Danny Tidwell, a former So You Think You Can Dance finalist, died on Friday, March 6, at the age of 35.
Tidwell is best known for finishing as the runner-up in Season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance which aired on Fox in 2007.
Tidwell’s brother, Travis Wall, broke the tragic news of Tidwell’s death with a post on Instagram earlier today (Saturday, March 7).
Travis Wall is also a former So You Think You Can Dance contestant and finalist.
He captioned a photo of Tidwell with a heartfelt message:
“My heart is broken. Yesterday I lost a brother. And we all lost a gift. I’m not ready. But I never think I will be. Because I can’t believe this is real. I can’t believe you’re gone. You were more than my brother. You were my inspiration. I idolized you growing up.”
View this post on Instagram
My heart is broken. Yesterday I lost a brother . And we all lost a gift. I’m not ready. But I never think I will be. Because I can’t believe this is real. I can’t believe you’re gone. You were more than my brother. You were my inspiration. I idolized you growing up. Wanted to dance just like you. Wanted to be you! I wish I could jump in your arms again like we used to when we were kids and onstage dancing. We will all remember the joy and passion you brought to everyone you came in contact with through out your journey. A journey cut to short. You are a legend. And I love you so much Danny. Rest In Peace my brother. I can’t believe I’m even typing this . Please pray for my mom and my family during this difficult time. 💔💔💔
Danny Tidwell’s cause of death was a car accident
“For those asking, my brother Danny was killed yesterday in a car accident. After all he’s been thru. I can’t believe he was taken away so suddenly from us.”
Tributes pour in on Twitter
Fans, friends, and colleagues have been posting heartfelt tributes and condolence messages since the news of Tidwell’s death broke.
Debbie Allen, one of the judges on So You Can Dance Season 3, posted a moving tribute, describing Tidwell as a “dancing genius.”
Others who shared tributes on Twitter included show co-creator Nigel Lythgoe and fellow contestant Comfort Fedoke (see below).
Danny Tidwell our beautiful
dancing genius “Prince amongst Paupers” you are in God’s Ensemble. We will always speak your name with love and respect. See you on the other side. 😢🙏🏽💕 Love, Mama D pic.twitter.com/74XJqJcagS
— Debbie Allen (@msdebbieallen) March 7, 2020
We have lost one of the most brilliant dancers we have ever had on SYTYCD. God bless you Danny Tidwell. May your talent shine as brightly in Heaven as it did on Earth. RIP
— Nigel Lythgoe OBE (@dizzyfeet) March 7, 2020
🥺Sharing some memories in honor of your brilliant talent danny_tidwell We shared the same journey and my heart breaks to hear you are no longer with us. My prayers goes out to all your family and friends rest well… https://t.co/5XhhlHlN9n
— Comfort Fedoke (@ComfortFedoke) March 7, 2020
I just learned about the passing of Danny Tidwell and I am so awfully sad. He was one of the finest dancers I have ever seen. Such a wonderful talent gone too soon. My heart goes out to Travis and his entire family. Rest in peace, Danny ❤️ xoP pic.twitter.com/VeGQdImruD
— Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) March 7, 2020
Who was Danny Tidwell?
Tidwell was born in Norfolk, Virginia in August 1984.
According to Hollywood Life, Tidwell had a difficult childhood and he started attending an After-School program for At-Risk children when he was eight years old. He joined Denise Wall’s dancing studio and the two developed a close relationship.
He moved out of his mother’s house to live with Denise’s family when he was 10 years old. Denise officially took full custody of Danny when he was 12.
He attended The Kirov Academy of Washington, D.C. He studied under Vladimir Djouloukhadze and later worked with the American Ballet Theatre.
Tidwell appeared on So You Think You Can Dance Season 3 which aired on Fox in 2007. He finished as the runner-up. His brother Travis Wall was the previous season’s runner-up, according to Tidwell’s CBS profile page.
Tidwell was a silver medalist at the 2002 USA International Ballet Competition. He served as the Artistic Director of the Movmnt magazine and was an instructor at Fusion Dance Theater in Holbrook, New York.
He made his Broadway debut in 2009 in Memphis. He moved to Norway in 2010 and joined the Norway National Opera and Ballet, based in Oslo, according to Hollywood Life.
Tidwell was also an actor. He appeared in I Dream of Dance (2017), according to his IMDB page.