Ep. 1 Surveys: Tell us your favorite, least favorite performance!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Video: SoReal Cru at Hip Hop International World Championships

SoReal Cru was one of the three teams representing the United States in the adult division of the World Hip Hop Dance Championships held by Hip Hop International on August 2, 2009. Though they didn't win the event, they won the hearts of the audience with their adept and diverse moves.

Confirmed: Beyonce on ABDC August 16

People Magazine has confirmed reports that Beyonce will be the featured artist on the second episode of America's Best Dance Crew Season 4, to air August 16. She will be seen through the episode in taped personal messages to each crew, with instructions on their assigned songs and specific challenges. The song choices will include "Crazy in Love", "Single Ladies", "Deja Vu", Beautiful Liar", "Sweet Dreams", and more. No confirmation yet if she'll be in the audience or performing on the show.

Exclusive Backstage Photos at ABDC Premiere taping

We are collaborating with DanceTag.tv to bring you photographs and videos from the America's Best Dance Crew tapings. In a few days, we will share videos with all the crews, but in the meantime, please check out our candid photo album taken by Dancetag's Cristina Perez. As you can see in this photo, our interviewers are Chris Trondsen and Supreme Soul's CJ Jennings (aka Pharside).

Video: Chicago auditions including Southern Movement

Walacam recently released footage of the scene outside the Chicago auditions for America's Best Dance Crew Season 4. The whole thing is fun to watch, but pay special attention to the appearances of Southern Movement -- the only Chicago crew chosen for ABDC4 -- at 2:18 and 5:44. When they auditioned, they called themselves RockyTops. Thanks for the tip, Sebastian!

Mailbox: Shane Sparks on ABDC4; Kaba Modern

  • Shane Sparks tells HipHopDX."Just when I think I can't be surprised by anything in the dance game, I come to the first episode of ABDC [season 4] and get my mind blown." He talks further about Rhythm City, We Are Heroes compared to Beat Freaks, and Massive Monkees.
  • On August 15, Mike Song from Kaba Modern will teach a workshop at Marvelous Motion Studio in Houston. This is already almost sold out, so act now!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Previews of ABDC Episode 1 Performances

Fanscape has posted clips of the performances for the America's Best Dance Crew Season 4 premiere that airs this Sunday, August 9. Here's Fr3sh with different music and a different routine than they used in their audition; visit the Fanscape Youtube Channel for the rest!

Video: Super Cr3w performing at HHI Finals

America's Best Dance Crew Season 2 winners Super Cr3w performed as an exhibition crew at Hip Hop International's World Hip Hop Dance Championships in Las Vegas on August 2, 2009.

An audacious proposal: Criteria for discussing ABDC Crew Performance

Now that America's Best Dance Crew Season 4 is about to air, discussions will get even more heated on who deserves to win and lose. But just saying "that sucked" or "that rocked" doesn't make for productive or friendly debate (even if it's true). So, I'm introducing criteria used by the judges for Hip Hop International that apply to ABDC as well. I am going to start using these terms and I invite you to join me:
  • Creativity - signature moves original to the crew, including ways to go to the floor, get up from the floor, and transitions
  • Staging, spacing, formations, and level changes - using a full range of unique, complicated, and challenging formations, interactive partner moves and patterns. This includes high/mid/low movements, using arms, ands, feet, torso, and head with creative and unpredictable transitions'
  • Showmanship, intensity, confidence, projection and pauses - minimal pauses and poses, uninterrupted display of confidence in facial expression and body movement, passion and an ability to 'sell it' on stage
  • Entertainment value/crowd appeal - connecting to the audience and evoking emotional responses, to leave a memorable and lasting impression
  • Musicality - performance and choreography corresponding to timing and music usage; the crew's ability to perform simultaneously to the music (either through the beat or through rhythmic variations/syncopation).
  • Synchronization/timing - range of movement, speed, timing and execution are all in sync
  • Execution/controlled mobility and stabilization - maintaining control of speed, direction, momentum and body placement
  • Difficulty of execution - levels of ability, variety of styles

At HHI, all these (plus 2 factors not relevant to ABDC) were given equal weight in the scoring. I attended the full training session so I'll try to elaborate on these criteria, if desired.

