Guys, we gotta say it. Although the competition gets SUPER FIERCE, we really really really love The Duels. Why? Because we get to see all of our favorites from earlier in the season perform their hearts out again! Last night's episode of "World of Dance" gave us just that. And while we did lose some greats (😢), the dancing was beyond incredible. It was the Juniors, though, that really shined. Here are our highlights.
There's nothing dynamic duo Kaycee Rice and Sean Lew can't do. From dominating in class vids to qualifying on "World of Dance," this pair has taken the industry by storm. And their latest video, directed by the talented Tim Milgram and choreographed by the Emmy Award-winning Tessandra Chavez? We can't stop watching it.
This show DOES NOT MESS AROUND.
Last night's Season 2 premiere wasted no time getting down to business, diving headfirst into the first round of qualifying performances. And the seven competing acts also cut right to the chase, bringing out routines that met—and, in a couple of cases, surpassed—the super-high standard set by last season's competitors.
So, what were the highlights of a show that was essentially all highlights? Here are our three favorite performances, including a showstopping number by one act that—we're calling it now—is destined to go all the way to the finals.
It's baaaack! Season 2 of NBC's "World of Dance" will return to living rooms everywhere on May 29. Also baaaack? Well, judges Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, and Ne-Yo, and host Jenna Dewan, for starters. But some fan favorites from last season's stellar cast will also take to the show's stage again. And they'll be facing off against a slew of new competitors—although many of those faces will probably be familiar to dance-world folks, too.
Sometimes, you hear talk about an upcoming class video and it sounds too good to be real. Wait: Todrick Hall made a track featuring RuPaul, and then Todrick personally asked Brian Friedman to choreograph it, and then Brian got Maddie and Charlize and Jade and Kaycee and Sean and Gabe and Larsen and Bailey to come out for the class? I just...that can't be right. Can it?
It is right, friends. It is SO RIGHT.
What happens when legend Brian Friedman teaches at WilldaBeast and Janelle Ginestra's fabulous IMMA SPACE? A merging of the B Free and ImmaBEAST tribes that includes a mind-boggling number of A-list Hollywood dancers. Ryan Parma was there to capture the whole thing on film, and the result is basically the class video to end all class videos.
Remember when getting a selfie/making a dance video in the Rain Room was the coolest of cool-kid things to do? Now there's a fabulous new place to create Instagram magic: The Attention Room, an immersive exhibit in L.A. promoting Charlie Puth's newest single, "Attention." It's basically a big black box filled with crazy LED projections that make you look like you're suspended in a disco queen's re-imagining of deep space.
Naturally, genius filmmaker/ultimate cool kid Tim Milgram just made a dance video there. And he casually brought Jade Chynoweth, Sean Lew, Jake Kodish and Jason Glover (to name just a few) along for the ride.
Oh, you knew it was coming.
As soon as Beyoncé dropped the internet-breaking "Formation" video—complete with epic choreo by Dana Foglia, JaQuel Knight and Chris Grant—you could practically hear choreographers around the world dropping everything to work on "Formation" routines of their own.
But you probably weren't expecting those routines to be QUITE as good as WilldaBeast's "Formation" creation.
Then again, do we expect anything less than perfection from WilldaBeast these days? Because that's exactly what his spin on the instant Bey classic delivers: take-no-prisoners, make-no-excuses perfection.
The video (filmed by Tim Milgram, naturally) even features one of Beyoncé's own Super Bowl ladies, the fabulous China Taylor. (Her lip-syncing skills actually give me chills.) And as always, we get to see the stylings of a whole crowd of WilldaBeast devotees, including Jade Chynoweth, Sean Lew, Will Simmons and (does she sleep??) Kaycee Rice.
Watch them slay. (They slay.) All day. (ALL DAY.)
No matter the style, 12-year-old Sean Lew attacks every movement with technique and flair. Sean landed his first professional gig dancing on “Glee" at age 8, and has since appeared on “The X Factor" and the Kids' Choice Awards. Last September, a video of Sean dancing a Miguel Zarate combination to Lady Gaga's “Applause" went viral, making him an overnight sensation. More recently, Sean has taken his talents to the road, touring the U.S. with The PULSE On Tour as an Elite Protégé.
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I had the weirdest dream last night, you guys.
I dreamed that Brian Friedman choreographed a fantabulous routine to Ariana Grande's "Into You."
OK, that part's not so weird. Brian Friedman being fantabulous is pretty much par for the course, actually.
Here's the crazy part: I dreamed the choreography video featured LITERALLY EVERY DANCER I'M OBSESSED WITH RIGHT NOW.
Best dream ever. (Screenshot via YouTube)
May/June 2016 cover girl Larsen Thompson was there. So was 2016 Cover Model Search finalist Kerrynton Jones. And January 2013 cover girl Ryan Ramirez. And March 2014 "You Should Know"-er Sean Lew. And—yes—2015 May/June cover star Maddie Ziegler made an appearance, too.
Then I woke up and discovered IT WAS ALL REAL.
Happy Friday to me! Happy Friday to everybody!
There's no shortage of amazing young talent in the dance world right now. Case in point: Taylor Hatala (one half of the amazing Fraternal Twins), Kyndall Harris and the explosive members of Boy Squad (Josh Price, Sean Lew and our January 2016 cover star, Gabe de Guzman). Evidence? I mean, we've got tons of that (seriously, tons). But incase you need more, behold—this insane new video to "Lean and Dabb" by iLoveMemphis, choreographed by Oth'Than Burnside. The film, shot under L.A.'s Sixth Street Bridge, features the boys versus the girls in everything from a dabb-off to some intense stank-facing. And as per usual, the resulting vid is amazing, once again proving that these dancers are out-of-control talented. Check it out below.
And by boys, we mean our favorite #BoySquad: Sean Lew, Gabe De Guzman, Josh Price, Kenneth San Jose and Will Simmons. This crew is the stuff of dreams. We couldn't have handpicked a better group to dance choreo by Alexander Chung to Jovanie's track, "What's the Move?"
Living for that slo-mo (via DanceOn)
Every single one of these dancers is insanely talented. They've got the facials, acro and musicality on lock, and every video is somehow more amazing than the last. It's hard to pick a favorite moment, so we'll leave that up to you. Watch the full video below!
There's always some new #challenge happening on the Internet, and it's 10 times more fun when it's a dance #challenge! The latest craze is #HitTheQuanChallenge, to the iHeart Memphis track, "Hit the Quan." Choreo-genius Matt Steffanina created a high-energy piece and got some of our favorite big-time littles to perform: Gabe de Guzman, Bailey Sok, Sean Lew, Tati McQuay, and Kenneth San Jose. Is it the most dynamite dance, group and video combo ever? Probably. All we can do is watch and #bowdown. Check it out below:
When I was hanging out at Dancerpalooza last week, I couldn't get over Will "Willdabeast" Adams' classes. First of all, dude is an insane dancer—super clean, so that every movement reads with perfect clarity. ("So You Think You Can Dance" loves him, too: Last week, he choreographed for the show for the first time.) But he's also a talented teacher, able to break down his intricate steps in a way that even the youngest dancers can understand.
Which probably explains why he's so popular with some of hip hop's tiniest talents. In fact, Willdabeast has a crew of these fantastic kids—the LilBeasts—and the group just released a new video.
In Sean's words: Welcome to the #immaBEAST show.