Although Season 6 is the first fall season of So You Think You Can Dance, Nigel promises that they aren’t changing too much about the already successful summer seasons to cater to a fall crowd of viewers. One change that we’ve announced is the addition of Adam Shankman as a resident judge. That means Tabitha and Napoleon, Lil C, Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, etcetera will most likely not be sitting on the judges’ panel this year. Nigel said, “It’s always difficult to put them in because I want them choreographing, and the minute they choreograph, they’re not allowed to be a judge…We will still have an open chair. I would still like Paula Abdul to pop in. I would still like guest judges to pop in when they can. Jennifer Lopez has said how much she loves the program. I would love her to come in and sit down. We tried it with Ellen. It was very successful. I just don’t want four judges every week.”
With each season of So You Think You Can Dance, the judges always mention how the bar is constantly being raised. “The standard of dancing is just improving all of the time,” Nigel stated. “All I’m seeing is this exponential growth that, all of a sudden, we’ve brought street dancing and formally trained dancing together and it’s exploded. Whereas the formally trained dancers didn’t want to take chances, the street dancers will do anything and, therefore, they’re teaching the formally trained, and the formally trained are turning around and teaching the street dancers lines and elevation and things, and it’s absolutely fantastic to see. It’s a great joy for somebody that felt dancing was stagnant for so many years to see this happen, and I’ve really seen a huge growth in five years. A formally trained dancer would never, ever jump onto the back of their head from a standing start without hands. There has always been this fear and knowledge of ‘no, I’ll hurt myself if I do that,’ whereas an untrained dancer will just go for it. So mixing those two things together, we have something very exciting, which I think has brought integrity back into the world of dance and everybody realizes that you have to be an athlete nowadays to be a dancer.”
Nigel opened up about the dancers on Season 5 versus the dancers he hopes to see on Season 6. “I thought technically [the Season 5 dancers] were superb and I would like to certainly keep that standard, that level of dancing, but I would like whoever we have this year to bring personality with it and bring charisma.” Nigel admitted he’d be a very happy man if he can achieve the perfect combo of Season 4’s personalities with Season 5’s technique.
As you saw in the Season 6 premiere, a lot of talented tap dancers have auditioned this year. Nigel said that tap dancers and ballerinas have come out of the woodwork, possibly because they were inspired by Season 5 ballerina Melissa. Will So You Think You Can Dance see their first tapper in the Top 20? “I think two or three of them will possibly even get into the top 20. They’re that good,” Nigel shared.
Recently, it seems like America is having a love affair with dance. Nigel always talks about his goal to promote dance as an art form and make it entertaining. “To be instrumental in trying to bring that back is absolutely fantastic, and it’s not just in this country. [SYTYCD] is the number one show in Australia, and the number one show in Canada. It’s a global phenomenon at the moment…all different forms of dance are coming through around the world and it’s just been out of the spotlight for so long. So to be a part of that movement and feel instrumental in it, to be frank, is absolutely wonderful. I’m so passionate about it. I’m so pleased that we can even start charitable foundations now to bring dance to people who can’t afford it…I would love it to be a legacy that’s followed up on long after this program is gone.”