I haven’t watched it long but I know that the last few seasons were won by an African American dancer. So I would imagine that having too many Black folks doing good in this country at one time could be a bit much given the nature of the country in which is touted as the greatest. Adechike was too good for that show. They didn’t deserve him. He will be fine.

    8/6/2010 2:17 PM UTC

  3. Vanessa - wrote:

    TPN I agree. Well said!!!

    8/6/2010 2:53 PM UTC

  4. Terri Truitt - wrote:

    Go Adechike go….get away from MIA MICHAELS! She was horrid this season…..Mary Murphy were are you. You are beautiful, spread your wings and fly! So pro Lauren and none of the judges hid it…..did she really have anything hard to do???? I am thinking no! Give us a break, please. I set my DVR every week so that I could fast forward through the judges and just watch the dancing and some of it was just amazing. Thank you Adechike……………..good-bye Mia Michaels

    8/6/2010 4:44 PM UTC

  5. Robin - wrote:

    I think Adacheke is a wonderful dancer!! I think Mia, was extremely mean to him. She wasn’t giving him constructive critisim, she was down right mean. Adacheke didn’t deserve her bitchness at all.
    I don’t think I will watch I think Mary Murphy needs to come back! Mia is too full of herself, maybe she should get up and dance, I bet she couldn’t hold a step to any of the dancers. She should look in the mirror and repeat to herself what she says to the contestants. There is a BIG difference of being contrustive and being down right MEAN.
    Adacheke your a beautiful dancer. Keep on DANCING!!!

    8/6/2010 4:49 PM UTC

  6. Eliza - wrote:

    I began watching this show due to your amazing talent. I made it a priority to vote for you because of the unfair judgment you received on a weekly basis (i.e. Mia). I hope to see you on Broadway in a STARRING role! Keep it up Adechike the world is watching.

    8/6/2010 5:24 PM UTC

  7. bj - wrote:

    i believe that Mia Michaels was so against Adechike that no matter what he did it wasn’t good enough for her.
    I believe also that for someone who has achieved so much and received so many awards for his talent that he will go far without the title. His future is much brighter than hers

    8/6/2010 6:53 PM UTC

  8. Debbie - wrote:

    Time to get Mia off the show. Her behaviour is appalling and unprofessional. Constructive criticism is one thing, being down right nasty is another. Adacheke, keep in dancing as you are amazing!

    8/6/2010 7:06 PM UTC

  9. Texas Tif - wrote:

    The judging for Adacheke was rigged. Everytime I dial his number it said “Goodbye”. They did everything possible to get him off the show. The only to prevent Adacheke from winning was to fix the voting.

    8/6/2010 7:11 PM UTC

  10. wendy - wrote:

    I have enjoyed every season of the show but this season became a witch hunt for AdeChike. He is an incredible dancer and touched me with every dance he performed. Mia must have a problem with strong, masuline male dancers. Please bring back Mary Murphy. She brought such fun, joy and objectivity to the show. Mia is simply negative, nasty, mean and puts her personal preferences ahead of talent. Good for America for ignoring the judges and keeping AdeChike and his amazing talent on the show in spite of the judges. I just wish America would have ignored them one more week.

    8/6/2010 7:33 PM UTC

  11. Bert - wrote:

    I think Adacheke was one of the best dancer on this season show. I notice that even when one of the black choreographer taught the dance routine the judges seemed to always find some sort of criticism about the dance routine and it was not only Adacheke they did that to. There was not one black young lady to even go to the end. I don’t want to sound so racist about this, but I do know that they didn’t give Adecheke the credit that he deserved. He is going to do just fine some where in his life time. Adacheke keep on dancing!!!

    8/6/2010 7:49 PM UTC

  12. Claire - wrote:

    Mia Michaels was downright cruel to Adechike. SHe gushed on and on about Robert when he was mediocre at best, and she knew it. They all had their personal favorites, and I hope Adechike goes on to do greast things. Get this winch off the show, and quick. She is not encouraging at all and she often contradicts herself during her comments. Adam is a bubbling, ineloquent idiot.

