We could not BREATHE after Karen y Ricardo's insanely good salsa routine. (NBC)

"World of Dance" Season 2 Premiere Recap: More Than Qualified

You know what we love about "World of Dance"? (Aside from the fact that it features fabulous dancers from all over the world, a million-dollar prize, and color commentary from, you know, J.Lo?)


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.

First, let's talk about our friends Sean Lew and Kaycee Rice. We love these incredible kids, whom we've known since they were tiny wee ones. Did they live up to our sky-high expectations? Oh, absolutely—thanks to a lyrical hip-hop routine that made surprisingly poignant use of blindfolds. (Poignant enough to move La Lopez to actual tears.)

We've never seen anything quite like the Desi Hoppers, a hip-hop crew from Mumbai, India. Their infectiously joyful routine to Ed Sheeran's (still-earwormy) "Shape of You" got a huge jolt of energy from a Bollywood-style remix. Bollywood-hop? Yes. Yes PLEASE.

But it was the last performance of the night that had us up and off the sofa. Karen y Ricardo are a Chilean ballroom couple (onstage and in real life, aww) with the kind of sizzling-hot chemistry that can't be faked. Their jaw-droppingly gymnastic and spintastic salsa got the judges SCREAMING—Derek Hough literally jumped over the judges' table—and earned them the highest score ever in the history of the competition. So, uh, see you in the finals, guys!

Latest Posts

Viktorina Kapitonova in "Swan Lake Bath Ballet" (photo by Ryan Capstick, courtesy Corey Baker Dance)

Please Enjoy the Quarantine Genius of “Swan Lake Bath Ballet”

That old saying about limitations breeding creativity—hat tip to Orson Welles—has never felt more relevant than in these lockdown days. Here's the latest brilliant dance project born (hatched?) of quarantine restrictions: "Swan Lake Bath Ballet," a contemporary take on the classic featuring 27 A-list ballet dancers performing from their own bathtubs.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search