So You Think You Can Dance Is Back With These Major Changes

Reality television is best when there’s some element of novelty to it, and series that have been running for more than a couple of seasons can easily find themselves running out of reality steam. Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance has lasted for twelve years already thanks to some changes along the way to keep things fresh, and some particularly major changes are in store for Season 13, as So You Think You Can Dance becomes So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation to feature kids as contestants to be paired with All-Stars of past seasons.

So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation will star youngsters between the ages of 8 and 13 who are skilled in various styles of dance, including contemporary, tap, hip-hop, ballroom, animation, and breaking. Each will work with an All-Star to compete for the title of America’s Favorite Dancer.

The on-screen non-competitive talent for The Next Generation will be familiar faces to fans of the show. Cat Deeley returns as host, and judges Nigel Lythgoe, former American Idol icon Paula Abdul, and Jason Derulo will be back as well. Hopefully, they’ll be a touch easier on the kids than they’ve been on occasion to the adults in the past.

It should be interesting to see how the kids do once paired with an adult All-Star. Quite aside from the natural gaps in skills between the age groups, the size differences could prove challenging. The duos have the potential to be absolutely adorable or totally disastrous. Since kids are involved, anything disastrous probably won’t be as entertaining as is possible with adults.

Auditions have not yet begun for So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation. They’re due to kick off on February 27 in Los Angeles before moving to Chicago and New York in March, so young hopefuls still have time to register for auditions.

Considering that the show has been on the air since July of 2005, some of the future dancers may have been watching the show throughout their entire process of mastering these styles of movement. As the show will be open to kids starting at the age of 8, plenty of contestants will likely be younger than the series itself.

Personally, I’m curious to see which of the past winners will be recruited back as the All-Stars to dance with the children. Only the top ten young dancers will be permanently partnered with an All-Star when they reach a certain level in the competition, so there may be a couple of former top champions who won’t make the cut…or agree to come back.

So You Think You Can Dance Season 13 will premiere on Monday, May 30 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).