So You Think You Can Dance Returns for Season 18
So You Think You Can Dance returns to FOX on Monday, March 4 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) for its 18th season with an all-new format. Joining Nigel Lythgoe on the judging panel are So You Think You Can Dance All-Star and Emmy-nominated choreographer for Dancing with the Stars Allison Holker and dancer and Dancing with the Stars alum choreographer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Presenter and author Cat Deeley will step back into her role as host of the dance competition series.
“So You Think You Can Dance is television’s preeminent dance competition, and we are thrilled to bring the beloved show back for an all-new season,” said Allison Wallach, President of Unscripted Programming at FOX Entertainment. “Reuniting Cat, Nigel, Allison and Comfort and, welcoming Maksim into the SYTYCD family, is sure to make Season 18 bigger than ever for their legions of fans around the globe.”
This season, during the auditions round, So You Think You Can Dance All-Star Comfort Fedoke, an associate choreographer on the new film Wicked and associate choreographer for Cabaret on London’s West End, will join the judging panel to audition dancers from across the country as they showcase their talent in a wide array of dance styles including contemporary, tap, hip-hop, ballroom and more, in hopes of securing one of ten coveted spots on the show.
Season 18 will infuse the long-running hit with a new format reflecting the authentic experience of building a successful career in dance, as so many So You Think You Can Dance alums have. Each week, contestants will compete in new, intense dance challenges that will give them a real taste of the career, from performing in a music video or a football halftime show to going toe-to-toe on stage with a Broadway performer. In the end, it will be up to the judges to decide their fate. Eliminations will take place weekly, with the Top 3 finalists competing in the season’s spectacular finale, but only one will win the $100,000 grand prize and the highly coveted title of So You Think You Can Dance champion.
This season will also debut new storytelling elements to further capture the authentic ups and downs experienced by professional dancers. For the first time ever, in addition to the big spectacle dance numbers that So You Think You Can Dance has long been famous for, viewers will get a documentary-style inside look at the contestants’ dynamics, following them throughout the competition as they go through their personal and competitive journeys, including the daily struggles, new relationships, personality clashes and more.
These new dimensions to the show’s format reflect and celebrate its consistency in launching illustrious dance careers for its contestants, who can be found in the dance troupes for superstar musical acts, on Broadway stages, on every dance show on TV and beyond. Each year, amateurs gain the experience and exposure to launch successful careers, and the real-world challenges of the 18th season will prove their professional readiness more than ever. Last year, ballroom dancer Alexis Warr from Orem, UT was named the winner of So You Think You Can Dance during the live two-hour season finale on FOX. Warr waltzed off with the grand prize winnings and prestigious title of “America’s Favorite Dancer.”
Over the course of its 17 seasons, So You Think You Can Dance has received 72 Emmy Award nominations and garnered 17 Emmy Award wins, including Outstanding Choreography for Al Blackstone (2020); Mandy Moore (2018); Travis Wall (2017, 2015); Mia Michaels (2011, 2010 and 2007); Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo (2014 and 2011); Tyce Diorio (2009); and Wade Robson (2008 and 2007). The hit series also received awards in the category of Outstanding Costumes in 2014, 2010 and 2009, as well as awards in Outstanding Lighting Design in 2012 and 2011.
So You Think You Can Dance is from 19 Entertainment (a part of Sony Pictures Television) and Dick Clark Productions. The series is executive produced by Daniel Martin who also serves as showrunner and by series co-creator Nigel Lythgoe, Barry Adelman, Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman. Cat Deeley also serves as producer.
Visit the official So You Think You Can Dance site at fox.com/dance to view exclusive videos and photos. “Like” So You Think You Can Dance on Facebook at SoYouThinkYouCanDance. Follow the series on Twitter @DANCEonFOX and join the discussion using #SYTYCD. Be sure to also follow @RealityClubFOX on all social platforms for even more So You Think You Can Dance content!
ABOUT CAT DEELEY:
From Birmingham, England, Cat Deeley is one of the foremost television presenters, both in the United States and the U.K. In 2005, she broke into the world of male-dominated television hosts when she began hosting So You Think You Can Dance. Deeley has received five Emmy Award nominations for “Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program” in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. She won the 2015 and 2012 Critics’ Choice Award for “Best Reality Host,” and also was nominated in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Additionally, she has received three Teen Choice Awards nominations for her role as host on the show.
In addition to So You Think You Can Dance, in 2024, Deeley can be seen in the cable television revival of The Joe Schmo Show, which once again centers on a show-within-a-show in which one non-acting civilian thinks he’s competing on a reality series — when he’s actually in a scripted environment surrounded by improv comedians.
