Galen Hooks challenges So You Think You Can Dance season 18 dancers to push themselves in the choreography round

Opening Night For The World Premiere Production Of "Invincible: The Musical"
Opening Night For The World Premiere Production Of "Invincible: The Musical" / Michael Tullberg/GettyImages

For as long as I've watched So You Think You Can Dance, the show has drawn attention not only for the talented dancers who became household names during the competition but also for the gorgeous routines we'd see week-to-week created by the choreographers we'd come to love as well. So, imagine my excitement when I learned that Galen Hooks had been brought in for season 18's choreography round airs Monday, March 25 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.

I'm not a dancer, but I'm in love with the beauty, artistry, and athleticism displayed in the performances that they perfect. It's been years since I stumbled across Galen Hooks on Youtube, but I'll never forget it. The routine was to "River" by Bishop Briggs, and I've kept up with her work ever since. Hooks has a unique style of choreographing that's grounded in storytelling. She's also passionate about educating professional dancers about the business side of the industry.

The repeated refrain about So You Think You Can Dance season 18 is that it's setting itself apart from previous seasons by focusing on helping the contestants build the tools they need to succeed in their careers. This means putting them through their paces regarding the type of jobs they may be interested in going after once they leave the competition.

As soon as learned this information, my immediate thought was of Hooks as that's the basis of a lot of her work. She refers to it as the Galen Hooks Method (GHM). Essentially, she meets you where you are as a dancer, whether you do it as a hobby, you're aspiring to dance, or you're a professional.

Her intensives are structured to benefit her students and help move them toward their personal goals. For professional dancers that means being open and honest about the kind of critiques or situations they may find themselves in while auditioning or on a job.

A prime example of this is in her "Taki Taki" video which was a GHM Pro class. She said the following about it: "This was a professional level class where I taught a routine that, stylistically, dancers might do on a job. I was intentionally blunt and honest in giving feedback and ran class professionally paced with the standard of a rehearsal, broke down very specific info of how to be an industry dancer, and gave very direct feedback to students."

I wouldn't be surprised if the choreography round goes similarly as the point of this season is to fill the gap in training that veteran performers and choreographers have noticed over the years. Dancing is an art form, however, it's also a business. Dancers who are looking to work in the industry need to learn what's expected of them, the rigors of the kind of work they want to do, and how to best showcase their talents to book a job.

The kinds of challenges the contestants will be encountering in season 18 are performing in a music video, dancing in a football halftime show, and keeping up with a Broadway performer. Hooks has done all of this and more! The Top 35 on So You Think You Can Dance are lucky to have her as the challenge she puts them through is going to make them better.

Only 10 dancers will make it past the choreography round to move on to the next phase of the competition. However, every single person participating in this part of the season is going to learn invaluable lessons that will help set them up to do better and strive more in their career. Yes, that includes those in the 35 who have booked jobs before. Like any industry, the dance field is ever changing as are the opportunities, GHM ensures dancers have the tools to keep up.

Here's an inside look at how Hooks works with them to improve. I'd also recommend the GHM Pro routine to "Positions" by Ariana Grande.

I wish we were still in the days of So You Think You Can Dance when the show lingered on the choreography round so that the we could spend more time with contestants as they learn to dance routines with different styles. Particularly under Galen Hooks' tutelage, these dancers would be benefit immensely. But I'm supremely excited that she's involved with season 18 and can't wait to see how this round shapes the contestants moving forward.

So You Think You Can Dance winners. dark. Next. So You Think You Can Dance winners