Seven Sensational Seasons of "So You Think You Can Dance"

As "So You Think You Can Dance" embarks on its eighth season, the DS editors take a look back at some of the show's most memorable moments.

  • Sabra Johnson becomes the first female winner during Season 3.


  • Front-runner and fan favorite Alex Wong gets injured during Season 7 and is forced to withdraw from the competition. Luckily, Ellen DeGeneres (briefly) steps in to take his place.

  • Beautiful Brit Cat Deeley replaces Lauren Sánchez as host in Season 2. She immediately wins over audiences with her quick wit, chic outfits and ability to buddy-up to the contestants.

  • Tyce Diorio choreographs a routine about breast cancer for Ade Obayomi and Melissa Sandvig during Season 5. The piece is beautiful, moving and a total tearjerker.

  • For Season 5, “SYTYCD” joins forces with Dance Spirit! In addition to being named America's Favorite Dancer, winners receive a DS cover feature. Jeanine Mason lands on the November 2009 cover, followed by Russell Ferguson (March 2010) and Lauren Froderman (November 2010).

  • Season 7 debuts with a new format: All-Stars (former contestants) are added to the lineup to partner with the Top 11 contestants.

  • Season 5 includes a Russian folk dance, performed by Jeanine Mason and Phillip Chebeeb. We don’t really want to talk about it, but it was memorable, to say the least.


DS editor Katie Rolnick got “SYTYCD” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe to divulge exactly what it takes to become America’s Favorite Dancer. Here’s his advice:

1. Pick up all the different styles as quickly as you can. To do this, you need basic training—ballet is a fabulous foundation for any form of dance.

2. Have a personality. At the end of the day, personality beats technical ability every time. That’s how Benji won over Travis and Sabra won over Danny.

3. Dance for the audience so they’ll pick up the phone and vote for you. Everyone has to enjoy your performance, not just dancers.


(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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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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