ABOUT NIGEL LYTHGOE:
Three-time Emmy winner Nigel Lythgoe has been a pioneer in reality television and a driving force in the world of performing arts as the creator, executive producer and judge on So You Think You Can Dance. The series has won 16 Emmy Awards and received 64 nominations, and as the Executive Producer of American Idol, the television juggernaut has been nominated 67 times and won 8 Emmy Awards. Lythgoe spearheaded and produced Idol Gives Back, which raised more than $170 Million for an array of worthy causes. In 2007, it was distinguished with the prestigious Governors Award, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ highest honor. Lythgoe was recognized with the International Emmy Founders Award, presented to him in New York by Lady Gaga, honoring him for his indelible imprint on the TV industry and a body of work that crosses cultural boundaries and speaks to our common humanity.
Beyond his powerful impact on entertainment, Lythgoe has dedicated himself to providing access to the performing arts for underserved youth and communities. In 2009, Lythgoe co-founded the Dizzy Feet Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to support, improve and increase access to dance education in underprivileged communities throughout the U.S. Under Lythgoe’s leadership, Dizzy Feet has become the American Dance Movement and in partnership with the American Heart Association has created a dance program for schools called “Kids Heart Challenge.” Also In 2009, the U.K.’s University of Bedfordshire awarded Lythgoe with an honorary Doctor of Arts for his outstanding contribution to the performing arts in television. In 2010, Lythgoe created National Dance Day and achieved the recognition of a Congressional resolution to hold the annual event on the last Saturday of every September. This highly anticipated annual celebration promotes dance as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.
Lythgoe was elected Chairman of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles in 2010. In this role, he hosted Prince William and Kate Middleton at an event in Los Angeles in 2011. He created the BAFTA Los Angeles Nigel Lythgoe Television Scholarship, providing financial aid and access to educational opportunities for British students studying in the U.S. To champion the creative fusion between the U.K. and California, Lythgoe created the non-profit organization BritWeek. Now going strong for more than a decade, BritWeek hosts an annual series of events celebrating British and American collaboration in film, television, music, art, fashion, design, business, sports and philanthropy. In 2014, Lythgoe was awarded the Ellis Island International Medal of Honor. In 2015, Lythgoe was nominated for a Tony Award for the Broadway Musical sensation On the Town. He was named on Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honors List in 2015 and awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his work in Education, Charity and the Arts. In 2021, Lythgoe was honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Lythgoe was born in St. Helen’s, Lancashire, England. He and his family moved to Liverpool, where he began tap dancing at 11 years of age. Not only does Lythgoe passionately support and provide opportunities to the next generation of dancers, but he has also worked with legends, including Tom Jones, Bing Crosby, Chita Rivera and Cyd Charisse. As a choreographer he has choreographed over 500 TV shows with everyone from Ben Vereen to the Muppets. He serves on the Board of Directors for Turnaround Arts, LA’s Best, and is an Emeritus Board Member with USC Kaufman and the BritWeek Executive Board. He created the Nigel Lythgoe Endowed Dance Scholarship for USC’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Lythgoe resides in Los Angeles, which he has called home for over 20 years.
ABOUT ALLISON HOLKER:
Allison Holker first burst onto the scene when she competed in Season 2 of the cultural phenomenon So You Think You Can Dance. Her skill and popularity led her to return as an All-Star on the show in Season 7. As an Emmy-nominated choreographer and on-air personality, Holker has appeared as a professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars, as a judge on Funny Dance Show, and as the host of multiple TV shows including, Disney’s Fairytale Weddings and the reboot of HGTV’s most popular competition series Design Star: Next Gen.
Holker is the author of the upcoming children’s book Keep Dancing Through which is available for pre-order now and will be available in bookstores nationwide in January 2024. She is also the founder of the Move with Kindness Foundation, created in honor of her late husband Stephen “tWitch” Boss to carry on his legacy of spreading love and championing mental health awareness.
When Holker isn’t on set, she can be found spending quality time with her three children, Weslie, Maddox and Zaia, cooking, or doing DIY projects around the house.
ABOUT MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY:
Internationally renowned ballroom dance champion, choreographer and 17-time Dancing with the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy has quickly become one of America’s most watched and most beloved cast members of the smash hit series. The Ukranian-American heartthrob won the show’s coveted mirror ball trophy in 2014 and made it to the final round five times, with two runner-up and two third-place finishes. Not one to limit himself, Chmerkovskiy has also starred in the Broadway productions of dance shows Burn the Floor and Forever Tango and appeared on a number of hit television shows in the U.S. including a guest stint on General Hospital and the Netflix reboot Fuller House.
Chmerkovskiy’s professional choreography work includes three numbers in the world famous water-based stage production, Le Rêve, at the Wynn Las Vegas, the Dancing with the Stars 34-city tour, a national commercial for Propel water and he provided choreography for actress Zendaya’s music video for the song Neverland from Broadway’s Finding Neverland in addition to his multiple national tours with his brother, Valentin and their latest cabaret, Savor: After Hours, which just wrapped this summer in Napa, California.
