SYTYCD Couples Routines Breakdown

Below I decided to categorize all the styles of dance that has been portrayed on So You Think You Can Dance. So what I did is that I took all of the “couples” routines and placed them into six distinct categories:

Partner Routines: This category includes all routines that are defined in the Ballroom/Latin world as well as those from the Social Dancing/Two Step worlds.

Contemporary / Ballet Related Routines: I decided to take all the Contemporary and all the Ballet (Pas de Deux/Trois) routines and place them in a similar group. This is simply contemporary / ballet / lyrical in their purest… well as pure as it can get.

Jazz Related Routines: Any routine that has “Jazz” in it automatically goes into this category, this includes all jazz-mixed styles.

Hip Hop / Freestyle Related Routines: Any routine that could be derived from the streets or is related to hip-hop no matter how remotely gets placed in here. This would include Krump, Funk, Stepping, Popping, etc.

Broadway Related Routines: Broadway-related routines includes those styles that you are most likely going to see on the Great White Way so Tap would be included as well as Rock N Roll.

Cultural Related Routines: Any and all dance styles that are clearly part of some culture will be placed here. Think along the lines of the Can-Can, Tahitian and the style that started it all: Bollywood.

If you follow the links you will see that I actually broke all the dances down even further for every category. If I were to do that below then the tables would become rather lengthy and would take more time to do a quick comparison. So for our purposes the above six categories will be used in the table break downs below.

First thing’s first: The below table is a total accumulation of all the dance styles over the course of the entire series:

ALL DANCES W0 W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 TOTAL
Partner Related 4 30 25 25 27 32 26 25 19 13 226
Contemporary Related 8 10 9 10 13 12 11 10 10 8 101
Hip Hop Related 4 15 17 14 13 12 14 15 9 6 119
Jazz Related 5 12 10 9 11 9 6 8 8 8 86
Broadway Related 3 7 5 5 5 9 6 7 4 5 56
Cultural Related 1 3 0 1 4 1 2 3 15

As to be expected the styles most seen on the show are those in the traditional “Partner Dances”, “Contemporary/Ballet” and “Hip Hop”. What I don’t think most people realize is that there are a significant number of “Partner Dances” over the other categories. Keep in mind that “Partner Dances” includes all those in the Ballroom and Latin lineups as well as various Social Dances.

In the following tables I have broken all the dances down in accordance to the aforementioned categories. If there is any significant notes for any particular season, I will mention them prior to the corresponding table.

SEASON 1:
The inaugural season only had a Top 16 and only had seven weeks with the couples paired off boy/girl for their partner routines, one routine per pairing. They were voted by pairing for the first three weeks of competition.

Once they were wittled down to a Top 10, then each of the five pairings did two routines and the public voted on them as individual dancers as opposed to pairs. Not only that, but the pairings were now mixed amongst the Top 10.

For the Final Four, all the dancers danced with one another so we saw not only the traditional boy/girl pairings but we also saw the boy/boy and girl/girl routines as well.

A notable thing about the following breakdown is that at least half of the routines each week were part of the “Partner Dance” category… the exception being with the Final Four.

SEASON 1 Dance Styles W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 TOTAL
Partner Related 2 2 3 5 5 4 2 23
Contemporary Related 1 1 2 2 1 7
Hip Hop Related 1 1 1 3 1 1 2 10
Jazz Related 1 1 2
Broadway Related 1 1 2

SEASON 2:
The Top 16 were expanded to a Top 20 and as thus the number of weeks of competition was also expanded from seven weeks to nine. Again the “Partner Dances” are taking front and center stage, but now there are more Hip-Hop related dances in the mix.

Once again, once the Top 20 were wittled down to a Top 10, then all the couples were expected to learn two routines for the final few weeks of the competition. The format of the Final Four did not change from that of Season One, however.

SEASON 2 Dance Styles W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 TOTAL
Partner Related 6 4 4 4 2 4 4 2 3 33
Contemporary Related 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 10
Hip Hop Related 2 4 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 19
Jazz Related 1 1 2
Broadway Related 1 1 1 1 1 1 6

SEASON 3:
Season 3 did not stray all the far from the format of Season 2 with the exception that couples were not performing two routines until Top 8. Instead the Top 10 all had their one couples dance routine and then all the individual dancers were taught a solo by Wade Robson and that was performed in lieu of a second partner routine.

SEASON 3 Dance Styles W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 TOTAL
Partner Related 5 4 4 4 2 3 3 3 3 31
Contemporary Related 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 9
Hip Hop Related 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 13
Jazz Related 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
Broadway Related 1 1 1 1 4

SEASON 4:
The double routines for the pairings actually came earlier this time around starting at the Top 14 mark. With the random partnering still starting at the Top 10 mark.

Season 4 also introduced a few new dance styles to the lineup: Bollywood. The success of this dance style opened up the door for other cultural related dance styles to be introduced into the show for the following seasons with Bollywood being the prominent hook.

