ABDC Episode 2

Okay. Let’s just jump right in. Another late night for me.

I feel like the energy was overall lower in the opening number with all the groups than it was last week.

Just a side note…why do all hip hop dance crews feel the need to spell things funny? I’m just sayin’…..

But first up is Elektrolytes…and they are from ARIZONA! Woo Hoo! Already I have an affinity for them. As their number progresses, I become a bigger and bigger fan. They has some excellent moments, and they kept me interested throughout the entire number. Yes, it took a bit for the routine to build from the first beat, but there were so many surprises that I was shocked with ‘Lil Mama and J.C. bashed them, but thrilled that D-Trix “absolutely loved the routine.” He “….loved everything about it.” C’mon people, Flo Rida liked them too! And they already had a setback with one member down with a knee injury but to me the group still had complete cohesion and synchronicity. They had some really sharp moments and unexpected tricks. Overall, so far, I’m a fan.

Commercial break and what is next?

Rated Next Generation. Weird name. I don’t get it. Made up of little kiddoes. They claim their “thing” is precision. Let’s see.

I think they are excited. They seem a little frantic in their dancing to me. Okay. Not bad. But also not uber-impressed. Let’s see what the judges think…

‘Lil Mama didn’t say much but boy does she look wan and thin.

J.C. took the opportunity to coach them. I agree they seem older when dancing.

D-Trix…good choreo, but stunts/illusions are not their strengths.

Flo Rida – blown away…has to check ID’s.

Okay, so I think the judges generally agree with me….good, not great. They were coaching the team on how they could become better.

Commerical.

Next up, club dancers who have been in a car accident that they survived.

Collizion crew with a big huge jump and boxer short exposure and some very sharp movement. I think the kiddie group needs to take some notes watching this team. So far, the best of the night. Amazing tricks, good illusions, and in sync with sharp, defined, precise movement. Loved the down and dirty movement with athleticism, and they are great, as J.C. said, at playing to the crowd. Love. Stronger, I hate to say, than the AZ team. Mac Daddy.

More stupid commercials and my new best friend is the fast forward button. On the other side of this break we have….

History-making Mexican crew, Funkdation.

Wow. They speak impeccable English. The gymnast gal looks cool…too bad her flip in the actual routine was a little underwheliming to me. I hate to say that…but it looked kind of low and didn’t have the explosive energy she showed on the prep reel. boo.

Anyways, loved the opening “leg piano.” Good energy. Fun group dynamics – they have great interplay between team members. Wish it was a little bit sharper. I give them props for doing the locking, wacking, and popping as per D-Trix’s comments. Still, left me wanting a little something more. Perhaps J.C. was right in that it didn’t look entirely effortless. But love the emotion they have behind being there.

Another commercial break. Sheesh!

Final crew is dance teachers! Let’s see….hmmmm. Mos Wanted Crew from LA. “A brotherhood of choreographers.”

M.O.S. – Movement Over Sound style movement. Never heard of it. Let’s see what they mean.

Good stuff! Sharp. I enjoy and appreciate the quality of dancing off the bat. Cool pump up trick. I’m bobbing my head. Go team! Very cool with the hands creating drama. Favorite of the night so far. For sure. Slam! As D-Trix says…the “defniniton of great dancing.” Amazing movement for sure. Not what they are doing but how they are doing it. I agree. For once J.C. and I agree…the producers saved the best for last. Flo Rida even took off his “shades” in homage to their performance. I hope the AZ team makes it through tonight!

Again, more damn commercials. Who will be in the elimination?

I can’t believe Rated Next Generation made it through. Yikes! I think it is because they are kids. Like the Jersey Boys from a previous season with their airbrushed abs painted on. Gimmicky. Cringe.

Anywhoo…glad Electrolytes made it through (from AZ).

So, Mix’d Elements and the Mexican team, Funkdation are up to battle.

Let’s see how it goes….

I think both teams needed more unity. They both had moments when they were not hitting the same lines. They also both got better and the energy rose over the course of the dance. Overall, I think I side with Funk Nation. Glad they made it through…and I think they have a lot of work to do to get up to the level of Mos Wanted Crew.

Alright. Good night!

Dance Show Mecca

In case you haven’t noticed, it is a great time to watch tv shows about all things dance right now.

Of course there is Dancing With The Stars (DWTS).

And Dance Moms.

And now a spin off, Dance Moms, Miami.

Plus, America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC) just started this week.

The only one missing is So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), oh, and that one with Laurie Ann Gibson.  Maybe that one is on, but if it is, I’m not watching it.

I could probably write 10,000 words, easy, about all these shows, but for the sake of not making you read for an hour, I’ll focus my commentary.  I think I’ll just mention highlights for all these shows to get caught up (kinda), because if I took the time to write everything I actually have to say, I’d be here until next week, and you probably don’t want to rehash things already transpired.

That being said, here is my disclaimer:  you probably need to have been watching these shows to know what I’m talking about in the rest of this post.  I’m not going to explain everything that has been going on, the backstory, if you will.  Maybe I’m being lazy, but seriously, it would take too long than I’m willing to spend to explain everything!

