Sonya Tayeh Joins Judges To Kick Off New Season of "So You Think You Can Dance"

Sonya Tayeh on So You Think You Can Dance season 7 premiere, May 27, 2010.
Sonya Tayeh on So You Think You Can Dance season 7 premiere, May 27, 2010. (FOX)

NEW YORK (CBS) The seventh season of reality dance competition "So You Think You Can Dance" kicked off Thursday night with a two-hour premiere of auditions. Fans from former seasons will be surprised with a few of the new changes, most notably the addition of Sonya Tayeh, former guest judge of season five, who is now choreographer for the Summer 2010 season of the show.

PICTURES: "Season 6" Winner Russell Ferguson and dancers

Tayeh is a Brooklyn-born, Detroit-raised choreographer whose versatile style is based in modern funk movements.

In the premiere's choreography round, Sonya incorporated the song "Great DJ" by British electro-pop duo The Ting Tings as the music for dancers to show their stuff.

Long-time judge, show creator and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe returns, as does judges Mia Michaels and Adam Shankman. Michaels choreographed for Madonna, Celine Dion and Ricky Martin. Shankman, once a dancer in music videos for Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson, was dance consultant on a number of movies including "The Wedding Planner" and "Catch Me If You Can" and directed the 2007 hit movie "Hairspray."

British TV personality Cat Deeley returns as host.

This is the first season without Mary Murphy, known for her piercing shriek and her "hot tamale train" pronouncements, at the judges' table.

Dancers this season will dance with all-star dancers from previous seasons including Twitch. Stand out dancers from season seven include Tyrell Rolle, a dancer from the other side of the tracks -- Liberty City, Fla.-- who impressed last night's judges by choosing contemporary dance over hip hop and breakdancing; and Giselle Peacock and Henry Byalikov who are both Broadway alums.