Chmerkovskiy lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Peta Murgatroyd and their sons, Shai and Rio.
ABOUT COMFORT FEDOKE:
Nigerian American Comfort Fedoke is a multi-talented choreographer, actor, singer and Emmy award-winning dancer. Known for competing on So You Think You Can Dance Season 4, Fedoke was invited back for several more seasons as an All-Star, choreographer and mentor.
On stage, Fedoke has worked and performed live with talented artists such as H.E.R, John Legend, Florence and the Machine, Harry Styles, Kanye West, LL Cool J, Chaka Khan, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Wale, Jason Derulo, J.Lo, Travis Scott, Drake, Gwen Stefani, Lizzo, Missy Elliott and more. Her talent extends well beyond the dance floor, she also worked alongside the legendary Sway Calloway for Red Bull TV as a commentator and host. Fedoke continues to be a host and voice for numerous events for Red Bull TV, as well as a judge on a hit Nigerian TV show Maltina Dance All. Comfort has also done extensive commercial work, including a solo feature in Nike’s 30-year celebration of Air Max, promoting the new VaporMax shoe and worldwide Apple campaigns, as well as Michael Jackson’s Pepsi Generation Super Bowl commercial.
She has acted and choreographed in a number of film, television and stage productions, including Footloose, Step Up 5: All In, The Mindy Project, The Funny Dance Show, Blind Spotting, High Strung, That 90’s Show, The Big Leap and The Santa Clauses, among others. In her latest role, she plays the magical toymaker Drosselmeyer on the new Disney+ family special The Hip Hop Nutcracker.
Fedoke currently resides in London, where she is working as an associate choreographer on the new film Wicked from director Jon M. Chu and is also associate choreographer for London’s #1 West End musical, Cabaret.
ABOUT FOX ENTERTAINMENT:
With a legacy spanning more than 35 years, FOX Entertainment is one of the world’s most recognizable media brands and a prolific content producer across its iconic broadcast network and both owned and third-party streaming platforms. Known for its independent, innovative spirit and provocative, groundbreaking storytelling, the company was reinvented in 2019 with the formation of FOX Entertainment. While maintaining its leadership in broadcast television (9-1-1: Lone Star, The Simpsons, The Cleaning Lady, Hell’s Kitchen, LEGO Masters), the company is actively building a portfolio of businesses and library of owned original content. To date, FOX Entertainment’s long-term growth strategy has included the acquisitions of award-winning animation studio Bento Box Entertainment (Bob’s Burgers, The Great North, Krapopolis, Grimsburg), entertainment platform TMZ, and global production studio MarVista Entertainment (The Way Home), as well as the formation of the culinary and lifestyle content venture Studio Ramsay Global (Next Level Chef, Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars) in partnership with Gordon Ramsay. The company also established its in-house unscripted studio FOX Alternative Entertainment (The Masked Singer, Snake Oil, I Can See Your Voice, Name That Tune), FOX Entertainment Studios (Animal Control) to develop scripted content, and worldwide content sales unit FOX Entertainment Global.
ABOUT DICK CLARK PRODUCTIONS:
Dick Clark Productions is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming including the Academy of Country Music Awards, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, Golden Globe Awards, So You Think You Can Dance, from 19 Entertainment and DCP, and Streamy Awards. Dick Clark Productions owns one of the world’s most extensive and unique entertainment archive libraries with more than 60 years of award-winning shows, historic specials, performances, and legendary programming. Dick Clark Productions is a Penske Media company. For more information, please visit www.DickClark.com.
ABOUT 19 ENTERTAINMENT:
19 Entertainment, a part of Sony Pictures Television, is led by Executive Producers Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman with key programs including the global hit American Idol co-produced by Fremantle for ABC. Sony Pictures Television’s nonfiction group is the feature documentary, premium content, and unscripted unit within Sony Pictures Television. Through ownership interests in or with production companies Sharp Entertainment, The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC), B17 Entertainment, 19 Entertainment, This Machine, Trilogy Films, Maxine Productions and UnConventional Entertainment, the group creates and produces content in every form of programming for audiences worldwide, currently totaling more than 100 series across 35 networks. In addition to 19 Entertainment’s global hits So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol, key programs include Sharp Entertainment’s 90 Day Fiancé franchise for TLC; IPC’s Emmy®-winning hit documentary series Leah Remini: Scientology & the Aftermath for A&E, Indian Matchmaking and Night Stalker for Netflix, Secrets of Playboy for A&E, We’re Here for Max, and Selena+Chef for Food Network; and B17 Entertainment’s History of Swear Words for Netflix and Chasing the Cure for TNT/TBS. Additionally, 19 Recordings has launched the music careers of Platinum artists including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Phillip Phillips, Lauren Alaina, and more recently, American Idol contestants such as Gabby Barrett, Laci Kaye Booth, Francisco Martin and Julia Gargano.