"So You Think You Can Dance" Season 16 hopefuls at the Academy

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is still very much part of our reality. What does that mean for two of the most highly-anticipated dance events of the year: the 17th season of summer-TV staple "So You Think You Can Dance," and National Dance Day, planned for September 19th? We caught up with the one and only Nigel Lythgoe—executive producer of "SYT" and co-founder of NDD's host organization, American Dance Movement—to get the scoop on both.

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Dancers celebrating National Dance Day (via Instagram)

Back in 2010, "So You Think You Can Dance" producer Nigel Lythgoe established National Dance Day, an annual celebration of all things dance and a fundraiser for the dance education nonprofit then known as the Dizzy Feet Foundation. Since then, NDD has become a phenomenon. Each year, dancers and dance fans have learned an official NDD routine, showed up in droves for high-profile NDD events at the Kennedy Center and Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and hosted countless NDD parties of their own—always on the last Saturday in July.

But there are big changes afoot (see what we did there?) this year. The 2019 celebration will jump forward a few months on the calendar, to Saturday, September 21st. And Dizzy Feet has undergone an evolution of its own, with a new focus on the health benefits of dance, a new collaboration with the American Heart Association, and a new name: American Dance Movement.

We caught up with Lythgoe to talk about the reasons for all the ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

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