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.
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.
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.