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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Video: Vogue Evolution at The Bowery Electric

Reader Erica Nicole attended Vogue Evolution's show at The Bowery Electric in New York on December 16, 2009, where VE members Pony Zion, Dashaun Evisu,and Prince Milan performed. Here's the video, courtesy of her  Dancing4Ever Youtube Channel  Thanks Erica Nicole!
 

Recent Shane Sparks Interview # 2: We Are Heroes Party the night before arrest

We've been asked if we (or other press people) were given any indication that ABDC judge Shane Sparks was going to be arrested this week. Answer: NO. Chris Trondsen was the only press invited to the We Are Heroes celebration party hosted by Shane on December 17, 2009 (just hours before Shane was arrested), and Chris covered the event for BloggingBestDanceCrew, Dancetag, and Pacific Rim. Here's the interview with Shane and We Are Heroes. As you can see, the mood at the party was totally upbeat and happy. Chris told me that after the arrest, he communicated with some of the We Are Heroes members, and they were totally shocked and saddened by the recent news.

Recent Shane Sparks Interview #1: at NY ABDC auditions 12/13/09

We've been asked if we knew of any signs of Shane Spark's impending arrest this week on child molestation charges. Answer: no. Evidence -- we and Dancetag.tv interviewed him twice this past week. I conducted this first interview at the New York America's Best Dance Crew callback auditions. He talks about how he's glad that the ABDC show judges are finally involved in picking the crews for the show, about Afroborike's influence on ABDC, and names a crew to watch out for. 


There is no official information yet on the impact of Shane's arrest on ABDC 5.

Friday, December 18, 2009

UPDATE on Shane Sparks arrest -- alleged victim was 14 or 15

More on the arrest of ABDC judge Shane Sparks on charges of alleged rape of a minor: According to this news video from News 11 in Los Angeles, the alleged victim was 14 or 15 years old and involve multiple incidents between 1994 and 1997. The girl making the allegations was one of Spark's students at the Millennium Dance Studio in North Hollywood.

Shane Sparks arrested for child molestation

Shane Sparks, judge on America's Best Dance Crew, has been arrested for alleged child molestation. Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department say they arrested him in North Hollywood, CA December 18, 2009 on a felony warrant charging him with 8 counts of molestation. The alleged molestation took place in 1994, according to a criminal complaint. The charges all relate to one alleged victim, an underaged girl. He is being held on $590,000 bail.

We will post updates as they become available.

Shane Sparks interview: Who I wanted to win ABDC Season 4

Stuff Fly People Like was back at the New York auditions for America's Best Dance Crew. They talked to Shane Sparks and Lil Mama just before the judges started viewing the crew callbacks. Lil Mama talks mostly about her upcoming music releases. Shane talks about who he wanted to win ABDC Season 4, why he likes diverse teams, and what he's seen so far at the callbacks. We'll have our own interviews (different questions, of course) with the ABDC callback judges on-line for you very soon.

 

Apology to No Label: BloggingABDC screwed up

Earlier this week, we posted a video showing a performance from the LA auditions for ABDC 5. The crew was mislabelled as No Label. It's been confirmed that we were wrong and we've removed the video from Youtube until we can give proper credit to the performers. In the meantime, we apologize to No Label, the other crew that has not yet been given credit, and our readers.

Video: Quest Crew in Baby Bash's "Outta Control"

Quest Crew is featured in the new Baby Bash (featuring Pitbull) video "Outta Control". Thanks for the link, Shiny Brazilian!

Watch: Shoutout to ABDC on Saturday Night Live Christmas Special

NBC aired a holiday clip show called "SNL Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas" on December 17, 2009. On it, Steve Martin introduces his "A Holiday Wish" sketch,  which was first shown on Saturday Night Live in 1991. Watch the full segment here, including the shoutout to America's Best Dance Crew.

Upcoming Events: December 18- January 3

The calendar is expanded this week so you can plan your dance activities through the Christmas and New Year Season. Please leave a comment if you know of other events that should be added

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Exclusive video from NY Auditions: Blueprint

Last weekend at the New York auditions for America's Best Dance Crew Season 5, MTV allowed us to tape about an hour of the first day competition and 3 of the callback performances. IMPORTANT: we have NO inside information or influence about how MTV will choose the crews to appear on the show.

