Entering its ninth season, So You Think You Can Dance showcases talented dancers skilled in everything from Hip Hop, Krumping and Popping to Salsa, Quickstep and Jive as they compete to be named America's Favorite Dancer.
Hosted by Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance traveled across America to Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City in search of dancers who represent the best in America.
Those who shine during auditions are given a ticket to Las Vegas for callbacks, where they work with top choreographers to learn and then be judged on multiple styles of dance.
This season features more format changes to the show, after heavy criticism during the last couple of seasons. Notably, the format returns to one similar to that seen in Season 1; a single two-hour episode per week, eliminating each week's results show.
Additional changes most notably include the fact that the season crowns two winners (one male and one female) and voting for individual dancers (as opposed to couples) begins with the first week of the Top 20 competition as opposed to halfway through the performance show phase, as in previous seasons.
Additionally there have been tweaks to the format of the "dance for your life" solos, the last chance efforts which dancers are given to impress judges and remain in the competition if the at-home-viewer votes put them in the bottom 6 dancers.
In previous seasons, all dancers who were in danger of elimination were automatically assigned to perform such solos but in season 9 the judges, taking into advisement the dancers' previous performances and the advice of the choreographers who have worked with them, will decide each week which (if any) dancers will perform solos.
The ninth season is also the first in which dancers have been able to exert some control over the styles they dance for their duets; this season couples are given the ability to pick their styles from the pool of available routines for a given week, with the order of choosing determined by drawing lots.
Mary Murphy returns to the permanent judging panel and once again there are revolving guest judges who join Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy each week.
So You Think You Can Dance was created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and is produced by 19 Entertainment Ltd. and dick clark productions, inc. The series is executive-produced by Simon Fuller, Nigel Lythgoe and Barry Adelman.
After travelling around the country looking for the best dancers, producers invite 500 of the most talented to attend casting sessions in major cities across the nation.
At the casting sessions, each dancer must perform their own routine in front of a panel of judges, who then decide immediately who is good enough to continue.
Those chosen to stay work on a routine as a group, and after a further round of eliminations followed by a choreographed routine with a partner, the final 50 are selected to move on to the Dance Boot Camp.
At the Dance Boot Camp, each of the dancers is put through their paces by 5 choreographers, who take them through a variety of dance styles, from Hip Hop, to the Flamenco.
At the end of the camp, the group is immediately cut down, 20 of whom will be chosen to move forward to the studio shows after one-to-one interviews with the choreographers. This group is then cut down to a final 10.
Each studio show is structured the same way. As contestants are eliminated the remaining participants are randomly paired together, and the dances they need to perform the following week are drawn from a hat.
We follow each couple as they learn their routine by a top choreographer, before performing that routine in front of the panel of choreographers, and a live studio audience.
Once all the couples have performed, the panel identify the 3 weakest couples (or in later shows, 2 weakest couples) to go up for elimination by the public who vote for their favourites to stay.
Each dancer has an opportunity to encourage voters to keep them in the competition by dancing a solo routine for 45 seconds immediately before the phone lines are opened.
Each week, one guy and one girl is eliminated until only 4 dancers remain.
After performing for the last time, all 4 dancers are put to the public vote and it is the public who decide the final winner.
Dance styles featured on the show include jazz, contemporary, pop, modern, American jive, swing, disco, hip hop, krumping, paso doble, quickstep, lyrical, Broadway, Viennese waltz, smooth waltz, Argentine tango, mambo, cha cha, Cuban rumba, and salsa.
There are three judges on each show, one of whom is always producer Nigel Lythgoe. The other two judges are a rotation of professional dancers and choreographers.