Ace Your "SYTYCD" Audition

As the co-executive producer of “So You Think You Can Dance,” Jeff Thacker has seen it all. He’s watched dancers face-plant during the audition process, but he’s also witnessed the dancers who blew Nigel and Mary away. He’s here to tell you how to get your ticket to Vegas—
and for the hot tamale train.



  • Dress to impress. It makes a big difference.
  • Be as unique and memorable as you can. Show us something we may not have seen yet.
  • Show us your charisma and character. Having a good personality is equally as important as excellent dancing ability.
  • Come and enjoy the entire experience.


  • Come unprepared. You never know what songs you may dance to or styles you’ll be asked to do.
  • Dance in a style that isn’t your own. Be good at your own style, not bad at another.
  • Wear hats or glasses that cover your face. We need to see you.
  • Hold back. Just go for it and do your best.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

And then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)

It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)

All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.

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Dance on TV
Photo by Erin Baiano

When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.

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