Here's Blueprint, from Canada. The crew impressed me with their high skill, and teamwork, and intensity. The crew (with different members) won Monsters of Hip Hop 2008 -click here for a video of the winning choreography.  If the crew is chosen, they will need to obtain US work visas. And, I wonder what region they would represent.  NOTE: any comments for this post that are ONLY about another crew will be deleted!

Last Day to Nominate Your Favorite Dance Movie

Starting tomorrow, we plan to survey our reader's favorite dance movies. Today is the deadline to get in a nomination, so leave a comment below or check out the earlier nominations here. And come back tomorrow to vote!

Congratulations Russell Ferguson - SYTYCD6's Favorite Dancer!

Boston Krumper Russell Ferguson won So You Think You Can Dance Season 6. He was noteworthy for many reasons: the first krumper to make the top 10, his ability to quickly learn new styles, and his infectious exuberance. After a near brush with elimination in Week 1, Russell's popularity grew as he tackled jazz, foxtrot, samba, contemporary, jive, and even Bollywood. Here's his SYTYCD profile: 

Video: Southern Movement Perform at Step Show

Here's a new performance by Southern Movement at the NPHC Step Show (America's Best Dance Crew Season 4), from Jairusb's Youtube Channel

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Groovaloos on Tonights SYTYCD Finale Show; Krumper Russell forecasted to win!

Tonight is the Finale for Season 6 of So You Think You Can Dance. There are two reasons that America's Best Dance Crew fans might watch the two-hour show:
  1. Groovaloos will be performing, along with Adam Lambert, Leona Lewis, Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Lopez
  2. DialIdol.com predicts that Russell, a Krumper, will win the competition, and that it's not even a close race! DialIdol has had a good track record in their forecasts for winners of past seasons of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. If Russell wins, this will be the second time that a hip hop-style dancer has taken the prize.

Interview with ABDC Audition judge Chonique: "I would have liked to have seen more innovation"

LA Times reporter Jevon Phillips spoke to ABDC 5 audition judge Chonique Sneed at the Los Angeles auditions (the video below), and again the day after the NY auditions when the 6-city tryouts were completed. In the video, she talks about the challenge of giving feedback and something she would like to see at the auditions: an ethnic crew with enough versatility to maintain their identity but keep it interesting.

Read the post-auditions interview with Chonique, where she describes how she became involved with the auditions, the role of women choreographers, and her disappointment about many of the auditioners: "There's definitely a format, a method to the madness, so people who have watched the show, they see what wins, they see what's competitive. A lot of crews, I felt, stuck to the format so much that they lost who they were as locals...it almost started to become a little monotonous...There was definitely some [crews showing something new] but I would've liked to have seen more".

And Jevon Phillips gives his personal Top Ten from the LA auditions based on watching (but not taping) the first day performances: Heavy Hitters, Knucklehead Zoo, Poreotics, The Hype, Neverland, Molodi 5, Destined 2 Be, Karmography, One Nation Crew, and Klaamation.
  

UPDATE: the Video from ABDC5 LA Auditions is NOT No Label

At the Los Angeles auditions for America's Best Dance Crew Season 5, our team (Chris Trondsen, Glenda Morales, and our partner dancetag.tv) were able to film about an hour of the Day 1 performances. We had a video posted here and mislabelled as No Label, a crew from LA that specializes in a contemporary dance form with hip hop touches.  It's been verified that WE WERE WRONG and this is NOT No Label.  Once we can verify the name of the crew that auditioned, we will repost the video with proper attribution.  I apologize both to No Label and to the crew in this video!

Ronnie & Rockadile (Super Cr3w) interview: ABDC's crew selection strategy

Super Cr3w's Ronnie and Rockadile were interviewed by Portrait Magazine several months ago, during a trip to Greece. They talk about a range of subjects including injuries, favorite moves, failure, favorite foods, what cartoon character they'd like to be, and whether they could work 9-5 jobs. Thanks, supercr3w.com!

What they said about the ABDC crew selection process: "We had actually tried out for the first season of “America’s Best Dance Crew.. Exactly, so we got rejected the first season.. It was between us and JabbaWockeeZ and they were just like 'JabbaWockeeZ’s you’re fire' and they were our friends so we were just like you guys better win and they won, so we were happy for them... Second season they encouraged us to audition again and some guys from the crew didn’t want to; just because they thought it was a slap in the face that we didn’t get in first season, but we ended up being chosen to do second season and we went all the way. And I think that’s how ABDC is too, I think if they know they’re doing a certain amount of seasons, they want to split up the crews, and they wouldn’t want to put them all in one season, so they kind of split them up. So if a certain crew auditions for say third season and they know there’s going to be a fourth, then they won’t have them on third, but on fourth."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Exclusive video: Inside the Box audition for ABDC 5

MTV allowed us to watch and tape a few of the crews auditioning for America's Best Dance Crew Season 5 during their stops in Los Angeles and New York. We'll show our favorites of the lot over the next few weeks. IMPORTANT: we have absolutely no inside knowledge or influence over who will be picked for America's Best Dance Crew, though in some cases we do know if the crew will NOT be on this season.


