Meet the 'So You Think You Can Dance' Choreographers

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Alex Da Silva

So You Think You Can Dance pictures provided by FOX.

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1968, Alex Da Silva it took 20 years before he began his dance career professionally. Da Silva first started working as a dance instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he honed his craft before hitting it big. In the two decades since Da Silva first took to the stage, he has become an expert in mambo, salsa, Argentine tango and swing dancing, and many credit him with helping to shape the California Latin dance scene. Da Silva's work has been celebrated by his peers, winning the 2002 and 2005 World Salsa Championships. In addition to his role on "So You Think You Can Dance," Da Silva has worked with Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith, Puff Daddy and Enrique Iglesias and has choreographed commercials for Burger King and Coca-Cola. After his initial success on reality TV, Da Silva's life took a dark turn when, in 2009, he was charged with forcible rape and assault with intent to commit rape. Da Silva is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence

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Brian Friedman

So You Think You Can Dance pictures provided by FOX.

Brian Friedman is one of the most prolific choreographers of the past 20 years. The Chicago native has worked with some of the most famous acts of the 20th and 21st centuries,   including Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Hilary Duff, Pink, Mya, NSYNC, Prince, and Usher. Friedman's decade-spanning partnership with Britney Spears has shaped some of her most famous performances, including the music videos for "Toxic" and "I'm a Slave 4 U." 

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Dan Karaty

So You Think You Can Dance pictures provided by FOX.

Dan Karaty first garnered worldwide attention when he made his Broadway debut in "Footloose" while he was still in college. The following year, while finishing his education at New York University, this multitalented dancer and choreographer began working with Britney Spears, for whom he choreographed for the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, for her "Oops I Did it Again Tour," and in a high-profile Pepsi commercial. Capitalizing on his success with Spears, Karaty has since choreographed the videos for Jessica Simpson's "Little Bit" and "Irresistible" in addition to serving as a choreographer for her past tours. Karaty has also worked with pop icons like Kylie Minogue and NSYNC, in addition to an impressive resume of choreography for films, including Disney hit "Prom." 

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Mia Michaels

So You Think You Can Dance pictures provided by FOX.

Florida-born choreographer Mia Michaels is the founder, artistic director and choreographer for the critically acclaimed New York-based dance company RAW, has held faculty positions at the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and the International Dance Festival of Italy, and has cut her teeth working with some of the most famous performers in the entertainment industry. One of Mia's most challenging professional feats to date has been serving as the choreographer for Celine Dion's "A New Day" show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, for which she created routines for a cast of 50 dancers, as well as for Dion herself. In addition to her work in Las Vegas, Michaels has choreographed acts for a long list of top-tier talent, including Madonna, Prince, Gloria Estefan, and Ricky Martin. Mia's work has also been featured in commercials for renowned brands including Bacardi and Mike's Hard Lemonade. After her multiple Emmy Award-winning seasons on "SYTYCD," Mia set her sights on the Great White Way, and in 2015, she choreographed the musical "Finding Neverland" on Broadway. 

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Mary Murphy

So You Think You Can Dance pictures provided by FOX.

Professional ballroom dancer Mary Murphy serves as a national dance judge, technical dance teacher, competitive dancer and founder of the Champion Ballroom Academy in San Diego, CA. Murphy began her career after graduating from Ohio University, when she landed a job teaching dance in Washington D.C. Murphy and her partner were the Austrian National Champions in 1990 and '91 and performed together in the World Cup Final. While she retired from dancing professionally in the 1990s, she has continued to make her mark on the world by lending her moves to some of Hollywood's top talent. She has coached Mary Steenburgen, Donnie Wahlberg, Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid, Lorenzo Lamas, and Ted Danson for various roles. She continues to train champion dancers in her studio and co-organizes two national dance competitions: the San Diego Dancesport Championships and the Holiday Dance Classic in Las Vegas. In 2009, at age 51, Mary returned to the dance floor to prove she's still got what it takes to compete, lending her talent to Broadway show "Burn the Floor" and joining the show's touring cast the following year. 

Updated by Reality TV Expert Sarah Crow