So You Think You Can Dance is back for its 18th season– and it has a new format.

JoJo Siwa returns to the judging panel alongside Allison Holker and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Cat Deeley continues to host the dance competition series.

This season, during the auditions round, So You Think You Can Dance All-Star Comfort Fedoke took her place on the judging panel as dancers from across the country showcase their talent in a wide array of dance styles, including contemporary, tap, hip-hop, ballroom and more, in hopes of securing one of ten coveted spots on the show.

“It’s been a ride,” Fedoke told Blavity about snagging the coveted judge’s seat in an exclusive interview. 

Fedoke auditioned for the show in 1998 when she was 19. After her appearance in the dance competition, she moved to Los Angeles to capitalize on her newfound exposure. While getting her feet wet in Hollywood, Fedoke was brought back as an all-star on Season 7.

“This is very exciting because this is the first time where I get to be in this space…as an official judge, rather than one that’s just an all-star mentor is honestly a full-circle type of event,” she said.

One of the new dimensions of Season 18 will include a storytelling element to capture the authentic ups and downs experienced by professional dancers. For the first time, in addition to the big spectacle dance numbers, viewers will get a documentary-style inside to look at the contestants’ dynamics, following them throughout the competition as they go through their personal and competitive journeys, including the daily struggles, new relationships and personality clashes.

Fedoke thinks the new storytelling aspect will give viewers “a real taste of the career and challenges” of being a working dancer.

“A lot of people see the glitz and glamour of being in the music videos, being in the halftime show, but you don’t understand what the process is,” she said. “So the show is finally utilizing what it is to get to that point. Getting to the audition process and what it takes to actually get there and stay there.”

The “fly on the wall” aspect is something Fedoke also hopes brings respect back to the art of choreography and being a professional dancer.

“It’s long overdue. Let’s just say that,” Fedoke said.

The Fort-Worth, Texas native alluded dancers to being the “ghostwriters” of the industry.

“People don’t realize that artists don’t make up their own movement,” she said. “They get this from their artistic choreographer and creator. So, to see that be appreciated or understood in the background and placed in the forefront is so important for people to understand.”

A separate aspect of the docu-style aspect of season 18 will reveal the importance of diversity in the dance world. Fedoke hopes that the exposure of the variety of the show’s contestants will display how important it is to do away with archaic thinking when working with dancers.

“It’s so important just to let the dance choose itself, but at the same time make it all-inclusive in the space that we’d be able to get something from everyone,” she said. “There’s a space and there’s a lane for absolutely everyone to be able to feel appreciated in.”

For 18 seasons, So You Think You Can Dance has provided the platform leading dancers to have illustrious dance careers in the dance troupes for superstar musical acts, on Broadway stages, on every dance show on TV and beyond. 

Fedoke is a shining example of that, as her talent has allowed her to work with talented artists such as H.E.R., John Legend, Harry Styles, LL Cool J, Chaka Khan and Missy Elliott. It has also led her to do extensive commercial work, including a solo feature in Nike’s 30-year celebration of Air Max and Michael Jackson’s Pepsi Generation Super Bowl commercial.

She has acted and choreographed in several film, television and stage productions, including FootlooseStep Up 5: All In, The Mindy Project and The Funny Dance Show. She plays the magical toymaker Drosselmeyer in her latest role on the new Disney+ family special The Hip Hop Nutcracker.

Fedoke currently resides in London, working as an associate choreographer on the new film Wicked and is also associate choreographer for London’s #1 West End musical, Cabaret.


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While excited about the new levels of choreography and “jaw-dropping” talent displayed this season, Fedoke is equally stoked about the relationships that will formed.

“I think you’re going to see a very interesting dynamic between everyone,” she said, “which is lovely and always brings out the best in the contestants.”