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Allison Holker dances through the ups and downs

A few years ago, Holker and Boss began working on a picture book called “Keep Dancing Through.” Featuring illustrated versions of them and their children, it reminded readers to “get through the ups and downs.” After Boss died, his title – their family credo – became more poignant.

Holker wasn’t sure she wanted to publish the book. “It was too hard,” she said. “But that’s also what Stephen and I believed when he was here, and that’s what I still believe today: that’s what we taught our children and what I always try to teach “teach my children.” “Keep dancing” was released in January.

Shortly after Holker began posting dance videos again, he was offered the job of being a “So You Think You Can Dance” judge. The call came as a surprise — at that point, the show hadn’t been on television for more than a year, with no guarantee of renewal — and brought on a new wave of complicated feelings.

“It was an intense mix of gratitude and fear,” Holker said.

The dancer, singer and actor JoJo Siwa judged alongside Boss on the final season of “So You Think You Can Dance” and returned to judge again this season. As a student, Siwa, now 20, sought out Holker’s classes at dance conventions, “following her everywhere, just thinking she was the coolest human ever,” she said in an interview. “But I didn’t really know what to expect going into “So You Think You Can Dance.” Every corner of this set is a reminder of its history and of Twitch. It’s a hard thing to imagine.

Few people are more qualified than Holker to serve on the show’s panel. She’s been judging dance competitions for nearly two decades, and her years working in various roles on “So You Think You Can Dance” give her a deep understanding of the challenges and quirks of the show.

At the judges’ table, Holker is a cheerleader, but not hollow. She offers substantial, often technically sharp critiques, and champions dancers who cultivate an emotional connection with their choreography – which is unusual in the flash world of reality TV dance.

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