Mailbox: Quest at Teen Choice Awards; Vote for Karelix; Mario Lopez' World Record

  • According to various Twitter reports, Quest will be performing with Sean Kingston at the Teen Choice Awards to be broadcast Monday August 10 on Fox.
  • Fly Khick Karelix has made it to the final round in the 'hottest heat dancer' in the Miami Heat competition. Click here to vote for her and show your support!
  • ABDC host Mario Lopez helped Baskin Robbins achieve the Guinness World Record for Largest Cheerleader Dance. Watch it here on ExtraTV.
  • Las Vegas Weekly has an indepth article on the Hip Hop International Competition

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Official ABDC 4 Crew Pictures

Yahoo TV has the collection of dance crew pictures for America's Best Dance Crew Season 4. Here's We Are Heroes -- Click here for the full set.
Photocredit: MTV

Video: Fanny Pak tribute to Toni Basil

Over the next week, I'll share highlights of my videos from Hip Hop International, including: performances by America's Best Dance Crew alums Fanny Pak, Super Cr3w, Beat Freaks, SoReal Cru, and Kaba Modern; current ABDC competitors We Are Heroes; other strong competitors including Poreotics, Sweet & Sour and Philippine Allstars; some funny on-stage moments; and dance workshops. First up: Fanny Pak's tribute to Toni Basil, who received Hip Hop International's Living Legend of Hip Hop Award.

More Non-Spoiler impressions of the Week 1 Tapings

Several readers who attended the Episode 1 tapings for America's Best Dance Crew Season 4 wrote about their experiences. Thanks to all of you, and here are some highlights from their comments:

Ryan: "Definitely a highlight of the night was getting to see Sweet & Sour and members of Quest perform. The stage director..asked Victor to come warm up the crowd before the show started and it was INCREDIBLE seeing him in person. It was nuts seeing him do the hollowback and being able to see the veins in his wrists as he extends out!!! Rino then joined him on stage and they started top rocking in sync together, sooo cool. Eventually Steve, Hok, and Shorty came on stage and freestyled too. When Hok went into some finger tutting the crowd went berserk. It was all just so exciting. During some of the editing breaks members of the crowd started freestyling, drawing the attention of the whole studio. After one guy would go, someone else from another bleacher would go, almost as if they were battling...Overall a really exciting and surreal night."

Lenny: "OMG!!..It was AMAZING! After the show, it really made me think about what I said when I saw the auditions [on tape]. I have said that this season would suck because we're seeing styles we're not used to, but trust me, GIVE THESE CREWS A CHANCE! Watching the show yesterday gave me a slap in the face and made me stop judging crews before the show even starts. For the people who are waiting till Sunday...be surprised!"


TimetoFlytotheCheese
: "going into the stage of the taping, I was pretty sure I was gonna be disappointed... After the first three crews performed, I was shocked when one crew stepped it up from the auditions. After the second group went up I was thinking to myself maybe this season will be better than I had originally thought it to be. Then the last group performed ...AMAZING. Then I realized this has the potential to be just as good, if not better than some of the other seasons....About the elimination however I was shocked and was not expecting it...I even asked Shane Sparks after the show if he agreed with the elimination and he said "Yes. So I'm pretty sure they saw something I didn't see."

Click here to read more from Roxanne, kyky, and ME (including the strategy to get front row seats!)

Pacific Rim backstage Week 1 interviews: Vogue Evolution & MUCH more

Pacific Rim Video posted 9 video interviews backstage at the taping of America's Best Dance Crew 4 Episode 1, with Beat Freaks Shorty as a guest interviewer. Besides this wonderful interview with Vogue Evolution, you should check out the talks with Massive Monkees, Rhythm City, Southern Movement, We are Heroes, and Afroborike.