Here's the audition from Inside the Box. a crew from Pomona, CA whose primary style is housing with hip hop choreography. We loved their audition for ABDC Season 4 and their winning performance at Maxt Out 2009. Unfortunately, Inside the Box has been told that they will not appear on Season 5.

Mailbox: Shane Sparks Theater, Rhythm City workshops, Chonique Videos

  • The Baltimore Sun interviewed ABDC judge Shane Sparks about his work on Dream Girls. Thearticle also mentions that Shane is looking for backers for a full-length dance musical about the 2006 murder of children in Darfur called "The Rise of the Crown."
  • Rhythm City fans: The crew will be holding classes every Saturday from 5-7pm at Pearl Studios, New York City 
  • Chonique Sneed is one of the choreographers for ABDC and an audition judge for Season 5. For those of you not already familiar, here's her 'Snap, Crackle, Pop' music video from the ChoniqueSneed Youtube Channel (which also has some good videos of her workshops, including this video with Beat Freaks Rino, Lindsey, and Marys). To keep up with her, visit her on MySpace or follow ChoSneed on Twitter

Video: D-trix Lyrical Solo

Quest's Dominic combined lyrical and bboy at Shock The Intensive in November 2009. Video courtesy of pixieskies Youtube Channel. Thanks for the tip, We are Queroes.

Monday, December 14, 2009

ABDC Season 5 selection process -- new and improved over past seasons!

At the NY auditions, I spoke to many of the producers and production staff members for ABDC and learned much more about the changes to America's Best Dance Crew's process for selecting their Top 9 crews to compete. The steps are:
  • Step 1: Auditions or videos.Crews became eligible to compete through live auditions in six cities (Atlanta, Houston, LA, Denver, Boston, NY) or submission of an audition video. For both, the crews prepare an original 'crew choice' dance lasting 1-2 minutes
  • Step 2: Callbacks. At the live auditions, the audition judges picked several the auditioning crews for callbacks, and gave them an overnight 'challenge' - the crews were handed music and told to choreograph a short group dance using a new prop, followed by short individual freestyles. The next day, these crews performed the 'crew choice' and the 'challenge' in front of audition judges. Afterwards, the callback crews got to perform only the 'crew choice' in front of a 3 member ABDC celebrity panel composed of two ABDC judges (Lil Mama, JC Chasez, Shane Sparks) and a member of a past ABDC Champion crew (Kevin from JabbaWockeeZ, Nichelle from We Are Heroes, Hok from Quest). These 3 'celebrity judges' decided whether a crew would move on to "Regionals." There was probably an equivalent private process for the crews that submitted audition videos but didn't attend a live audition.
  • Step 3: Regionals selections. There are three regions, representing South (Atlanta + Houston), West (LA + Denver), and East (Boston + New York). The MTV producers and ABDC team will screen all the information and video footage for the crews that made it to Regionals. There may be some additional information gathering.
  • Step 4: Regional audition TV episodes. The first three shows for ABDC 5 will feature footage from the auditions, focusing on regions. The shows will also feature a live audition with 5 of the crews who made it to Regionals. Each week, 2 of the 5 will be eliminated from competition. The first episode airs on Thursday January 28.
  • Step 5: The top 9 compete! After the three regional audition episodes, ABDC is down to 9 competing crews, 3 from each region. And, we're back to the regular show format!
What do you think?

Interview with Executive Producer Karen Schwartz on auditions and Season 5

At the New York try-outs for America's Best Dance Crew Season 5 on December 12 2009, I spoke with ABDC co-creator and Executive Producer Karen Schwartz about her impressions of the auditioning crews and regional differences. In the interview, she mentions that Season 5 will begin with three audition shows -- one for each audition region (East, South, West).

Beat Ya Feet Kings in Tabi Bonney's latest music Video

Beat Ya Feet Kings are featured in Tabi Bonney's video "Duhhh".