    8/6/2010 8:16 PM UTC

  13. Shawnna - wrote:

    I would have to agree with most of the comments here. Adechike was one of the best dancers on the show! Mia Micheals has a problem with black masculine male dancers. If you all remember she did the same thing to Brandon a couple of seasons ago! Even when he danced beautifully, she kept saying that “she doesn’t get it”. I’m not trying to say that she is racist I’m just simply saying that she has a personal dislike for the way that masculine men dance (who just happen to be black). She wants to see the men that dance slightly feminine. If she is going to be a judge, she needs to come with an open mind otherwise, I’m gonna need them to call Mary Murphy back ASAP!!!!

    8/7/2010 7:04 AM UTC

  14. Nikki - wrote:

    Totally agree about Mia. Get her back to coreographing and off the judge stand. And so sad to see my boy Adechike go. :(

    But I have to disagree about the suggestions that Adechike left because of racism. He’s a spectacular dancer. And completely deserved to come as far as he did. But America voted. There have been numerous times where I disagreed with who America sent home. But never once did I believe racism had a part in it. Adechike, Brandon, Ade, Russell, Joshua, Twitch, Comfort, Danny, etc. all did spectacularly. Some won, some didn’t. But they all got to learn and experience.

    8/7/2010 7:19 AM UTC

  15. MF - wrote:

    Adechike…you are Awesome!!!

    8/7/2010 7:27 AM UTC

  16. Sarah - wrote:

    I agree with Texas Tif, that the voting had to be rigged if someone who was never in the bottom three (Adechike) got voted off before someone who was ALWAYS in the bottom three (Robert). As we watched the results show, my husband mentioned a scam that record companies used to run back in the 90s: hiring people to call radio stations and The Box repeatedly to boost sales for a given single and make it a “hit.” I would not be surprised if such a thing happened this season to boost Robert above Adechike and end the streak of Black winners. But in any event, Adechike’s loss is no loss: he showcased his amazing talent, his masculine soulfulness, and an extraordinarily peaceful demeanor in front of the world for weeks and weeks on end. (AND he rocked a “king Zulu” t-shirt for his solo!) We really enjoyed watching you dance, Adechike. I trust your career will be blessed.

    8/7/2010 8:59 AM UTC

  17. CJ - wrote:

    I noticed that when Robert was in the bottom three earlier in the show, that Nigel suddenly started talking him up and Mia followed suit. The week before when Robert danced, and ended up in the bottom three again, Mia said how she wanted Robert to be more masculine or words to that effect. I believe they didn’t want to lose Robert. Robert has very feminine qualities and it was really hard to watch him dance the strong male roles. I believe that, for whatever reason, Nigel decided he didn’t want to lose Robert. I find the judging on the show to be so long winded and emotionally over-wrought that I fast forward through it as quickly as possible as the season progresses. But, I did notice that they were propping up Robert when, frankly, he was unwatchable to me. Maybe that’s why I don’t have as strong of a reaction to Mia, since she said Robert was not male enough. I didn’t hear her being cruel to Adechike, because I’ve been fast forwarding through most of the judges’ comments. They are simply unlistenable.

    8/8/2010 9:37 AM UTC

  18. Inspired - wrote:

    I LOVE U ADECHIKE….MIA WUZ SOOOOOOOOOOOOO WRONG!!!! u exceeded so many BUMPS ALONG THE WAY and ur solos were INCERDIBLE, escpecially ur last one hahha. I am so blessed to have been able to watch u on my tv for FREE!!!!! OMG UR DANCING IZ soooo BRILLIANT AND U ARE JUST PURE BRILLIANCE…. GOD HAS DEFINATLEY BLESSED U :) … somthing tells me that SYTYCD is going to be begging for u back and and then u can humbly decline becuz u will have BIGGER things to do (which i know u will)

    p.s i used to think that i wuld never be able to feel and see another dancers passion, drive, and determination as much as i did for LAUREN GOTTLIEB, BUT ADECHIKE u have earned a place in my heart(next to lauren hehehehe) I LUV THE BOTH OF YAH :)


    8/8/2010 11:26 AM UTC

  19. Sweetness - wrote:

    Wow! Could we not see the obvious? The judges practically forced Adicheke from the final three (w/their words). I just watched both shows (Wed/Thurs) and was truly disappointed. Adam Shankman is so over the top and spends most of his time announcing his personal preferences which has nothing to do with dancing on national TV. Mia Michaels is critical and been that way since day one but I notice this season she was particularly overrated in her criticism. For instance, Jose was simply challenged in his skills but instead of the judges critiquing his lack of talent they complimented his personality, but Adicheke was personally targeted to sway the voting. To sum it all up the show was political this season. When SYTYCD started it felt like they wanted real talent. Now it’s all strategy just like American Idol.
    The choreographers… can we get some new talent? I am so tired of Nap&Tap representing for Hip Hop. Please!!!! Nigel is trying to introduce new talent but they are getting ridiculed on the sly by the judges and can somebody give Ade some props?!? Mary Murphy, Lil C please come back! Mia Michaels and Adam Shankman get the steppin’!!!!!

