Ariana DeBose: From ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ to the SAG Awards

Justin Jenkins
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Ariana DeBoseJeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Ariana DeBose is making history in Hollywood. The So You Think You Can Dance star recently took home Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role at the 2022 SAG Awards. DeBose has dominated this year’s award season so far for her role in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.


This marks the first SAG Award nomination and win for the multi-talented performer. During her acceptance speech, DeBose acknowledged that she comes from the world of dance and Broadway, making her win the perfect way to solidify her as an actress. At least in the eyes of Hollywood elites.

“It has taken a long time for me to feel comfortable calling myself an actor,” DeBose said during her acceptance speech.

With her latest win, DeBose made history as the first queer woman of color to be nominated and take home the coveted award. The SYTYCD alum’s historic year in Hollywood has also seen her win this year’s Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globe Awards. Next up for the actress is the 2022 Academy Awards where she is nominated in the same category.


DeBose will face strong competition for this year’s Oscars. Jessie Buckley, Judi Dench, Kristen Dunst, and Aunjanue Ellis round out this year’s nominees.

So You Think You Can Dance and Beyond

DeBose was 18 years old when she placed in the Top 20 on Season 6 of the hit dance competition. Her jazz routine during week 1 of the season helped take her out of the Bottom 4. Although DeBose did not find much success during the show’s early days, she has gone on to craft an amazing career for herself.

DeBose’s career as a dancer in Broadway and Off-Broadway productions increased once she took on the role of Nautica in the 2011 Alliance Theatre production of Bring It On. Since her introduction on the theater stage, DeBose has yet to slow down.


The West Side Story actress joined the ensemble cast of the off-Broadway show Hamilton in early 2015. The show moved to Broadway later that year, and became an overnight sensation. She was nominated for an Astaire Award for her dancing in the show.

DeBose went on to play the role of Disco Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical in San Diego at La Jolla Playhouse in late 2017. She reprised her role on Broadway, which opened April 2018. DeBose received a 2018 Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.

Her career has also led DeBose to make guest starring roles on shows such as Blue Bloods and in Apple Tv’s Schmigadoon!

With her profile increasing, perhaps we will see DeBose as a main judge when So You Think You Can Dance returns for Season 17.

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