Native American dance group Indigenous Enterprise (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

“World of Dance” Week 2 Recap: The Qualifiers Continue

In observance of the entertainment industry's #BlackoutTuesday, NBC dedicated last night's episode to "all those who are fighting injustice, standing up against racism and taking action to make change," and we'd like to echo that message to our Dance Spirit readers. We love you and are standing with you.

The episode picked back up where the premiere left off, with another group of "World of Dance" hopefuls unexpectedly performing in front of all three judges in the hopes of continuing to the Duels. The acts that were successful this week did one, or both, of two nearly impossible things: 1) show off incredible chemistry that's also authentic; 2) show the judges something they still have never seen before. Here are our favorite acts from the night.


Indigenous Enterprise

As one member of the Phoenix, AZ–based dance group Indigenous Enterprise pointed out, Native American dance is often "swept under the rug," receiving far less attention than other dance styles. So it was exciting for this beautiful art form to grace "World of Dance" for the first time last night, and for it to be performed with so much life and passion. Unfortunately, the judges felt that the act wouldn't be able to stand up against the rest of the competition, and they ultimately didn't advance on to Duels.

Oxygen

This Netherlands-based contemporary and hip-hop group's intricate hand movements and dazzling shapes would be impressive to even a casual viewer. But as dancers, we also understand just how much work is involved in this kind of performance—and we spent the entire routine wondering how many hours of rehearsals must have gone into every single eight-count. The crew got a standing ovation from all three judges, with J.Lo saying, "I couldn't even get my dancers to be that clean." A unanimous advancement to the Duels for Oxygen.

Styles and Emma

Emma's insane flexibility and grace, paired with Styles' explosive power and emotion, put this duo on the fast-track to the Duels. Their partnership seems super strong already, and we're looking forward to seeing how it develops. (Side note: props to Emma for managing to dance on pointe on that super-slippery floor.)

Luca and Allessandra

The best word to describe this duo? Professional. The Latin ballroom dancers from Italy have been dancing together their entire lives, and it shows. With lightning-fast footwork and impeccable coordination, Luca and Allessandra's routine combined effective storytelling with the flashier tricks and skills that the judges love. This act will definitely be the one to beat as it advances to Duels.


Latest Posts


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
Photo by Jayme Thornton

Dear Katie: What Can I Do to Get More Flexible?

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

I'm a strong dancer, but I don't have a lot of flexibility. I stretch every day, but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. What can I do to get more flexible?

Meghan

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search