    8/8/2010 7:15 PM UTC

  20. FA - wrote:

    So you think you can dance has always been a show I follow till the end. This season though I can’t help thinking the judges were pushing for their favorites a little too much. It was so obvious in their comments. Robert for example was absolutely off in the last hip hop routine this week. I couldn’t believe it when the judges said he nailed it. He was no better than JOSE in that routine. The judges’ favourite get the easy routines. They even blow out of proportion the performance. I actually felt it was the worst dance for him this season.
    While I didn’t think Adechike would win in the end, he was certainly better than Robert. Mia showed her bias against masculine dancers and was absolutely horrid to the poor guy. Her apology was okay but I don’t think she makes a good judge. She is incapable of giving constructive critisism. She tried very hard to later but I guess it is just not her. If she is back next season I don’t think I will be watching the show.I am sure a lot of viewers feel this way.

    8/8/2010 7:33 PM UTC

  21. CJ - wrote:

    I have been watching SYTYCDance since it premiered. It is so evident that Mia Michaels is NOT interested in BLACK dancers. She was so hard on the young black dancer last season and the season prior because he came back twice and she stated that she changed her opinion of him. This season, she was HORRIBLE. She was so hard on Adechike, it was obvious he wasn’t going to win. I was a fan but I will no longer be a fan and will quit watching and I hope the ratings drop. I don’t care who wins, I just want them to be FAIR and they are not. The only fair person on the show was Mary. Even if she returns, I will not watch.

    8/8/2010 8:53 PM UTC

  22. Jessica - wrote:

    No one can dance like that without an amazing heart, a sweet inner soul and LOVE for life, and Adechike you have all of those amazing gifts and then some. I truly hope you take to the time read what your fans have wrote and realize that people like Ms. Micheals are insignificant and not worth the time to even ponder about, realize you will meet many more MIa’s in this world, but you stay the strong, and beautiful black man that you are, and rest assured God has big plans for you…we will all grace your presence soon enough.

    8/9/2010 4:40 PM UTC

  23. Jessica - wrote:

    No one can dance like that without an amazing heart, a sweet inner soul and LOVE for life, and Adechike you have all of those amazing gifts and then some. I truly hope you take to the time read what your fans have wrote and realize that people like Ms. Micheals are insignificant and not worth the time to even ponder about, realize you will meet many more MIa’s in this world, but you stay strong, and continue to be the beautiful black man that you are, and rest assured God has big plans for you…we will all grace your presence soon enough.

    8/9/2010 4:42 PM UTC

  24. LoveDance - wrote:

    All of these comments I agree with completly. SYTYCD judges have sucked all season and the treatment of adechike has been one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on tv. For someone to work so hard and put their whole heart into something only to get torn down repeatdly is horrible. Also how can the judges applaude all of the all stars except the amazing ade? How can they not even give him credit for that amazing routine with Billy? And last week was the sAme thing I kept waiting for them to even acknowledge that Ade was in the routine and nothing. Dang those judges are rude.. I loved the dancing this season but the judging was overly mean and just felt really bitter and tense. I still don’t get how Robert made it to the final three when America kept putting him in the bottom but wierdly enough he isn’t when the person with the lowest votes gets sent home. It just seems unlikely especially when he didn’t do that hot in either of his dances. hmmm

    8/9/2010 9:05 PM UTC

  25. c - wrote:

    I like Adechike but I think that he didn’t go as emotionally far as the top three. He was AMAZING but the other three surpassed him in some areas and therefore they deserve their positions.

