May 18, 2006 01:51 PM by Joe Blackmon
Last summer’s smash hit SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE returns Thursday, May 25, for an all-new season hosted by the UK’s hottest television personality, Cat Deeley. The best undiscovered dancing talent the U.S. has to offer will endure a grueling competition to become America’s No. 1 dancer. What happens when dancers whose specialized training runs from ballroom and ballet to salsa, jive, hip-hop and krumping are put to the test? Some contestants may collapse under the pressure, and some will reveal their two left feet. But only one will dance his or her way into America’s heart. The series, produced by 19 Entertainment Ltd. and dick clark productions, will have its second season premiere with dance auditions in New York and Charleston Thursday, May 25 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
The following week, auditions continue in Chicago Wednesday, May 31 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Los Angeles Thursday, June 1 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), as SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE moves to its regular time period.
The judges invite over 100 talented dancers who spark their interest during auditions to call-backs in Las Vegas, where they work with five of America’s top choreographers: Brian Friedman, Mia Michaels, Shane Sparks, Mary Murphy and Ron Montez. In the Las Vegas Round episodes airing Wednesday, June 7 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, June 8 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), the judges will select the Top 20 finalists – 10 males and 10 females.
Then America helps decide who continues in the competition. The first performance show featuring the Top 20 dancers, performing as couples, will air Wednesday, June 14 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT). The following night, Thursday, June 15 (9:00-10:00 PM live ET/tape-delayed PT), the first LIVE results show will reveal who will keep dancing and who will go home.
Las Vegas Judges / Choreographers:
Nigel Lythgoe serves as executive producer of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE as well as one of its choreographer/judges. One of the UK’s most respected TV talents, Lythgoe began his career at the age of 10 as a dancer. Later, he switched to choreography for “The Young Generation” dance group and went on to choreograph over 500 television shows around the world, including shows for Engelbert Humperdinck, The Muppets and five Royal Variety Performances. Lythgoe became a household name as a tough judge on the UK series "Popstars," leading him to be dubbed "Nasty Nigel" by viewers. He has produced multiple shows, including "Gladiator," "Pop Idol" and the British version of "Survivor,” which he also directed.
Lythgoe, currently the President of 19 Television, joined 19 as Chief Executive in 2001 from London World Television (LWT), where he was controller of entertainment and comedy. Lythgoe’s executive-producer credits include all five seasons of the No. 1 televison show AMERICAN IDOL, “All American Girl” and currently SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE.
Brian Friedman has choreographed some of the top performers of our time, including Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Pink, BeyoncÃƒ and Mya. Friedman has also had the opportunity to work with *NSYNC, Prince and Usher. He has a dance instructional DVD titled “Freestyle.”
Mia Michaels just completed choreography for Cirque du Soleil’s newest show “Delirium,” and is the choreographer for Celine Dion’s “A New Day” show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. She has created routines for a cast of 50 dancers, as well as for Celine Dion. Michaels has worked with artists such as Madonna, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan and Prince. She is the founder, artistic director and choreographer for the critically acclaimed New York-based dance company RAW and has held faculty positions at the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and the International Dance Festival of Italy.
Mary Murphy serves as a national dance judge, technical dance teacher, competitive dancer and founder of the Champion Ballroom Academy in San Diego, CA. Murphy and her partner were the Austrian National Champions in 1990 and ’91 and performed together in the World Cup Final. She has coached Mary Steenburgen, Donnie Wahlberg, Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid, Lorenzo Lamas and Ted Danson for various roles. She continues to train champion dancers in her studio and co-organizes two national dance competitions: the San Diego Dancesport Championships and the Holiday Dance Classic in Las Vegas.
Shane Sparks has worked with artists such as Lindsay Lohan, Marques Houston, Omarion of B2K on the film “You Got Served,” and with new R&B sensation O’Ryan (Omarion’s younger brother) on the video “Take It Slow,” as well as his promotional tour. Sparks was also the choreographer for *NSYNC’s 2004 “Challenge for the Children” Celebrity Basketball Game at the Office Depot Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Sparks was a judge for the 2004 World Hip-Hop Championship and a choreographer for the Wade Robson workshop held in Miami.
Ron Montez, a seven-time undefeated United States Professional Latin Champion, achieved fourth place in the World Professional Latin Championships held at the Royal Albert Hall in London and has reached the finals of the prestigious British Championship in Blackpool, England. Montez was the co-host and expert commentator for the television series “Championship Ballroom Dancing,” which was co-hosted by Rita Moreno, the late Juliet Prowse, Barbara Eden and Sandy Duncan. Currently an examiner for DIVIDA (Dance Vision International Dance Association), Montez evaluates both amateur and professional dancers seeking to obtain certification. His instructional tapes and DVDs including bronze, silver and gold levels are available to the public.
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE was created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and comes from 19 Entertainment, Ltd. and dick clark productions. It is executive-produced by Simon Fuller, Nigel Lythgoe and Allen Shapiro.