Mailbox: Layla Kayleigh, Beat Freaks, XTreme Dance Force

  • Celebrity Pregnancy posted a photo of Layla Kayleigh's baby Melody Rain, along with a description of Layla's life as a new mother
  • Beat Freak Teresa Espinosa started her own blog WhatIsHipHopDance for anyone who loves dance and hip hop. The site will discuss how hip hop has evolved and people's positive reactions.
  • Anjelah Johnson was on The Bonnie Hunt Show promoting her stand-up special "That's How We Do It" on Comedy Central airing December 28th. On the show, Anjelah gave a shout out to the Beat Freaks: "It's women empowerment basically. Like, I'm a female in the game of stand-up comedy, which is mainly a man's world, like a man's game. I incorporate the Beat Freaks. They're an all-girl breakdancing crew. Breakdancing is for the boys but they're out there killing it." Thanks for the Beat Freaks tips, Ravoo!
  • Dance Teacher Magazine profiles Sam Renzetti, founder of Xtreme Dance Force (ABDC Season 2). He didn't appear ABDC because he was busy filming an episode of MTV's 'Made'.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Notes from the ABDC New York Auditions Day 2, Part I

It's been a very long day, and the callbacks are still going on. I'll have more info and pictures tomorrow, but here are some notes:
  • Out of over 30 crews that auditioned the first day, 20 made it to callbacks. Far fewer will go on to the Regionals.
  • I didn't see all the crews that were called back, but the ones I met or watched included: Majestic Crew, Next Level, E3, Erafusion, Kick Rocks, Bollywood Funk, Da Emperorz, Smash, Round One, Illmatic, Momz-N-Da Hood, Unstoppable, Special Delivery, Saltare, Lb 4 Pound, and L0st Kids

  • I talked with L0st Kids (pictured above). The reason they are competing on the East Coast and Neverland competed on the West Coast is relatively simple and not at all nefarious, based on a misunderstanding and costs: When L0st Kids/Neverland first learned about the auditions, they thought that there was an 8-person limit for auditioning crews. Ellen Kim also had a small scheduling conflict (teaching in Europe) that made it easier for her to audition with L0st Kids in New York. So they decided to field both crews in different cities, gained permission from the producers, and purchased non-refundable tickets to New York. Afterward, they learned that the full 10-person group could have auditioned together, but by then it was too expensive to change tickets. If Neverland is selected for America's Best Dance Crew Season 5, Ellen will be permitted to perform with them.
  • The challenge performances were fun. Crews chose props as varied as fingertip fire, brooms, cameras, resistance cords, and a wheel-shaped stand found on the street. These challenges were performed in the morning for audition judges and not for Lil Mama, Shane Sparks or Kevin Brewer.
  • I'll have much more in the next few days. including interviews with Lil Mama, Shane, and Kevin, more comments and photos, and some performance videos. If you were also at the auditions as a performer or bystander, feel free to give us your impressions -- leave a comment or an email, and share any photos or videos. PLEASE: if you made it to the Regionals, DO NOT write about it -- it could violate your contract with MTV!

Exclusive Video from LA Auditions: Sheroes

At the Los Angeles ABDC 5 auditions, our Los Angeles team (Chris Trondsen and Glenda Morales) were allowed to film about an hour of Day 1 performances and a few of the callbacks. Here's the performance by Sheroes, an all-girl crew from Southern California. Members have danced with Team Millennia & TM 7, CADC, Breed, GRV, BMOD and Common Ground.

Reports from the Boston ABDC auditions

  • David -- a member of NIA -- reports that his crew did VERY WELL at the Boston auditions for America's Best Dance Crew, even getting a standing ovation from judges at one point in the try-outs. The judges loved their ethnic style and that they were also able to "kill" hip hop. He reports that other crews he saw at the callbacks included Phunk Phenomenon, Static Noyze, Geek Chic (a crew of Harvard and MIT students that may include Ridonkulous members), Wrush, and Street Legends (the new name for Status Quo). He also provided these photos of NIA and the Boston auditions
  • We've heard from various reports that ABDC Boston auditioners also included: Ridonkulous (who had to forfeit their spot because two members left that night), N-10-City, Blackout (a step team), Darkside, Dancehall, and Boston Tap Company.

Video: Brand New Quest Set

Quest Crew introduced a new set for the T-Mobile Behold II and are performing it on their Five-City tour this week. Here's a video of the performance in Chicago, from MexicanChika9190's Youtube Channel. Thanks for the tip, Desteny and Stevie's Terada.