    8/10/2010 8:53 AM UTC

  26. silversurfer - wrote:

    I think Mia Michaels was entirely too harsh and disrespectful to you. There’s nothing wrong with critiquing one performance, but when it’s borderline pettiness and being mean-spirited, I have a problem with it! One would think, Ms. Michaels would be a little cautious, especially given the fact she has had her share of negativity and health scare! I understand the process of critiquing – but the manner in which she did it was just downright nasty and in my opinion unprofessional! Adichike, you keep aiming for the stars, because there are always going to be people to try and put you down just because they aren’t happy with themselves (Mia I sure hope you can take it as much as you can dish it) and try their darnedest to rain on some else’s limelight! This woman should not be allowed to return to the show – what a horrible and bitter person she is! No wonder she is physically suffering! You reap what you sow!!!

    8/10/2010 12:25 PM UTC

  27. SD - wrote:

    I can’t believe Adechike was let go. Mia is quoted at twitting “I look at their performance. I look at their integrity as an artist. I look at their technicality.” which is total bull, because if that were true Kent would have been voted off a LONG time ago, shame on you judges

    8/10/2010 2:06 PM UTC

  28. ariloo - wrote:

    Well I hope you are happy Mia. Nothing he ever did was good enough. You only praised him so you wouldn’t get trashed online. You were mean and completely unprofessional. You had a complete double standard with him and the other dancers. I really hope you aren’t a judge next season. I prefer you choreographing and NOT SPEAKING!

    8/10/2010 2:21 PM UTC

  29. Heather Thompson - wrote:

    Please do not have Mia Michaels for a judge next season she has totally ruined this season for all of us in our household……we have watched every season since the show has began – don’t get us wrong she is a beyond belief choreographer – the best at it, but as a judge she is not good for the show at all………We love the show!!!

    8/10/2010 2:29 PM UTC

  30. Lisa - wrote:

    I am sorry to see you go, you are an amazing dancer. Many successes for your future.

    8/10/2010 6:31 PM UTC

  31. crissy - wrote:

    I agree with everything except that any of the judges are showing racial bias. Last season a CRUMPER won the show, which is huge to me, and every time he danced, the judges gave him really strong advice and he seemed to take it and run with it. As far as Lauren not doing anything difficult, pretty sure that lift where she put her legs on Ade’s shoulders and pulled herself up into some kind of crazy ball was insane! She is a really really good dancer and I think she has gotten better as the season has gone on. Kent has also remained really consistant and really solid. Robert, however, DID NOT outdance Dominque last week! I thought his part was really hard to watch and Dominque was THROWING DOWN! Hopefully Mary comes back next season so we don’t have to listen to Mia’s personal opinions insead of giving the dancers real advice!

    8/11/2010 7:20 AM UTC

  32. Pleiadian7 - wrote:

    I just read an article stating some bloggers believe Mia Michaels is a racist. Firstly, I’d like to say “racist” should be considered “the R word” in that nobody needs to labeling people with this term. It can be extremely damaging an assertion and should absolutely not be just thrown around by ignorant people who have no idea whether or not someone is racist. It’s “bomb-throwing” and should not be tolerated. Mia Michaels could be out of a job as judge just because some idiots have (mis) colored the public’s percerption of her. That’s as bad as racism.
    I think Mia judged fairly; Adechike is a good dancer. He’s not a fine dancer or a great dancer. He’s a technician, in my opinion, and somewhat robotic. He doesn’t seem to flow, doesn’t seem to get “dance”, although he does get movement. There’s the difference. Dance isn’t a series of well-executed movements (although that is a component)…it’s movements flowing into each other in an organic way. Adechike doesn’t get that and maybe he never will. And it doesn’t make Mia “racist” for pointing that out.

    Grow up, Americans….and stop labeling people racist just because you don’t like or agree with the opinions or beliefs of others.

    8/11/2010 7:44 AM UTC

  33. Jenn - wrote:

    Wow, I’m suprised that Adechike is off the show, I thought for sure Robert would be the one eliminated before the Finale.
    Bring Mary Murphy and Debbie Allen back as judges ASAP

    8/11/2010 9:01 AM UTC

  34. Diana - wrote:

    He should totally do movies or something — great personality, etc!!! I think it is great he is getting an agent.
    I do think that the remaining three hit a similar vein that may reflect the voter make-up. (and I wish I didn’t have to say this, but I am not talking about race per se, just about what type of personality people who are voting in American culture are looking for at this moment)

