Did Project 21 do enough to earn a spot in the Duels? (Trae Patton/NBC)

"World of Dance" Week 5 Recap: Who'll Be Dueling?

The pressure is always on in the "World of Dance" universe—you're always performing for J.Lo, Ne-Yo, and Derek Hough (not to mention a national television audience), after all—but last night's episode felt especially high-stakes. For the first time, the show added a Callbacks round, an in-between moment to reevaluate 10 acts that impressed during the Qualifiers, but not quite enough to advance automatically to the Duels. And with only four Duels spots left to fill, every act was eager to prove that it had an edge on the other Callbacks contestants.

So, who made it through last night? (And how did our current cover stars, the fabulous dancers of Project 21, fare?) Here are the four acts that'll be coming back for another round:


The Young Cast

The Junior Division hip-hop crew was the last to perform last night, but the first to discover it'd earned a place in the Duels. Not a surprise, given the judges' enthusiastic response to its super-clean, super-intricate routine, which had a standout opening.

305

We are always here for a strong Latin ballroom team, and last night, the Junior Division dancers of Miami-based 305 had Derek on his feet. They leveled up from their Qualifiers performance, with more compelling choreography and more precise execution—enough to put them through to the next round.

The Rise

This Upper Division hip-hop group from Arizona was the first to dance last night, performing a suave routine to Usher's "OMG." While the number felt a tad low-energy, the crew's charisma and polish ultimately earned them a spot in the Duels.

GRVMNT

These Junior Division hip-hop dancers seemed like underdogs based on their Qualifiers performance—but their intro package showed just how hard they've been working since then. And while we will never hear Lil Jon's "Outta Your Mind" and not think of this, GRVMNT's scrappy, in-the-pocket routine to the song last night almost made us forget all about Alex Wong and tWitch's famous therapy session. We're excited to see this team continue to grow in the Duels.

We try to remain impartial when it comes to TV dance competitions, but we were sad to see Project 21's "WOD" run come to an end last night, especially since the limited glimpses we got of their chair-oriented routine looked pretty impressive. We'll miss you, P21!

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

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search