Profile: Afroborike

Afroborike is one of the nine crews chosen for America's Best Dance Crew Season 4. We don't know much about them yet apart from the MTV description: "Comprised of fiery Puerto Ricans and Cubans, Afroborike is a hot Salsa crew ready to bring their own brand of raw and sexy Latin dancing to America. Here is an interview with them at the ABDC Week 1 taping, from Pacific Rim Video:


Here again is their audition video:


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Meet Beat Freak Shorty online tonight

Beat Freaks member Shorty will be online at framagazine.com/live/shorty on August 5 at 8pm PT. So, stop by the site to talk with her!

Photocredit: STANLEE B. MIRADOR

Song List for Episode 1

According to MTV Remote Control, the songs for Episode 1 of America's Best Dance Crew 4 were chosen by each crew to best showcase their abilities. The choices were:

FR3SH "Ante Up" by M.O.P.
RHYTHM CITY "Life of a Star" by Mims
BEAT YA FEET KINGS "Skillet" by Backyard Band
AFROBORIKE "Aguanile" by Marc Anthony
ARTISTRY IN MOTION "SFM" by Basement Jaxx
VOGUE EVOLUTION "Took the Night" by Chelley
WE ARE HEROES "Waters of Nazareth" by Justice
SOUTHERN MOVEMENT "Sideways" by Dierks Bentley
MASSIVE MONKEES "Kill Joy" by N.E.R.D.

First reports from the ABDC taping - Expect the unexpected!

We've started receiving reports on last night's taping of Americas' Best Dance Crew 4 Episode 1 by email and comments:

From TimetoFlytheCheese: "Yooo, all I gotta say is that, you think you know who's going home, but you REALLY don't!! Get ready for some underdog action, crazy moves, and shocking results. And it was bottom 3, not bottom 2...
All 9 crews are HOT (for the most part)...Everyone did AMAZING and Quest was there, as were Beat Freaks, and Sweet and Sour [a crew from New Zealand].

From Ryan: "I was at the taping, and all I can say is that I wasn't surprised or disappointed with the judges decision. Even though some mediocre crews got a pass, all of the crews in the bottom 3 deserved to be there for their own reason. All of them ripped the sudden death performance though, and I'm sure it was a tough choice to make...Be prepared to eat some of your words when the show airs...5 of the 9 crews got a standing O from the crowd: I was really surprised to find myself on my feet for certain crews...Still though, only one crew emerged as the episode's "winner". They literally crushed everyone else, set the crowd off at several points during the performance, and got unanimous praise from the judges. As long as they're around, they will keep us purists happy with ABDC 4.
"

If you also attended the taping, we'd love to hear about your experience too. BUT PLEASE KEEP IT SPOILER FREE!!

Profile: Southern Movement

Southern Movement is one of the nine crews chosen for America's Best Dance Crew Season 4. They auditioned in Chicago under the name Rocky Top and hail from Nashville, TN. From their Facebook page: Southern Movement hails from Nashville, TN and was founded in 2005. It is composed of 2 merged crews: Team RockyTop (also called Crowd Pleazerz) and Urban Legends. The choreographer is Kemmian Beard. They admire country music and hip hop dance.

Click here for their Facebook page.You can also access their MySpace page, and they are now building their website: southernmovementdance.com.
Click here to watch their audition video .

A reporter who attended the Chicago auditions emailed me about Southern Movement: "This is their second season around auditioning. They came with a full seven-person team, incorporating the typical country line dancing with finger tutting and some really eye popping choreography..very different. I believe something America would love to see." This photo was taken outside the Chicago auditions for ABDC4 by Fatality, featuring Southern Movement (in plaid) and Xicution (in blue). Thanks Qasim!

TMobile ad featuring Super Cr3w , Beat Freaks, Groovaloos

TMobile has a new ad for their Sidekick cellphone that feature Super Cr3w's Do-Knock, Beat Freaks Teresa and Maryss, and many other members of the Groovaloos. Thanks for the tip, Supercr3w.com!

