Filipino American is the First Breakdancer to Win ‘So You Think You Can Dance’
Bailey Muñoz, a Filipino American breakdancer, has officially become the first b-boy to ever win “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Muñoz, who is also known as Bailrock, was announced the winner on Monday during the “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 16 finale. The 19-year-old dancer will receive $250,000 in prize money and the title of “America’s Favorite Dancer,” according to AsAm News.
As one of the youngest members of the Rock Steady Crew, Muñoz is no stranger to the spotlight. He made it to the semifinals of “America’s Got Talent” at the age of nine. Muñoz also toured with Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber, and appeared in a Chris Brown music video.
His journey in “So You Think You Can Dance” proved to be quite difficult, especially with all the other dance genres he had to learn.
“Learning all the [different genres of] of dance is so hard because everything has a certain technique whether it be ballroom, ballet or contemporary,” he told ABS-CBN News via Asian Journal. “I’m just stepping in that mindset like if I’m learning choreography of contemporary, I have to pretend that I am a contemporary dancer besides just being a B-Boy.”
Muñoz, in a different interview, admitted he came to the show with “zero experience of technical dance.”
“As a b-boy, we don’t really do a lot of choreography, so doing choreography and stuff that you’ve never done before was a challenge for me,” he said while speaking to Dance Plug. “I’m just so grateful that I get to represent hip hop, b-boying, Filipinos, Bay Area, Vegas, my family, just all of it.”
The dancer also revealed his family is his biggest inspiration.
“For them to support what I love to do and my passion is just such a blessing to me,” Muñoz told Dance Plug. “You know, most Filipino parents would be like […] ‘You’re not a doctor, you’re not good.’ [Their] support means the world to me. I want to make them proud.”
Muñoz, who was born two months premature, stands five feet (152 centimeters) tall.
“I was always so small or always looked down upon,” he said in an interview on the show. “But being on [the So You Think You Can Dance] stage, I feel like I’m seven feet tall.”