I attended the New York auditions for America's Best Dance Crew Season 7. I was only able to stay for about 3 hours and did not get to watch any of the auditions (the press is not invited in to watch auditions this season). I do have video interviews with some crews with some rehearsal or free-style moves, interviews with ABDC co-creators Howard and Karen Schwartz and with audition Judge Michelle McNulty, and some other goodies. These will be shared as they're edited later this week, as will some of the fabulous footage I'm expecting from DanceOn, who also covered the event. But in the meantime, here are some first impressions:
- More auditioning crews! Over 100 crews signed up to audition in New York. About 60-80 were expected to show up, since the snowy weather caused many to cancel. Since more crews also showed up in Houston and Chicago, there's going to be a lot of worthy but disappointed ABDC aspirants
- More new auditioners! I've attended the NY ABDC auditions since Season 3, and there were many crews there today who had never auditioned before and that I hadn't heard of from competitions. Michelle McNulty and the Schwartz's also said that some new talent in Chicago and Houston blew them away, so we could be seeing a lot of fresh faces.
- More kid crews. This follows a little with the last post, but it appears that ICONic Boyz inspired many non-adults to audition. This included some familiar crews like ICONic Girlz and Lil Phunk, and many crews from dance studios
- ABDC alums in abundance, in varied roles. The only alum crew that I know auditioned in New York was Beat Ya Feet Kings (video interview forthcoming). But there were people there in new crews including Pony Zion from Vogue Evolution (interview with him and his new crew later), as well as Alonzo Williams coaching a kid crew. I expect that we'll see at least one alum crew on the show, especially since I heard that LA will also have some surprises from the past.
- Non-US talent may be featured on ABDC again. There were several Canadian crews at the auditions, some of whom have done well in regional competitions. I saw some free-style by a French crew named Metamorphoz that blew me away -- Bon Chance! And, Plague (two-time winner at Hip Hop International) couldn't appear in person today, but will probably send in a video audition. And I heard about worthy dancers from Canada, Mexico, and Japan.
- Other observation and answers to fan FAQs: 1.the dancers showed a lot of friendship and appreciation for each other's abilities even if they had never met; auditioners watched other crews rehearse and were very encouraging. 2. The cyphers were wild -- some incredible individual dancers. I tried to film some, and I know that DanceOn captured a lot. 3. Unlike Houston and Chicago, the callback crews went home with a song to dance to in their second appearance tomorrow. I heard that it was a song from Far East Movement, so perhaps they're one of this season's 'Superstars' 4. The ABDC judges (D-Trix, Lil Mama, JC Chasez) are not judging the auditions this year.