So You Think You Can Dance

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So You Think You Can Dance
So You Think You Can Dance.svg
Generic series logo
Genre Reality television
Created by
Country of origin United States
Production company(s) Dick Clark Productions
19 Entertainment

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 twelve seasons since. Adaptations of the show began airing in other countries in late 2005 and to date 26 localized adaptations have been produced, representing 37 different countries and comprising nearly ninety 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.

Dance styles[edit]

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.

Genre Styles
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

Franchise index[edit]

Color Keys:      Ongoing        Discontinued        Forthcoming  

Country/Region Show Title Language Host Channel Premiere[1] Seasons Status
 Arab League[2] So You Think You Can Dance - Yalla Nerkos! Arabic Rita Hayek MTV
Fox Movies ME
28-09-2014 1 Ongoing
 Armenia Parir te Karogh Es Armenian Grikor Aghakhanyan Shant TV 2011 1 · 2 · 3 Ongoing
 Australia So You Think You Can Dance Australia English Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Seasons 1–3)
Carrie Bickmore (Season 4)
Network Ten 2008-02-08 08-02-2008 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 Discontinued
Netherlands Belgium
So You Think You Can Dance Dutch
EliZe (Season 1)
An Lemmens (Season 2–)
Dennis Weening (Season 2–)
Netherlands RTL5
Belgium VTM
2008-09-08Netherlands 08-09-2008
Belgium 01-09-2009
1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 Discontinued
So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation (Netherlands) Dutch
Lieke van Lexmond & Dennis Weening Netherlands RTL5 2013-04-13 13-04-2013 1 Discontinued
 Canada So You Think You Can Dance Canada English
Leah Miller CTV 2008-09-11 11-09-2008 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 Discontinued
 China So You Think You Can Dance: Wǔ Lín Zhēngbà (Season 1)
So You Think You Can Dance: Zhōngguó Hǎo Wǔdǎo (Season 2)
Chinese Cheng Lei (Season 1)
Hua Shao (Season 2)
Dragon TV (Season 1)
Zhejiang STV (Season 2)
2013-02-16 16-02-2013 1  · 2 Discontinued
 Denmark[4] Kan Du Danse? Danish Thomas Mygind & Anne Katrine Skole TV3 2006-07-20 20-07-2006 1 · 2 Discontinued
 Finland Dance Suomi Finnish Caro Axel Smith Nelonen 2010-08-29 29-08-2010 1 · 2 Discontinued
 France You Can Dance French Benjamin Castaldi NT1 2012-02-16 16-02-2012 1 Discontinued
 Germany You Can Dance German Anna Maier Sat.1 2010 1 Discontinued
 Greece So You Think You Can Dance Greek Vicky Kaya Mega Channel 2007-02-01 01-02-2007 1 · 2 Discontinued
 India So You Think You Can Dance Hindi TBA &TV 2016 Summer 2016 1 Ongoing
 Israel Nolad Lirkod Hebrew Zvika Hadar Channel 2 2005-12-02 02-12-2005 1 · 2 · 3 Discontinued
 Kazakhstan Bïle, Qazaqstan! Kazakh
Aisulu Azimbayeva & Aset Arystanbekov Khabar 2016-24-09 09-24-2016 1 Ongoing
 Lithuania Tu gali šokti Lithuanian Mindaugas Meškauskas TV3 2010-04-11 11-04-2010 1 · 2 Discontinued
 Malaysia So You Think You Can Dance English
Juliana Ibrahim (Season 1)
Jehan Miski (Season 1)
Aishah Sinclair (Season 2)
8TV 2007-04-05 05-04-2007 1 · 2 Discontinued
 New Zealand So You Think You Can Dance English Shane Cortese TV3 2006 1 Discontinued
 Norway[4] Dansefeber Norwegian Kjetil Tefke & Henriette Lien TVNorge 2006 1 · 2 Discontinued
 Poland You Can Dance: Po prostu tańcz! Polish Kinga Rusin (Seasons 1–5)
Patricia Kazadi (Season 6–)
TVN 2007-09-1010-09-2007 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 Ongoing
 Portugal Achas que Sabes Dançar? Portuguese João Manzarra (Season 1)
Diana Chaves (Season 2)
SIC 2010-05-30 30-05-2010 1 · 2 Ongoing
Sweden Norway Denmark
So You Think You Can Dance Scandinavia Swedish
Sweden Kicki Berg
Norway Henriette Lien
Denmark Vicki Jo
Sweden Kanal 5
Norway TVNorge
Denmark Kanal 5
2008-02-28 Sweden 28-02-2008
Norway 13-03-2008
Denmark 13-03-2008
1 Discontinued
 South Africa So You Think You Can Dance English Sade Giliberti SABC 1 2007-02-07 07-02-2007 1 · 2 · 3 Ongoing
 Turkey Dans Eder misin? (1–4)
Dans Eder misin? Yaz Ateşi (5)
Huysuz'la Dans Eder misin? (6)
Turkish Güzide Duran (Seasons 1–5)
Seyfi Dursunoğlu (6)
KanalD (1–3)
FOX (4)
aTV (5)
ShowTV (6)
2007 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 Discontinued
 Ukraine Tancyuyut Vsi! Ukrainian
Lilia Rebryk & Dmytro Tankovich STB 2008-09-12 12-09-2008 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6  · 7  · 8 Ongoing
 United Kingdom So You Think You Can Dance English Cat Deeley BBC One 2010-01-02 02-01-2010 1 · 2 Discontinued
 United States So You Think You Can Dance English Lauren Sánchez (Season 1)
Cat Deeley (Season 2–)
Fox 2005-07-20 20-07-2005 1 · 2  · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 Ongoing
 Vietnam Thử thách cùng bước nhảy: So You Think You Can Dance Vietnamese Huỳnh Trấn Thành (season 1-4)
Chí Thiện & Chibi Hoàng Yến (5)
HTV7 2012-09-15 15-09-2012 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 Ongoing
  1. ^ Day/Month/Year
  2. ^ The Arabian version of this series is shown in, and accepts contestants from, 11 different Arab League nations, including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, as well as Palestinian territories.
  3. ^ The first season of the Benelux version of So You Think You Can Dance was Netherlands-specific while seasons 2-7 have broadened to represent Belgium as well. In 2013 a spin-off series involving younger competitors began airing as well.
  4. ^ a b c 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.

The So You Think You Can Dance franchise has broadcast localized versions of the show in 37 countries since its premiere in the summer of 2005.

International competition[edit]

In March 2014, CCTV broadcast a promotional episode in which notable dancers from the U.S. and Chinese versions of So You Think You Can Dance competed directly against one-another as teams. Titled Zhōngměi Wǔ Lín Guànjūn Duìkàngsài - Super Dancer Born Tonight, the show was shot in Las Vegas but has yet to see a release or announcement in the U.S.. The episode featured head-to-head competition between "all-stars" in the form of solos and duets and was judged by an international panel.

The Next Generation[edit]

In 2013, the producers of the Dutch version of So You Think You Can Dance announced a spin-off series, titled So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation, featuring dancers younger than those typically featured on the traditional entries in the franchise. The spin off lasted only one season.

In 2016, producers of the original So You Think You Can Dance announced that the 13th season of the American version of the show, would be a Next Generation format with the same title. The competitors are between the ages of 8 and 13. It also features a fourth judge, 13-year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler, the youngest judge in SYTYCD history. This season premiered on May 30, 2016.

See also[edit]

Similar shows[edit]