So You Think You Can Dance (season 2) Finalists - Benji Schwimmer

Benji Schwimmer

Benji Schwimmer was born on January 18, 1984, in Newport Beach, California. His father is "King of Swing" Buddy Schwimmer. He trained formally for 19 years, characterizing his style as 'West Coast Swing'. He taught dance for one semester at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa.

After being shown a video of the winning performance from the 2005 series of So You Think You Can Dance, Schwimmer decided to audition for the 2006 season of the show, along with cousin (and childhood dance partner) Heidi Groskreutz and her former dance partner, Dmitry Chaplin.

Schwimmer reached the final four, neither he nor partner Donyelle Jones being voted into the bottom three rankings at any point during the series run. He was named overall winner on August 16, 2006 after receiving the majority of 16 million telephone votes from viewers. During the series, judges routinely commented that while not necessarily the best technical dancer in styles other than his own, Schwimmer was outstanding in terms of performance and personality.

Although the prizes included a one-year contract to perform in Celine Dion's Las Vegas show, Schwimmer stated in an interview for the Seattle Times that the genre did not suit him and that he had turned the contract down.

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