So You Think You Can Dance (American TV series)

reality television dance competition show that airs on Fox in the US

So You Think You Can Dance (2005–present) is an American reality dance competition. It is broadcast on the Fox Network (USA), Fox Japan, CTV (Canada), Living (UK and Ireland), and Network Ten (Australia). The series first premiered on July 20, 2005 and has a similar premise to the American Idol series of singing competitions, with nationwide auditions leading to the discovery of the next big star. There are currently versions of the show in New Zealand, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Canada, Germany, Greece, Poland, Malaysia, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia, and Portugal.

Season 9


Top 20 Perform [9.6]

Comment Lythgoe made after watching a group performance by three male contestants: a step dancer, an animator (popping), and a mixed martial artist.
Nigel Lythgoe: I can't believe we've got standing in front of us a stepper, an animator, and a martial artist. I would've never have dreamt [sic] that when we started this show and it's thrilling. Absolutely thrilling.

Season 7


Top 6 Perform [7.20]

Comments Nigel Lythgoe made to contemporary dancer, Lauren Froderman, after she performed a hip-hop routine.
Nigel Lythogoe: You weren't only bad, you were nasty, buck, and it was a sick routine... And I loved your swag.

Comments Kenny Ortega made as a guest judge.
Kenny Ortega: I have been a fan of So You Think You Can Dance every season and I finally have a front row seat and I couldn't be happier. It's great to be sitting next to my colleagues. I'm inspired so much... I think So You Think You Can Dance every single season changes the state of the art of dance in our culture so it's truly an honor and a privilege to be here.

Finale [7.42]

Comment DeGeneres made after a hip-hop performance with Stephen "Twitch" Boss about Lythgoe's viral National Dance Day campaign.
Ellen DeGeneres: I hope this is an inspiration that National Dance Day inspired me. Everybody, it doesn't matter if you've had a dance class in your life which I haven't—maybe you couldn't tell, but everyone should do this. It's so much fun. Thank you so much.

Season 5


Top 14 Perform [5.12]

Comment Lythgoe made after watching a Pas de deux performance from "Romeo and Juliet". He compared it to two other performances danced earlier on the same episode: a jazz routine where the female dancer played an alien who came down to Earth to procreate with a human male and a hip-hop performance where both dancers were connected by a chain on their ankles throughout the entire routine—the chain represented the mandatory partnership that the paired couples on the show had to go through throughout the course of the season.
Nigel Lythgoe: I don't know another program in the world where you can watch aliens impregnate dancers, dancers dance in chains, and Romeo and Juliet here. What other television program actually puts any of that together.

Top 10 Perform [5.16]

Comments Debbie Allen made as a guest judge.
Debbie Allen: This experience tonight says that this show has gone beyond being a competition. It is a conversation. It is a conversation that is connecting a community of dance around the world. This is truly evangelizing dance in a way that nothing else has.

Debbie Allen: Tonight we've gone from Bollywood to Paso Doble and now to Africa. What's so important about this dance style being apart of this show is that it is the origin of hip-hop, jazz, all of those wonderful styles that we love so much. This is the mother of them all.

Season 4


Top 16 Perform [4.10]

Comment Adam Shankman made as a guest judge in response to a dance choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo.
Adam Shankman: This is one of the great things about this show is that we've really explored a totally new thing which is lyrical hip-hop and you guys nail it... It shows you that hip-hop [has] completely become a really legitimate beautiful genre in and of its own and you can tell such beautiful and heart breaking stories.

Finale [4.23]

Comment Robert "Mr. Fantastic" Muraine made about the live popping battle he participated in with Phillip "Pacman" Chbeeb.
Robert Muraine: I want to give much respect to Phillip and to everyone that had us here and everything. This is the first televised popping battle and it's a honor to be a part of that and I want to thank everybody.


  • The way we look at So You Think You Can Dance is that the days of being a dancer who specializes in one thing - 'I do this and that's it' - are dwindling. Dancers today know they have to do all kinds of movement. And that's a beautiful thing to see, for us, in our Dance [sic] world.
  • At its best, the show provides a kind of kicky fun, the good side of cheesy. But it’s also outdated and perpetuates many stereotypes about what constitutes good dance (speed is in, subtlety is out), what language is used to describe it and how training makes boring dancers.