World of Dance
Season 3 of "World of Dance" is in full swing, but it’s not too late to start watching the competitive dance show. (Illustration by Jaila Desper, University of Maryland, College Park)
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World of Dance
Season 3 of "World of Dance" is in full swing, but it’s not too late to start watching the competitive dance show. (Illustration by Jaila Desper, University of Maryland, College Park)

If it helps, you don’t have to know the first thing about dancing to enjoy it.

Calling all dance show lovers: If you grew up watching MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew” in the early 2010s, then you should definitely give NBC’s “World of Dance” a shot.

The two shows are quite similar, so if you secretly enjoy binging dance shows or have a sense of nostalgia for “ABDC,” “World of Dance” is worthy of your attention.

The Concept

MTV’s “ABDC” adopted the methodology of “American Idol,” in that teams needed viewer votes to continue through to the next round. On the other hand, whether or not dance performers move forward in the competition in “World of Dance” is left up to the choice of three judges: Ne-Yo, Derek Hough and Jennifer Lopez, who is also the executive producer of the show.

The main differences between the two shows are the age ranges and performance types. The main type of crew to perform on “ABDC” was older hip-hop groups, but “World of Dance” recognizes that dance is all-encompassing and should include different routines and contestants of all ages.

As a result, there are four divisions in “World of Dance”: Junior (groups of 1-4 and under 18 years old), Upper (groups of 1-4 and 18 years and older), Junior Team (groups of 5+ and under 18 years old) and Upper Team (groups of 5+ and 18 years and older).

There are five different categories that judges decide on: performance, technique, choreography, creativity and presentation. Each category is a total of 20 points, meaning that a 100 is a perfect score.

For Season 3 of “World of Dance,” the minimum score to qualify for The Duels, the battles between two dance teams, was changed from an 80 to 85, which raised the performance stakes for hopeful dancers. In The Duels, two teams battle out for survival, and the team who has the highest score continues to The Cut, where mentors are assigned to divisions to prepare performers for their next routine.

The top three scoring acts from The Cut will move on to the Divisional Final. Here, the top scoring act of each division will become the Division Champion, moving on to the World Final. The group that wins its division rounds walks away with $50,000.

In the final round, each act has a shot at performing twice in two separate rounds, and their final score is the average score of these performances. Whoever has the highest score is crowned the “World of Dance” champion and wins the grand prize of $1 million.

What to Expect

As someone who knows nothing about dancing, I am always shocked to find that I really enjoy watching “World of Dance.” Just because you don’t have background knowledge in something doesn’t always mean you can’t recognize talent and give credit where credit is due.

Because there are so many types of performers of varying ages and group sizes, no two routines are ever alike in this competition, and that is part of the major appeal. Some performances have left the world shocked, including the judges.

Here is a list of some of the best performances on “World of Dance” that will leave you at a loss for words:

Junior Team: The Crazy 8’s

This bunch of small and graceful girls has the power to melt anyone’s heart as soon as they step on stage, and that is exactly what they did to the judges with their first performance. The entire team dedicated their routine to one of their members, Naia, because she has selective mutism. This means that she isn’t very comfortable talking to other people.

The whole routine was a reminder for Naia that her team loves and cares for her. The beautiful thing about their routine was that even though it was inspired by Naia, who comes off as extremely shy, she was featured various times throughout the performance.

A show-stopping moment in the routine occurred when there was a little girl holding her leg above her head in an arabesque-like fashion, but she was spinning herself on the stage floor on her stomach — that little girl was Naia! Needing an 85 to move onto The Duels, their routine landed the girls a solid 93.

Fun fact: After this breakthrough performance, The Crazy 8’s went on to perform their routine on “Ellen”!

Upper Team: Radiance

In a battle of the sexes, Radiance was up against Main Guys for their Duel round. Knowing their spot to move forward was on the line, Radiance packed a punch directly to Main Guys for this performance. Their routine was to the Ariana Grande favorite “God Is a Woman,” and if the song itself wasn’t already full of fierce attitude, then the routine was dripping in female empowerment.

With quick, sharp moves throughout the performance, it was clear that Radiance did not come to play. With each swift move, the team locked into place as they depict royalty, even more so because their costumes were completely gold accented.

The show-stopper for this performance was when the girls did a firecracker move and threw a member into the air from behind the team and caught her in the front. This eventually led to a powerful move where the team was positioned exactly like ancient Egyptian royalty with their arms and hands out, taking slow steps toward Main Guys who were sitting side stage.

In the end, Radiance prevailed in this duel with a whopping 93.7 score from the judges, beating Main Guys’ 89.3 and eliminating them from the competition.

Upper Team: The Kings

While every act is full of talent, the upper team that has taken Season 3 by storm is The Kings, a male group from India. The Kings’ routines are full of tricks, flips and outrageous Bollywood-inspired movements that wow the crowd and judges each time.

This routine consisted of every wow-factor The Kings had to offer and then some. They open with speedy arm and body movements, and because there are so many of them, their routine already started out looking cool. The first drop of the song happens within seconds, and that is the first flip of the routine. The music picks up and there is snappy aggression behind each move that leads into more tossing and turning of group members.

The Kings go on to choreograph their own mind-blowing moves, one of which is a member who holds his entire body weight on his hands as his legs are wrapped forward around his arms. When the music drops again, he lets himself fall literally face first onto the floor, leading to syncopated flips and steps to the drums of the song.

At this point, the crowd has already gone berserk, and the number of flips is difficult to keep track of on top of the crazy moves that The Kings are pulling off. The judges end up on their feet at the end of the routine, cheering and screaming about the routine they just witnessed. The Kings received the first perfect score of the season, leaving them duel winners with a score of 99.3.

Charity & Andres

Although from the previous season, the performance by the Junior Team Charity & Andres when they danced to “Way Down We Go” by Kaleo is noteworthy, as they got a perfect score!

If performances like these catch your attention or keep your eyes glued to the screen, most routines can be found on YouTube. Be sure to catch up on Season 3 of “World of Dance” on Hulu or watch it live Sunday nights on NBC.

Don’t miss out on the Divisional Final on April 28 to see who wins $1 million and is crowned this year’s “World of Dance” champion!


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