Many dance shows have come and gone, but only two have withstood the test of time -- Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.
Both are dance competitions, and both eliminate dancers through a combination of judges' and viewer votes.
Some So You Think You Can Dance graduates become professional dancers on Dancing With the Stars. Choreographers sometimes move in the other direction.
However, that's where the similarities end, and So You Think You Can Dance takes dancing to another level.
1. A dance marathon to reach the winner's circle
Audition winners move on to three more elimination phases where they are pared down to 10 dancers, five boys, and five girls.
The show goes live with the top 10 dancers. Each week after the live shows and viewers are invited to vote for their favorite dancers. Viewer's votes determine which two dancers get eliminated each week.
2. A perky host
Cat Deeley is not well known in the United States, but is, in England where she is known for being a television presenter, actress, singer, and model. She keeps the show running smoothly, introduces the judges and the dancers when they appear. She is a ray of sunshine.
Some of the most interesting segments in the show are when she interviews dancers so we can get to know them better as people: learn their likes and dislikes, why they started dancing, when did they start dancing, who were their mentors and role models.
Cat was nominated for an Emmy as host for a really competitive program, for her work on So You Think You Can Dance.
3. Amazing dancers that will touch your emotions
Dancers cover an incredible number of dance styles. For the current season, they dance to pop, jazz, tap, contemporary, west coast swing, Krump animation, ballroom, solstice, cutting, contemporary, and ballet.
If you've never heard of half of those styles, welcome to the club. Plus, many of the styles have a number of variations. Ballroom and hip-hop are two examples.
Dancers get better each season. Many in later seasons started dancing when they were 10 years old or younger, inspired by the show with the goal of auditioning when they turned 18. Plus, they train in several styles they expect to have to perform if they pass their auditions.
4. Knowledgeable judges that offer helpful criticism
All three of the permanent judges have a solid background in dance.
Nigel Lythgoe is the creator, executive producer, and a judge on so you think you can dance. He was a former dancer, best known for tapping.
Mary Murphy is an American ballroom dance champion and choreographer. She brings an energy and enthusiasm that is contagious.
Vanessa Hudgens is a popular singer and actor in films and on Broadway that recently joined the judging panel.
Stephen "tWitch" Boss was added to the panel after So You Think You Can Dance Season 15 began. He is a freelance hip-hop dancer, entertainer, and actor. He was the runner-up on season seven of so you think you can dance and views the dancers' performances from a former contestants' point of view.
5. World-class choreographers
Before the show began in 2005, it had scored 38 choreography nominations between 15 choreographers.
Before So You Think You Can Dance came along the average man on the street, unless he was a dancer, had no idea what a choreographer was or what they did. So You Think You Can Dance changed all that.
Mandy Moore (no not that Mandy Moore) is best known for her work on the smash hit La La land, which she calls the Super Bowl of her career. So You Think You Can Dance choreographers have come from Dancing with the Stars, some of the former dancers have come full circle and returned as choreographers.
Dancing With the Stars is a great show and very popular, but is basically limited to ballroom dancing. They will put a smile on your face.
But, So You Think You Can Dance goes farther. They will draw out all your emotions. They address relationship and social issues. There is an entire world built around the series and a philosophy of living that doesn't come with shows like Dancing With the Stars.
Sure, it can be fun to see celebrities doing steps and in situations as you've never seen them, but for real dancing and to see the future of the craft, you need to tune into So You Think You Can Dance!