Also included to the dance style line up is what the show calls “Pas de Deux” which really to me are ballet inspired routines since “Pas de Deux” technically translates to: “steps of two”, again from the Ballet world.

SEASON 4 Dance Styles W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 TOTAL
Partner Related 5 4 4 6 5 4 4 3 2 37
Contemporary Related 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 11
Hip Hop Related 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 16
Jazz Related 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 9
Broadway Related 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 8
Cultural Related 1 1 2

SEASON 5:
The double routines per pairing started this time a week later at the Top 12. However, come the Top 10, instead of the couples dancing two routines each they all danced one routine as a couple, performed a solo and performed a group routine for the competition show before returning to the two routines per couple format for the Top 8 onwards.

From the Top 10 onwards there was also the inclusion of group routines during the competition/performance episode broken down between guys only and girls only routines.

Also to note is that the number of “partner dances” was not nearly as high as those from the prior four seasons, with the contemporary/ballet and hip hop genres gaining more ground and air time.

SEASON 5 Dance Styles W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 TOTAL
Partner Related 3 4 3 2 6 2 3 3 2 28
Contemporary Related 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 10
Hip Hop Related 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 11
Jazz Related 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 12
Broadway Related 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
Cultural Related 1 1 2

SEASON 6:
The ill-fated Fall season of the So You Think You Can Dance series. Because of the change from the summer to the fall, the number of weeks for the competition was shortened so as not to coincide with the holiday week. So instead of a Top Four there was a Top Six.

Introduced to the series via Season 6 was the inclusion of a “Meet the Top 20″ episode where the dancers dance a routine in their individual styles (with some notable exceptions). The dancers are not voted during this particular showcase which gives them a chance to show off their strengths first.

SEASON 6 Dance Styles W0 W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 TOTAL
Partner Related 1 5 3 3 2 5 4 3 3 29
Contemporary Related 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 12
Hip Hop Related 1 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 14
Jazz Related 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 2 12
Broadway Related 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 9
Cultural Related 1 1 1 3

SEASON 7:
The “All-Stars” were first introduced this season. Instead of a Top 20, it was announced that there would be a Top 10, which eventually became a Top 11. So every week the dancers of the Top 11 were randomly paired off with someone from the “All-Star” pool and they would dance a style that the “All-Star” dancer excels in as well.

During the “Meet the Top 11″ episode, the dancers danced routines in their own styles with those from the “All-Star” pool as well.

When the Top 11 were wittled down to a Top 8, the dancers were paired off for a routine in additional to being paired off with an “All-Star” there by integrated the two dances per dancer.

This is also the first season where the number of dances for all genres seem to be fairly well balanced across the board, with no one genre overwhelming any of the others by any significant margin.

SEASON 7 Dance Styles W0 W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 TOTAL
Partner Related 1 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 3 1 20
Contemporary Related 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 18
Hip Hop Related 1 2 2 2 2 1 3 1 1 1 16
Jazz Related 2 4 2 2 3 1 2 1 2 2 21
Broadway Related 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 10
Cultural Related 1 1 1 1 2 6

SEASON 8:
The Top 20 format came back, but the concept of having the dancers dance with the “All-Star” were incorporated when the Top 20 was wittled down to the Top 10.

During the “Meet the Top 20″ episode, only the dancers of the season were featured (with one notable exception).

Starting with the Top 16, the dancers were broken up into two groups for their group routines in addition to their coupled routines.

When the Top 12 rolled around, the paired dancers were expected to dance two routines each before being split up in the Top 10 and danced only one routine each.

At the Top 8, not only were the dancers dancing one routine with an “All-Star” but they were randomly paired to dance a second routine with one another.

For the Final Four, the dancers not only paired off with one another, but they also ended up dancing with an “All-Star” dancer… thereby each dancer ended up dancing four routines each.

SEASON 8 Dance Styles W0 W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 TOTAL
Partner Related 1 2 2 2 2 4 3 4 2 2 24
Contemporary Related 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 21
Hip Hop Related 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 3 2 2 19
Jazz Related 1 3 2 1 2 2 1 3 2 2 19
Broadway Related 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 9
Cultural Related 1 1 2

SEASON 9:
With all the tweaks and changes over the seasons… I willing to bet that Season 9 would be roughly similar to that of Season 8, except shortened due to the loss of Independence Day week and the Olympics. I may go so far as to say that there would most likely be a Top 6 this season as opposed to a Final Four… but I suppose we will see what comes around:

SEASON 9 Dance Styles W0 W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 TOTAL
Partner Related 1 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 17
Contemporary Related 3 2 2 2 7 2 2 2 3 25
Hip Hop Related 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 15
Jazz Related 1 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 14
Broadway Related 1 1 1 1 1 5
Cultural Related 1 1 2