Mailbox: Dtrix, Kaba Modern, Fanny Pak

  • On Dance Universe , Lindsay writes and shares photos about judging dance competitions and watching master classes taught by Quest's Dtrix, and ABDC choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha D'umo
  • On July 3, Kaba Modern members Yuri Tag, Mike Son, and Lawrence Kao were guest judges at SEAQUENCE 2009, a dance competition to raise funds to troubled teens and families in Ensenada, Mexico. Go to SEAQUENCE2009.com buy the DVD for the event -- 100% of the sales will go to these needy people
  • The Insider Dance Blog interviewd Fanny Pak member Phil Collins, talking about who's the funniest crew member, how they fight constantly, upcoming plans, their friends from America's Best Dance Crew, and much more

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Should MTV change its voting system for America's Best Dance Crew?

New York Times ran a story about fairness in competitive reality shows that use fan votes to determine who wins. The premise: "A belief by viewers that their participation is meaningless if they don’t cast votes by the hundreds or thousands could limit their interest in the show, said Susan Murray, an associate professor of media, culture and communication at New York University..."They trust that the system is somehow democratic and not being influenced by one person sending in 10,000 votes at a time.”

The article notes that "Idol rules state that the producers reserve the right to throw out votes if technical enhancements are being used to generate significant blocks. But they refuse to say how many votes — or whether any — have been disqualified."
The article does not specifically mention America's Best Dance Crew, but the same issues can apply. So, is this something that ABDC producers should address for Season 4?

Hey ABDC audience members: Keep This a Spoiler Free Zone!

Tonight is the first taping for America's Best Dance Crew Season 4. Congratulations to all of you who got tickets! If you want to write up something about your experience, email it to BloggingBestDanceCrew@gmail.com and we'll put it in a post. You can also leave comments here. BUT REMEMBER: this is a spoiler free zone! If you write ANYTHING about who was in the bottom 2 and who was eliminated, I'll delete it! So please don't do it!!

Profile: We Are Heroes

We Are Heroes are one of the nine crews chosen to compete on America's Best Dance Crew Season 4. We haven't found much about them besides the MTV description: "This group of effervescent young women came together from New York, Idaho and as far as Japan to fulfill their dreams of dancing in Hollywood. Growing up in all corners of the globe, they were inspired by everything from Fred Astaire to Michael Jackson and have honed their dancing into something they call “Glam Style.” If you have more information about We are Heroes (pictures, videos, interviews, websites), please share it in the comments.

They performed last week at the Hip Hop International USA Finals, where they received the highest score of any crew for technique.
Also, one of their original crew members -- Marie Poppins -- won the HHI World Popping Competition. Unfortunately, she can't appear with her crew on ABDC due to visa issues.

ABDC Clip Show Recap - Facts and Fancies

Zatzz recaps the America's Best Dance Crew clip show for us, giving both the facts and her opinions on the choices:

"DISCLAIMER: I love ABDC, I respect MTV, I respect all the choices they made, and I like all the crews that have been on the show, no matter.

On August 2nd, exactly a week before the start of season 4 of America's Best Dance Crew, MTV aired the Top 10 performances of the first three seasons of ABDC. Or, what they think are the best performances. Everyone who watched must be in the same state of mood as I am right now. I will try to be as neutral as possible while writing this recap, but it will be obvious that this hour of television was possibly the most frustrating I ever experienced."

Click here to read the rest of this VERY entertaining post. Thanks Zatzz!


Mailbox: Massive Monkees Injury; Shane Twitters at SYTYCD; SQ on AGT; Strikers Tallie with Kristina Debarge

  • MTV Remote Control reports that Massive Monkees member Bryson Angeles suffered a spider bite on his hand, shortly before starting practice for Episode 1. This could potentially limit his b-boy moves, so we hope this won't hurt the crew's performance at tonight's taping of America's Best Dance Crew 4.
  • According to So You Think You Can Blog, Shane Sparks "texts incessantly through the taping" of So You Think You Can Dance.
  • TheDartmouth.com talks to Dartmouth student Benja Wurzel, who auditioned with SQ Entertainment (Status Quo's new name) for America's Got Talent
  • Striker member Tallie Brinson is a backup dancer for singer Kristina Debarge in this clip from FoxNY.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Reminder: Week 1 of our elimination challenge contest ends today!