I wrote about the premiere episode of DWTS and then let life get in the way and haven’t mentioned a word about it since then.  Yes, I’ve been watching, and yes I have thoughts.

Let’s see….First, I’m sad Sherri is gone!  Truth be told, I’d have preferred Roshon to have gotten the boot.  I felt for her so much as she sobbed and I loved how she expressed gratitude for the experience.  I am totally okay with Jack Wagner being kicked off (the dude danced to his own song, yo!) and though I thought Martina was adorable, I’m not surprised she was first to leave.  I’m sorry Melissa got injured, and hope that she has a full and speedy recovery.  And Catherine has been awesome.  She did great in the Latin dances and I thought she might be too soft in them with her ballet background (well, I’m assuming she had ballet – they haven’t disclosed that bit of information).  Maria, I’m on the fence about.  I can’t decide if she is awesome  (well, yes she is awesome) or foolhardy for pushing too hard.  I feel like she pushes, pushes, pushes, makes things work, and maybe, just maybe, her body is giving her a signal.  You know, broken ribs, stress fractures in the feet….it could be a sign to slow down.  I admire her positivity, her commitment, and perserverance.  She’s got character and she’s adorable.  Even her laugh is growing on me.  But I also feel like when a person pushes, and pushes, and pushes, eventually they push against something and it doesn’t work.  At that point it is time to change.  I wonder how long and how hard she has been pushing.  No one can be super-human.  I sincerely hope her injuries heal quickly, and completely, and that she is able to continue on….if that is the safe and sane course of action.  I’m sure they have doctors at the beck and call who can advise her as to the best path.  William is adorable, I hope he continues to grow.  I am a huge fan of Donald Driver at this point.  Only a true man can wear a “granny sweater” and I want to grow up to be Peta.  Jaleel, um, well, I’m lukewarm.  Let’s just leave it at that.

Now for Dance Moms.  What a dysfunctional show!

It is a mixed bag for me.

I can see my old instructor in Ms. Abby Lee, though Glenda was as thin as a rail and Abby is about as fat as I am!  What I mean to say is that I can see the pushing, the cajoling, the pulling from students.  I can see the perfectionism, the demanding of being flawness, the reminding of what it really takes to become a professional.

I can see that on some level, Abby must know what the hell she is doing in terms of technique but that doesn’t excuse her abhorrent behavior.

But, I have to say, as much as a taskmaster as my previous teachers Glenda (and her daughter Trisha) were, I am eternally grateful for her influence in my life.  She, who pushed the most, she who reminded me how far away I was from the ideal, and how unlikely I was to become a professional dancer, she was the one who made me into the best dancer I’ve ever been.

Now everything in this life has prices and benefits.

Would it have been possible for Glenda to mold me and many others into the dancers we became through different methods?  Most likely yes.  Would it be possible for Abby as well?  Of course. I feel for those little girls.  They are in the crossfire of all sorts of emotional bombs between Abby and their mothers and it seems to me like it could be very damaging.  How is this affecting their self-worth?  It’s like an emotional warfare battle zone.  There is so much drama, clearly some of it is scripted, but even so, that has to be very difficult to navigate, especially at such a young age.  And what is this pyramid business?  It is just a tool for control and a reinforcement of comparing oneself to others, rather than tracking one’s individual progress.  It’s a sort of madness.

Some of them are excellent dancers and Nia has really grown throughout the seasons.   I felt good for Chloe getting her moment to shine on the season finale both with winning the top solo routine and getting the Joffrey scholarship.  She is already a little Rockette and I’ve always felt bad for her as it seems she has been playing second fiddle to Maddie.  But poor Maddie blanked out on stage during her solo and caused something I never thought I’d see….Abby Lee Miller crying.  No one celebrated Chloe’s victories because they were all feeling bad about placing 10th in the group number and Maddie running off the stage.  And don’t get me started on how poorly those moms behave.  I was embarrassed for them as one of the instructors from the Joffrey ballet had to exit the class and chide them because of the ruckus they were making.  And that Candy Apple lady – what a piece of work!  I feel like there has to be a better way to produce excellent dancers.  Abby boarders on abusive, I think, and I can’t hardly believe those moms allow such treatment of their daughters.  I have yet to watch the premiere for the Miami spin off but hopefully it isn’t as awful for the kids as the original.

And lastly, ABDC.  I enjoy the dancing but can’t stand the judges, except for Deetrix.  I experience JC as snobby and I can barely understand Lil’ Mama.  I also question their level of dance expertise (except for Deetrix who is a b-boy).  The groups were pretty entertaining but I do think they got the right one in the bottom slot.  Right now I don’t have a favorite group but I really enjoyed the comic performance of Stepboys.  The opening number was fantastic with so much energy with all the dancers from five of the crews that it spilled out of my tv into my living room.  ABDC tends to be a high-energy show and I get more attached to the groups as time goes by.  It will be fun to see what creative and fun things happen as the season continues.

I guess that is it for now.  Happy watching!