Somewhere around the time that dinosaurs roamed the earth and we started playing fire, I decided to become serious about learning dance. As a teen, my parents (really, my mother), signed me up for dance classes but after one year of studying jazz dance, tap, ballet and “ethnic” dance at ballet company Dance Theater of Harlem’s school, I dropped out. Typical teen nonsense.
Although I had stopped taking classes, I still tapped the time step on my kitchen floor and performed a pirouette in front of my bedroom mirror, vowing that I would return to the studio. And I did many years later. Limbs a bit less flexible, I took classes in earnest and more seriously than I did before. I danced on Saturdays after running errands, on the weekdays after putting in long hours at work, and on the occasional Sunday afternoon when I should have been serving my Jesus in somebody’s church. But what better way to honor God than with creative expression (or at least an attempt at it).
I never became a “real dancer” and I stopped taking classes a few years ago — always vowing to, once again, return, someday.
…Ah, those were the days… But enough about me (I bet you never thought I would say such a thing… and mean it.)
I said all of that to say that I love watching “good dance” on television. Not the over-the-top nonsense that you find on shows like So You Think You Can Dance, or that travesty, Dancing with the Stars. (Why are they referred to as “stars”? Help me out here somebody.)
To get my dance fix, I check out Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC), now in its third season on MTV (Thursdays, 10 p.m. Eastern). It’s wonderful to see dedicated, high energy, talented people get an opportunity to be on a national stage and get a chance to win some money — $100,000 grand prize for the best dance crew.
My favorites this season are the hip hop/b-girl crew, Beat Freaks, who wow the audience with stunts usually performed by the boys from the block. I am amazed at their upper body strength. Do a handstand and hold it for what seems like an eternity? I can barely lift a carton of orange juice without pulling something vital.
Both groups take the required weekly challenges to the next level. Week 3’s challenge was to choreograph and perform a routine to a Britney Spears song.
The Beat Freaks were given the song Womanizer. Not accustomed to showing their more feminine and sexy side, more known for baggy bags and baseball caps, the women overcame whatever problems/reservations they had to put on a hell of a performance — still showing their bravado and razor-like precision while still giving the sexay. They go hard because they have no intentions of going home.
To see Beat Freaks doing their thang to Womanizer, click here.
Strikers All-Stars also demonstrated that same razor like precision during their performance to Britney’s Gimme More in which they had to be mirror images of one another.
Keeping my fingers crossed (and any other agile body part) that Beat Freaks and Strikers All-Stars make it to the finals.
ABDC should be appointment viewing for anyone, like me, who loves and is inspired by the craft and the artistry that is dance. (Sorry about the lofty language and the navel gazing. Feeling a bit airy fairy today.)