If you want to vote in Week 1 of our Elimination challenge contest, you've got until midnight tonight. We close the voting the night before each America's Best Dance Crew episode is taped, and Episode 1 tapes tomorrow! Click here to read the rules and cast your vote!
VOTING IS NOW CLOSED FOR THIS WEEK. Come back next Monday to vote in the Week 2 elimination challenge.

Profile: Fr3sh

Fr3sh, from Matawan New Jersey, are one of the nine crews chosen for America's Best Dance Crew Season 4. Their style is eclectic, playfully blending hip hop with jazz, funk, and a few other styles. They are one of the more 'choreo' of the crews chosen for this season. The crew and its larger group have competed successfully in East Coast competitions and are the hosts of the Main Event competition (which was won this year by their rivals Rhythm City).

Upset Victory at Hip Hop International Finals!

There were four types of surprises at the 2009 World Hip Hop Dance Championship on August 2: 1.some dark horse victories, 2.a tie score, 3.some new performances by America's Best Dance Crew alums, and 4.a marriage proposal within Germany's Physical Funk crew. Once I return home, I'll prepare videos of the last two surprises. But the big news were the crews that won and lost.

In the adult division, first place was won by R.A.F. Crew from France, who placed fifth in the preliminaries. Second place went to Mexico's Neutral Zone adults, and third place to Singapore's Joyce and the Boys who placed eleventh in the preliminaries. Many of the attendees were surprised at the shut out of defending champions Philippine Allstars, New Zealand's Sweet & Sour (who won the World Varsity Division in 2008) and all three US crews.

The only US medal was a first prize in the Junior Division to Lil Phunk Boyz, and member Kyle was able to perform after having an appendectomy earlier this week. Other Junior winners: Monsoon! (from Japan) won seond and Freshh (from Canada) won third.

In the Varsity Division, there was a tied score between first and second, so the judges invoked the rule that the crew with the highest Performance Score (as opposed to Skill Score) got the gold medal. New Zealand's Request won the gold, Canada's Irratik won silver, and Japan's Kana Boon! took third.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

MTV Clip Show Party Room is now open!

The party room for America's Best Dance Crew Clip Show of "the best performances of all time" is now open! Share your impressions, frustrations, hates and loves. What did you think about the choices? If they show the new crews, what are your first impressions?

Photocredit: wesduvall.com

Live Play-by-play of ABDC Clip Show - greatest performances

Jeff#1 has agreed to run the live play-by-play for tonight's America's Best Dance Crew clip show on the best performances 'of all time.' (If the technology screws up, blame Nancy, not him!) Please feel free to follow along, but leave most of your comments at the party room post next to this post. It's really hard to follow the show, write about it, and monitor the comments, so be kind! And, thanks Jeff!

ABDC Clip Show Tonight - Join us for Live Play-by-Play, Party Room


We think America's Best Dance Crew is better when shared. So, tonight come by for a live play-by-play (moderated by Jeff #1) -- watch along with him or (for you non-Eastcoasters) get some advance info. And, we'll have a party/comments room open during and after the show. Don't be shy -- join us tonight!

Video: Fanny Pak on Logo online's NewNowNext Poplab

Fanny Pak premiered a video show on Logo Network's NewNowNext Poplab site on July 29.. You can watch the entire show online now. It is cut into 1-2 minute segments where they introduce themselves, talk about their America's Best Dance Crew experience, how the crew came together, the pop icons they admire, why they love working with Lil Mama, how they pick songs to perform to, and why their crew name is Fanny Pak instead of Top Ramen. Here's my favorite segment -- a new performance to "Something Sick".


HHI World Bboy Crew Finals Results - UnderGround Flow beats Knucklehead Zoo

The World Bboy Crew Championship Battles at Hip Hop International just ended. In the final round, Sacramento's UnderGround Flow beat out defending champions Knucklehead Zoo. Third place went to Mexico's Rhythm Invade.

The 16 crews in the finals represented U.S., Mexico, Australia, Germany, Canada, and Trinidad. The semi-final and final rounds were hard-fought and close in scores, according to a judge's announcement/explanation. I'll add a video of the final battle as soon as one becomes available.