It's Official: Vanessa Hudgens Is the New "SYTYCD" Judge


Big news from "So You Think You Can Dance" land! The show has officially announced that the last spot at the judging table for Season 14, which premieres in just a few days, will be occupied by Vanessa Hudgens.

Misty Copeland she ain't, but Hudgens does know her way around a piece of choreography, thanks in no small part to her work on the High School Musical series. (In fact, back in our November 2008 issue, HSM director and choreographer Kenny Ortega told us Hudgens is one of the most natural dancers he's ever worked with.) And she 100 percent stole the show as Rizzo in Fox's super dance-y "Grease: Live" last year.

So, what will Hudgens' judging persona be? Will she be the Paula Abdul-style cheerleader? The Ellen DeGeneres-style comic relief? The Mary Murphy-style...nope, no need to try to replace the irreplaceable Murphy: She's back this season, too, along with [Cat Deeley voice] Mr. Nigel Lythgoe. Hot Tamale Train tickets for everyone!

Catch the premiere of "SYTYCD" June 12 at 8 pm EST on Fox. (And look for America's Favorite Dancer on the cover of our December issue!)

Dance News
(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 on their profile pages, 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

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Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)

Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer

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