Inside “SYTYCD” Season 9 Auditions

For the past two days, DS managing editor Rachel Zar and I have been behind the scenes at the NYC auditions for Season 9 of “So You Think You Can Dance.” If you thought the competition was tough last year, you’ll be floored by the talent of the upcoming season. From contemporary to ballroom to hip hop—these dancers can do it all.

But being well-rounded doesn’t mean a ticket to Vegas—especially with the judges (Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Tyce Diorio) cracking down on mediocre performances. Here’s Rachel’s quick recap of the judges’ feedback to contestants:

1. Be a sponge. When the judges give you feedback, soak it all up, work on those things throughout the year and audition next season.

2. Use your face! If you don’t connect with the judges, you’re not going straight to Vegas.

3. If you’re young and don’t have a lot of emotional baggage, take an acting class so you can learn to convey emotion onstage.

4. A series of steps, poses and tricks is not dancing.

5. After you’ve auditioned, don’t ask for one more chance to prove yourself. The audition is your chance—use it to show off every style that you have under your belt.

6. Don’t audition with another dancer unless you’ve actually prepared something together. Just dancing side by side and competing for the judges’ attention will only confuse them and get you sent home.

Now that you’ve taken those lessons to heart, take a behind-the-scenes look at the NYC auditions:

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