    8/11/2010 4:44 PM UTC

  35. Yoli - wrote:

    I look at this and all competition and reality shows realistically. Yes there will be agendas/contestants/participants pushed, propped,villified, and overdone. I think it is to be expected. I do think that certain critisims given to Adechike were delivered VERY harshly, and that some were spot on (like his upper body needing to be less stiff, watch Desmond R to get an idea of strong fluid motion to see what I mean). I don’t think Chike was the only one judged too harsh either. When Alex was gone the Kent propping began. I don’t think it is a race issue at all. I think that Chike will learn much and have a wonderful career. I would love to see him on B’way, he is so right for the stage. I dislike the agenda pusing, but know it will always be a factor, and I will only watch because I still enjoy the dance. Love Kat Deely for standing up for Chike that night and saying that when another dancer did the same thing he was criticized for, that person was praised. Go Kat!! Best of luck to Adechike in all you do. You will be just fine!

    8/11/2010 4:45 PM UTC

  36. Ashton - wrote:

    I am a huge fan of SYTYCD, and I truthfully can’t sit here and say that the show is Racist….Especially since we’ve had Russell, Joshua, and Sabra win on different seasons, but I will say that Mia Michels was extremely unproffesional and unfair to Adechike, now I can’t say that race is an issue as she loved Hosea who is also a minority, but she even had to apoligize to Adechike about his Bollywood performance for being to harsh after she venomousely stated that she just wanted Alex back and basically stoned Adechike, and what made it worse was that Hosea the week before had a HORRIBLE Bollywood performance! I will not be watching the next season of SYTYCD unless Mia Michels is removed as a judge….and I think we should start a online petition to have her gone! Mary Murphy brought fun and laughter to the show as Mia just took away from my SYTYCD experience this year with her hatred…If your going to be a judge then judge everyone the same, Hosea constantly recieved a pass due to his personality but the show is So you think you can DANCE not PERSONALITY…. DOUBLE STANDARD… and her Fake PR filled apology to Adechike was just an insult to me, SYTYCD better fix this or the ratings will drop!!!! Oh yeah and the bad publicity has just begun…Mia Michels being “racist” articles are now on every ethnic blog site and more….news spreads quickly, she’ll probably be forced to apoligize on the finale as damage control or even better she’ll ask him to perform “FALLIN” as her so called fav performance….watch and see….

    8/11/2010 5:54 PM UTC

  37. Max - wrote:

    Wow, the level of hysteria on these message boards is hilarious. Some downright racist comments too, it seems (by suggesting prejudice is to blame for not thinking Adechike is the best thing since Desmond Richardson).

    He was a strong dancer, but he often danced lazy. His solos were amazing, but he rarely danced as impressive when paired with someone else. The judges had their favorites? Of course they did… how are they any different from any of you? The final three (with the exception of Alex) are the ones who deserved to be in the Finale.

    Bring Debbie Allen back? Oh she NEVER played favorites… no NEVER. Please.

    8/11/2010 6:20 PM UTC

  38. Amelia - wrote:

    Adechike is a strong dancer with good lines and movement. I think he is learning just as all the dancers are and he must continue to perfect his craft. Adechike and Lauren should have been in the top two but as a dancer it is totally clear that Lauren should win. She is such a great dancer with wonderful versatility, energy, and deserves to win. Adechike keep up the wonderful wonderful work….we love you and are behind you 500%!!!!!!!

    8/12/2010 5:40 PM UTC

  39. MARY PILSEN- CHICAGO - wrote:

    MARY C

    8/12/2010 7:14 PM UTC

  40. helen german - wrote:

    adacheke was the best dancer on the show.mia michael’s can be mean and hateful.i hope she doesn’t return next year

    8/13/2010 12:10 PM UTC

  41. Claire - wrote:

    ADECHIKE YOU ARE MY ALL TIME FAVORITE DANCER IN THE WORLD!! x100000 you are just amazing and season 7 was the best season ever!! Mia used to be my favorite judge, well not anymore!How could she say all that mean stuff to you?!?! My all time favorite dancer in the world?!?! WHit you stood there and took it like a man and pretend it was true I hope you are an all-star in season, see you then!

    6/18/2011 7:59 AM UTC

  42. Claire - wrote:

    Haha that WHit thing was supposed to be well and I meant season 8sorry

    6/18/2011 8:04 AM UTC

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