Stephen “tWitch” Boss: The Last of our family and our friends, and a tribute to his friend Andy Lassner
Stephen “tWitch” Boss is being remembered for the joy he sparked by his friend and former colleague, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” executive producer Andy Lassner.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us. Stephen lit up every room he stepped into. He valued family and friends above all else, and he led with love and light. He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans.”
“To say he left a legacy would be an understatement, and his positive impact will continue to be felt,” she added. There will not be a day that we won’t honor his memory. We would like privacy during this difficult time for ourselves and our children.
“Twitch brought joy and love to people all over the world through music and through dance. My heart is heavy today for his family and all of those who knew and loved him,” Washington also posted on Instagram.
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He studied Dance Performance at Chapman University and Southern Union State Community College after graduating from Lee High School.
Six years ago he spoke with author and former football player Lewis Howes for the latter’s podcast and talked about his background, including being raised by a single mother and how his relationship with his absentee father helped shape him.
“I have always been that type ‘Don’t tell me what I won’t do,’” Boss said. “I remember talking to [his father] outside of his work in the parking lot and telling him ‘Hey, I’m joining the dance team. I’m going to need some shows and some money to get supplies’ and he went on this tangent…I was like ‘Oh, that means I’m really supposed to do this then.’”
A professional dancer who became famous on the show, and later appeared in Disney+’s “The Hip Hop Nutcracker”, shared videos of himself dancing with his wife, fellow dancer Allison Holker Boss, and their three children.
Lassner said that Boss, who became the co- executive producer of the former talk show, started working as a DJ and later became a DJ.
“We shared a dance at the wrap party of that season of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and we have been together ever since,” Boss told People in February.
“There was no dialogue, there was no conversation or a first hangout. Holker Boss said that they danced and held hands the next day. “And we never looked back.”
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The dancer-DJ also appeared in films like “Step Up: All In” and “Magic Mike XXL” and was featured in Disney+’s “The Hip Hop Nutcracker,” released this year. He was a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance” and later the season 17 of the show.
I had an opinion on who had been the greatest of all time. Gene Kelly is a guy’s guy. Fred Astaire was so smooth that I liked it more than I liked him. Boss said in an interview with the Associated Press that he was very classy. Gene Kelly could be like a person’s dad, who had just decided to get up off the couch, dance around, and clean the kitchen.
“I don’t have a thing to say man.” May his family find resolution in this dark time. May we all find peace of mind in our everyday lives. Everyday is a winding road and you just may never know who is on the edge,” Questlove posted on Instagram.
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Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health matters, please call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to connect with a trained counselor or visit the Lifeline site.
But those who paid tribute to him on Wednesday following the news of his shocking death made only passing mention of his professional accomplishments, instead highlighting a man who touched so many lives.
Mary Murphy, judge and choreographer from the dance competition series, shared in a statement to CNN that her “soul is crying and aches on a cellular level.”
Murphy shared that the first time she met Boss, “there was something about him. His eyes shined so much, that I called him twinkle eye. His smile lit up the stage every time he stepped foot on it!”
She remembered that she and the “SYTYCD” team “were not easy on him” when he auditioned, telling him to “work hard and come back” three times, but on that third audition he nailed his solo perfectly. Murphy said it was “mesmerizing and a defining moment in Twitch’s dance career.”
It was heartbreaking to hear that someone who brought joy to a room was hurting so much behind closed doors. It has been over two decades since I have known the dance community’sBoss, he always lit everyone up. You never really know what someone is going through.
In a statement to CNN, “SYTYCD” creator and judge Nigel Lythgoe wrote that Boss was “a man who fought his way through adversity” and “became an inspiration for so many people who watched his journey.”
He was the closest friend of everyone. He really cared for the workers at the show and everyone else in his life. If you met him once, you felt that feeling. That light has some color to it. You and I are both hurting, that’s why. We all counted on him. He was the fire that burned us. Our joy. Our dancer.”
A statement from Fox Entertainment, 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions shared with CNN said Boss would always be remembered for “the light and joy he brought into our lives and into the hearts of so many.”
Chmerkovskiy’s brother and fellow dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy wrote that he was at a loss for words, and that “I have so much to say, but I just want to hold on to the memories I have and not try to wrap my head around this.”
Billy Porter asked readers on Instagram to “please check on your friends. There are both the strong and the happy ones. We don’t know what people are doing.
Many people shared a clip of themselves dancing with Boss, such as singer- songwriter Ciara, who shared a video of herself dancing backstage at the “Ellen” show. She wrote in the caption that she was “crushed to hear the news” of his passing.
I once spent an afternoon with him filming Ben’s Workshop and I was so impressed with him and his wife. Allison has an easy way with the children we filmed that day.
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His tragic death has caused shock, confusion and feelings of grief for those who knew him and the work he did.
Every single person he’s met has changed their lives for the better, that’s all I can say. That was the reason I had to tell the world about it.
“Seeing my whole industry and his loved ones sharing how much he impacted our lives. She wrote that he inspired so many young dancers with his charisma, talent, kindness, intelligence, and most of all he made them feel seen. “The warmth and support he gave to me and so many others made us believe in ourselves. He has been my idol and friend and it hurts to know that the love he made others feel masked his true emotions.”
“He spoke out against police violence and used his platform in smart ways as he could,” King wrote. He sought advice about how to talk to Ellen about the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, and how she could possibly use her show to talk about it. My wife and I just loved his happiness. And dancing together. And energy, in addition to that.
“You don’t have to be of a particular status or anything to actually commit a kind act and have that do its ripple effect,” he said at the Industry Dance Awards in October. “I think sometimes a lot of people put a lot of precedence on helping others when it’s just like nah, you can start right now.”
He and Holker Boss were credited with helping their followers on social media make it through the height of the pandemic with spirited quarantine dance videos.
“So many people on social media are posting pictures of themselves with Twitch. Lassner began his post with a photo of Boss smiling and talked about their close friendship with him. “Talking about the texts they exchanged with him just last week. They talked about the time they had with him. The thing is – it’s all true. It’s all real.
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“There was a heavy burden that none of us realized he was carrying. He must have been so tired,” he wrote. “But we didn’t know because he never wanted it to be about him. Ever. So now we can either spend all of our time wondering why and how and never being satisfied with the answers we imagine. Or we can focus on being grateful for the gift he gave us by allowing us to take light from his flame.
Light is still burning in us. All of us,” Lassner concluded his post. Let’s share that light with the people we love. It’s really all we can do. That is enough. It’s more than enough.”
In her first video appearance on social media since her husband’s death, Allison Holker thanked people for their support.
You guys have brought hope and inspiration to us by telling stories about Stephen’s impact on your life.
He was a person that you could feel happy about and he lived his life from love. We wanted to make sure that our purpose was met when we brought joy to people and joy to their homes from dance or love.
What will we do if we stay the same for us, when we decide to give up and when we can move on and choose kindness?
That is going to stay the same for us. It will feel slightly different, but we know that our purpose is still important and we will do that.
“I hope that we can remember the feeling he gave us and remember that we can still move from there, we can still move and choose love and we can still choose grace and we can still choose kindness,” she said.