At The Academy, the choreo comes hard and fast, and the cuts are absolutely brutal—every. single. time. (Adam Rose/FOX)
"Welcome to the real world, kids." —Laurieann Gibson, Disher of Hard Truths
But seriously! Welcome to The Academy, that magical/terrible place where choreography comes hard and fast, meltdowns are par for the course, someone is bound to get injured, and the cuts are absolutely brutal—every. single. time.
After approximately 14 million weeks of individual auditions, 79 dancers were given "golden tickets" to The Academy, held at L.A.'s famous Dolby Theatre this year. There, they faced four rounds of choreography: hip hop with Luther Brown, ballroom with Emma Slater and Sasha Farber, contemporary with Talia Favia, and the group round with Mandy Moore.
This week's episode documented the first three choreo rounds. Here's what went down at the Dolby.
B-boy Michael Salas nailing his audition (Adam Rose/FOX)
To quote old-lady Rose Dawson from Titanic:
OK, so maybe it hasn't really been a full 84 years since Season 16 of "So You Think You Can Dance" first graced our screens. But it kinda feels like it, right? The entire summer so far has been dedicated to auditions! Along the way—five episodes, not 84 years, for the record—we've seen some really stellar talent. And next week, we'll get to see how all that talent fares at The Academy.
But let's not get too ahead of ourselves. Let's talk about what went down during the last few auditions.
Pretty much the entire world fell for Taylor Sieve's gorgeously fluid contemporary stylings during Season 14 of "So You Think You Can Dance." By that point, Sieve, who ultimately earned third place on the show, was a familiar face on the competition scene: She'd won several titles, including Senior Female Best Dancer at the 2016 Dance Awards, while a student at Larkin Dance Studio in Maplewood, MN. After her "SYT" run, Sieve performed with Travis Wall's Shaping Sound. She's currently on tour in Europe with the band Muse. Read on for The Dirt!
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.
Jordynn and Elan—standouts from last season's Academy round—brought the heat again this year. (Adam Rose/FOX)
In many teasers, FOX promised this would be a "powerful" episode of "So You Think You Can Dance." We have to admit that we didn't take that super seriously. We assumed it just meant we'd get one or two emotional contemporary routines sandwiched between the b-boys and the LOL-worthy auditions.
But oh, man: The teasers weren't exaggerating. This episode made us ugly cry—multiple times. Here are the tear-soaked highlights.
Kaeli Ware and Brandon Talbott gave us LEGS for DAYS. (Adam Rose/FOX)
It's the second week of auditions in L.A., and everyone's feeling feisty! (Well, Laurieann's feeling feisty, that's for sure.) As the search for America's Favorite Dancer continues, here's what was awesome about Week 2.
A slow-motion, battement-filled opening montage set to music from The Greatest Showman can only mean one thing: To quote the hostess with the mostest, the ever-fabulous Cat Deeley, "Welcome! to So You Think You Can Dance!"
The OG dance competition show is back and, as always, promising to be better than ever. For the show's sweet 16, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe and longtime judge Mary Murphy have some new company at the judges' table: tough-as-nails choreographer-to-the-pop-stars Laurieann Gibson and former "SYT" contestant and "America's Best Dance Crew" winner and judge Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval. We've also got a new set, 120 cameras capturing the action on the stage, and a live audience in L.A. from day one.
Here are the hopefuls who wowed us during the first episode.
(From left) Mary Murphy, Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval, Laurieann Gibson, and Nigel Lythgoe at the judges' table (Adam Rose/FOX)
"So You Think You Can Dance," the show that has inspired, moved, and motivated us for 15 (!) seasons, is officially back! And we're especially excited for Season 16, because two of our favorite artists are joining the judging panel: Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval and Laurieann Gibson.
D-Trix has had a fantastic career in the industry since making it to the top 8 on "SYTYCD" Season 3; Gibson is best known for working with huge stars like Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears and Katy Perry. (The two of them will sit alongside longtime judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy.)
We caught up with D-Trix and Gibson before the Season 16 premiere to talk all things "SYTYCD."
Three of our Insta faves (Jenna Johnson Chmerkovskiy, Robert Roldan, and Gaby Diaz) in one photo!
It's safe to say that we're obsessed with the "So You Think You Can Dance" All Stars. Over the past few seasons, we've loved seeing them up on that "SYT" stage, guiding each new batch of contestants. Unsurprisingly, many of the All Stars are as charismatic online as they are onscreen. While we wait to hear which All Stars will be involved in Season 16, here are six from years past that you should totally be following on Insta.
Two of our fave couples in one photo, eee! (Adam Rose/FOX)
There's nothing like a showmance—and "So You Think You Can Dance" has turned out to be an especially good breeding ground for love. (Which isn't all that surprising, given how gorgeous and talented its competitors inevitably are.) Here are 6 "SYTYCD" couples we'll stan forever.
Season 16 of "So You Think You Can Dance" is almost here and we are SO. EXCITED. While we wait for the new season to roll around (it premieres Monday, June 12!), we figured we'd reminisce about some of the most iconic auditions from last year. And...cue music!
Season 15's Top 10 in a Luther Brown number (Michael Becker/FOX)
"So You Think You Can Dance" is back for a 16th season, and we are SO HERE FOR IT! Especially because there are tons of gorgeous dancers we're obsessed with RN and would love to see up on that "SYTYCD" stage. Here are nine people we hope are planning to audition.
From competing on "So You Think You Can Dance" to performing on "Dancing with the Stars" for seven seasons (and earning an Emmy nomination for her work on the latter), Chelsie Hightower has lived the pro dance dream. Though Hightower retired from "DWTS" several years ago and now teaches and choreographs in her home state of Utah, she admits that her dance career exceeded even her own high expectations. "I've accomplished things that I didn't know were possible," she says.
But most fans of "DWTS" would never have guessed that while filming, the talented and seemingly fearless ballroom pro was facing her fiercest competitor off-camera. Hightower has struggled with anxiety for most of her life, but the issue became especially severe during her years on the show.
With the help of therapy and other coping exercises, Hightower has found healthy ways to manage her anxiety. Now, she hopes that sharing her experience will inspire other dancers struggling with mental illness to get help.