Photo credit: Trae Patton/NBC.
A clean and rhythmically complicated tap routine from the D'Angelo Brothers sent them through to The Duels, but the warning shots were fired — find a way to add tricks to a style that already has tricks. Ne-Yo isn't necessarily understanding that the movement of the feet and the sounds of the taps are just as hard as a 540-degree flip.
The dance audience is split on this underlying theme on the reality competition show because it makes certain styles almost obsolete from the very first round. They might get lucky and eke out a win in The Duels, but it makes it really hard for anything outside of Contemporary and Hip-Hop/Urban Dance to win.
This also comes on the heels of Breaking's approval for the 2024 Paris Olympics. For anyone who questioned why dance is being included in the Summer Games, this is why. Dance now requires the stamina of an athlete, the lyricism of a martial artist and the technique of a dancer. The art form is evolving and it is evolving quickly.
Now that's not to say other styles of dance are in danger of extinction. What it's saying is that in forms of competition where the stakes are high — $1 million or a gold medal win — this is what the judges are looking for. World of Dance and the Olympics offer winners a completely different life than most artists will see. The monetary win on the show can change the trajectory of a career and a gold-medal win at the Olympics will attract sponsors to support training costs. We are watching game-changing moments in dance over the next decade.
So while you watch World of Dance this season, understand that this has become more of an athletic competition with a side of artistry and splash of performance quality. Other dance competition shows will offer a different side of dance and artistry and yes, both can co-exist peacefully.
Don't miss Dance Network's latest 'To The Pointe' interview with 'Dancing With the Stars: Juniors' pro, Jake Monreal: