Diana Pombo performing her solo on "World of Dance" (NBC)

"World of Dance" Series Premiere Recap: Can We Have Some More?

Well, that was perhaps the fastest hour of television ever.

We knew that NBC's "World of Dance" competitor lineup was stacked, but the show's premiere episode last night gave us just a taste of the deep talent field, with performances by only seven acts. None of them disappointed. But in the words of J.Lo herself (spoken, in her case, about a gorgeously understated routine by Kinjaz): We want more. Can we have some more?

Yes, yes, we know: Patience! That "more" is coming later in the season, based on what we've seen in the preview reels. And we appreciate the show's commitment to doing this right, with its detailed 100-point evaluation system that factors in performance, technique, choreography, and presentation (much the way judging works at normal dance comps), and its multi-tiered, multi-round format.

So, what were the SUPER highlights of this all-highlight show? Let's start with out-of-the-gate front-runners Les Twins, two very familiar French faces that even the other competitors couldn't help but gush about. Their detailed, emotional, super-tight routine earned a big standing O from the judges, and the night's highest score. Lopez especially loved them because their uncanny connection reminded her of her own twins, which, d'aww. (These guys certainly have a way with the divas—first they capture Beyoncé's heart, and now J.Lo's?)

We've been excited about Keone and Mari Madrid's appearance on the show since we first spotted them in an early trailer, so we did a little happy dance when they popped up last night. The couple pulled from their Greatest Hits™ collection, performing an updated version of the "Happy" routine that went viral a few years back. While the subtleties of their style didn't all quite translate in the show's big-arena environment—which, we're going to say right now, definitely gives larger acts an edge—their singular charm totally won over the judges. Plus, they mentioned they're on the show because they want the security they need to start a family and OH GOODNESS JUST GIVE THEM THE PRIZE ALREADY WE NEED BABY MADRIDS IN THE WORLD.

The last act of the night, and the evening's only solo performer, was 11-year-old contemporary gumby Diana Pombo, who had the crowd on her side from the beginning because she's tiny and adorable and was incredibly sweet in her pre-performance interview. Diana did the kind of solo we've watched over and over at competitions—in fact, she did a similar routine last year at The Dance Awards, where she won Mini Best Female Dancer—but it's still awesome to see this kind of dance on national television, and she was completely committed to the choreography. She said that J. Lo is her idol, which earned her a great big hug from La Lopez herself, and ended the night on a nice warm fuzzy note.

We'll leave you with Derek Hough's demonstration of proper hip action, because YAAAAAS D. 'Til next week!

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search