So You Think You Can Dance
So You Think You Can Dance is a franchise of reality television shows in which contestants compete in dance. The first series of the franchise, created by producers Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe, premiered in July 2005 and has broadcast ten seasons since. Adaptations of the show began airing in other countries in late 2005 and to date 25 shows have been produced representing as many countries and comprising over 70 individual seasons.
Although each varies in the particulars of its format and presentation, all shows in the So You Think You Can Dance franchise share a premise of placing dancers—who come from a wide variety of dance backgrounds and are often, but not exclusively, amateur or semi-professional in experience—in a competition which requires them to adapt to multiple styles of dance. As the competition progresses, a combination of judge decisions and at-home-viewer votes determine which dancers will advance in the competition from week to week, until ultimately one dancer is voted champion of that particular season and receives a prize package that may consist of money, work or training opportunities, additional material prizes and typically the title of the respective country's "Favorite Dancer" (i.e. "America's Favorite Dancer").
A show in the franchise is typically composed of three phases of competition: initial open auditions, callbacks/finalist selection, and finals/live performance shows. A given series or season may air only one show per week during its initial airing or two, but rarely more; when two episodes appear on a weekly basis, one is usually a "Performance Show", where the bulk of the competitive routines are performed, and the other a "Results Show", in which the outcome of the at-home-viewer votes are revealed and dancers are typically eliminated from the competition. The initial open auditions are typically held at various locations throughout the relevant country and are open to dancers of varied backgrounds and experience levels, though generally there is an age cap (with the age limits being non-consistent between entries in the franchise). Although usually unseen in the final aired edit of the show, some productions may also hold producer auditions, in which the initial talent pool is screened, before the televised auditions. The open auditions are overseen by a panel of judges, typically experts in dance or the entertainment field, who will select a portion of auditioners to advance in the competition. The following stage, sometimes called the "callbacks" or "boot camp," will further reduce this remaining pool of dancers down to the season's "finalists", usually by putting the dancers through a series of short dance workshops and routines while the judges evaluate their capabilities and potential for the competition. The callback phase ends when the judge's panel selects a number of season finalists (typically in the vicinity of twenty total dancers, half women and half men).
Collectively the auditions and callbacks, being edited down considerably, represent only a minority of episodes and are televised during the first few weeks of a season. Following these episodes are the finals (referred to in some entries as "performance shows" or "live shows"), in which the remaining contestants are matched into male/female couples and are assigned new dance styles—-typically, but not always, assigned by a luck-of-the-draw system-—each week. These episodes combine stage performances (including solos, duets and group routines), short "behind-the-scenes" video packets of the dancers working with their choreographers and each other to master the routines, and judge evaluations of the performances to form the bulk of their run-time, occasionally supplemented by guest performances. These episodes are also the point at which at-home-viewers begin their involvement in the show - their votes (combined with judge decisions) will decide which dancers remain in the competition as eliminations reduce the number of contestants weekly until a finale episode in which the winner is revealed. While most of the above are elements shared by all shows in the franchise, entries vary considerably in the details; the number of finalists, the number of shows per week, the manner in which judge decisions are weighted against home-viewer votes, the styles of dance assigned, presentation style, production values and even the number of winners are all examples of elements of the format that have fluctuated throughout the run of the franchise.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of dance styles which have been featured on shows within the So You Think You Can Dance franchise, with notes on nomenclature between versions. Only styles featured in choreographed duet or group routines during the competition phase of the show are listed here; styles featured only in solos or auditions are not listed.
|Western Classical Styles||Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern, Ballet/Pas de Deux|
|Street and Contemporary Club Styles||Hip-Hop, Lyrical Hip-Hop, Animation Breaking/B-boying, Contemporary Hip-Hop, Dubstep, Electric Boogaloo, Krump, House, Locking, Popping, Stepping, Voguing, Waacking|
|Classical/Standard/Smooth Ballroom Styles||Foxtrot/Slowfox, Tango, Argentine Tango, Quickstep, Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Slow Waltz, English Waltz|
|Latin/Rhythm Ballroom Styles||Cha-Cha/Cha-Cha-Cha, Jive, American Jive, Lambada, Mambo, Pasodoble, Rumba, African Rumba, Cuban Rumba, Salsa, Street Salsa, Samba, African Samba|
|Jazz Styles||Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Modern Jazz, Lyrical Jazz, Afro-/African Jazz, Commercial, Jazz-Funk, Latin Jazz, Pop/Pop-Jazz, Afro-Pop, Street Jazz|
|Broadway/Musical Theatre Styles||Broadway (referred to as Musical Theatre or Theatrical outside the U.S.), Burlesque, Can-Can, Tap Dancing|
|American Social / Traditional Club Styles||Boogaloo, Charleston, Disco, New Disco, Go-Go, Hustle, Lindy Hop, Rock n' Roll, Swing, West Coast Swing|
|Regional/Traditional Styles||Bollywood, Dancehall (sometimes alternatively labelled Reggae, Reggaeton, or Reggae-Jam), African, Afro-Cuban, Bellydance, Cabera, Capoeira, Kalinka, Maculelê, Malevos, Sevillanas, Tahitian, Tropak|
|Eastern Classical Styles||Malaysian Classical/Contemporary, Chinese Classical/Contemporary, Indian Classical/Contemporary|
Color Keys:Ongoing Discontinued Forthcoming
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- The first season of the Benelux version of So You Think You Can Dance was Netherlands-specific while seasons 2-5 have broadened to represent Belgium as well. In 2013 a spin-off series involving younger competitors began airing as well.
- Denmark and Norway each produced their own individual SYTYCD shows, both of which lasted two seasons. A third show was then produced that represented both countries as well as Sweden (So You Think Can Dance Scandinavia), which lasted one season.