Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nancy's first field report from New York America's Best Dance Crew Season 7 auditions

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.
More tomorrow -- stay tuned!

Dance Hero Japan - Season 2 Episode 1

While we wait for news on ABDC 7 auditions, the latest videos of Dance Hero Japan (Season 2, Episode 1) have been posted.  Here are the definite "must-see" performances on the [DANCEHEROjp] youtube channel.

Bear Knuckle: This returning bboy crew from last season has upped their level since last time. This military-precise routine has them drilling bboy moves in a way that's pretty fresh.

Tokyo Beat Surf: This ties another routine (below) for my favorite routine of the week. It seems that this newcomer crew focuses a lot on story telling, in this case "Karate Kid." However, they're planning on telling only a part of the story each episode, so tune in next time to see what happens next. Dance wise, they've got a good mix of styles going on, with a lot of martial arts base.

Beat Buddy Boi: This is my other favorite routine of the week. The fact that a good half of the routine was done sitting down, and was still as interesting and had just as much swag (if not more) than many other dance performances I've seen is impressive. The solo by the old oji-san is great from this returning crew.  They also show their diversity by expanding from their bboy routines from last season.

Aerstix Side: We've highlighted members of Aerstix crew before (Bgirl NAO in a KoopaTV post), so it's great to see them pop up here. Their contortionist circus style of bboying is really impressive, though some may find it slow.

ISOPP: Another story telling crew, with an interesting theme and song selection, to say the least. If thinks another crew has better technique, you can't fault these guys for lacking creativity and daring to try things people think aren't possible.

More ABDC7 audition routine videos: GX Crew, Beat Junkeez, Stereo Junkies

More crews posted videos showing practices of their routines for the America's Best Dance Crew auditions.  If you know of others (or more 'on the road to the ABDC auditions' videos) leave us a comment or email it to Click here to watch the videos for GX Crew, Beat Junkeez, and Stereo Junkies.

Video: Del interviews MissTaken Crew at ABDC auditions: includes members of U4ria

Del covered the America's Best Dance Crew Season 7 interviews in Houston on January 14, 2011 and interviewed MissTaken Crew from Florida. The crew includes members of U4ria (who appeared on America's Got Talent and auditioned for previous seasons of ABDC). They introduce the members and talk about forming the collaboration crew, their style (girly meets grimy), how they differ from other girl groups who appeared on ABDC, which superstars they'd like to dance to. From PhenominalPurposes Youtube. Thanks Del!

Friday, January 20, 2012

NAOTV Episode 11: Funkin Styles

What's good readers? This week's episode of NAOTV takes us to the Hip Hop 1 on 1 final at Funkin Styles 2011. The event may be from last year, but it's always nice to watch the high quality battle footage provided by Yak Films. This battle has Batalla taking a close one over Majid for the Funkin Styles Hip Hop 1 on 1 crown. Check it out:

For other dope videos from this week, check out the playlist here.

**If you have any submissions for NAOTV, please send them to my account here.**

That's it for this week's episode of NAOTV! Thanks for reading and watching! -NAO

Let us know if you attend the America's Best Dance Crew auditions this weekend!

Auditions for America's Best Dance Crew Season 7 move to New York City this weekend. I plan to visit outside the studio, but press is not allowed to watch (or tape) auditions this season. So, if you go -- as an auditioner, friend, press, or on-looker -- let us know!

Send us your impressions, travel diary, photos, videos, whatever, SO LONG AS IT DOESN'T VIOLATE ANY OF THE MTV AUDITION CONTRACT RULES! You can post links here or email them to And, good luck to all auditioners!

Video: Parris (ReQuest) - "Roman in Moscow"

Parris (member of ABDC6's ReQuest) goes black & white & fierce with "Roman in Moscow". I wonder if we'll get more international crews for America's Best Dance Crew's Season 7 -- if ReQuest had been from the U.S. I think they would have gone much further with the ABDC voters. From BGPOPA Youtube. Thanks for the tip, Taff1013!

Video: Dumbo (Poreotics) and Moon (IaMmE) - Dubstepping all over your face

IaMmE's Moon and Poreotics' Dumbo are in your face with their new video. Enough said -- watch! From PoreoticsHD Youtube. Thanks for the tip Greg and PerezOverride!

Kaba Modern videos: Kao/Tran - "Don't Wanna Try"; prep for VIBE

Kaba Modern's artistry during America's Best Dance Crew Season 1 was a key factor in the show developing a following among dance fans. Kaba Modern Legacy (the ABDC1 group) and the larger Kaba Modern group, under the leadership of Arnel Calvario, are still performing, teaching, competing, and influencing the community. OC Weekly taped an interview with Arnel and shows KB's preparation for the VIBE competition:
Kaba Legacy members Lawrence Kao and Tony Tran created "Don't Wanna Try", a concept video about dealing with heartache, from Youtube. For more on Kaba Modern, visit

Thursday, January 19, 2012

MTV Remote Control interview with Beat Freaks - "Where are They Now?"

MTV's Remote Control blog talked with Beat Freaks, runners up for America's Best Dance Crew Season 3. Among the topics: what it felt like getting judges' feedback on the show, their favorite ABDC performance, their legacy, whether they thought they would win ABDC, "Freak the Dream", and their upcoming project for comedian Anjelah Johnson's character "Bon Qui Qui.  We hope Remote Control has more interviews like this soon!

Crews videos on their journey to ABDC auditions (with dancing): Preconceived Notion, Illmatik Phlow, Skittleheadz, Massive Motion

Several crews filmed their preparation and trips to the America's Best Dance Crew auditions. I find them interesting and watch-worthy because 1. they provide some context on the work, emotions, uncertainty, and camaraderie involved in committing to dance auditions and competitions, 2. they show some of the crews' dance skills and 3. who knows -- some of these might be picked for ABDC. The videos I've seen so far include several for Skittleheadz Crew (visit their Skittleheadz2012 Youtube Channel to see them all), PreConceived Notion (from their PreConceivedNotionTV Youtube), Massive Motion (click here to watch from BuzyBoii Youtube) and Illmatik Phlow (click here to watch their first video in the series; they promise more to come).

Leave a comment if you know of other crew videos like this; we'll post more as they appear. And good luck to all the crews!

Mashable presents "6 mindblowing videos" - their favorites for bboy, krump, tutting & other hip hop styles

Mashables assembled six of their favorite dance videos, with an emphasis on hip hop styles: Judson Laipply's "Evolution of Dance"; FalCrow Production's "Don't Show Off" (shown below) demonstrating bboy moves; Marquese Scott's dance to the dubstep version of "Pumped Up Kicks"; Krump by Madrootz and R.A.F Crew; Jay Funk's finger-tutting (also shown below); and Next Level Squad bone-breaking "Zilla March". Watch them all here at Mashables.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Video: Keone Madrid: "Play"

This is the first of three parts in a video series called "The Meeting", from Keone Madrid -- clever interplay of plot and choreography. From keoneANDmari Youtube. FYI -- if SOPA was in effect, I wouldn't dare post this video, lest my site be shut down.

Will MTV change its coverage of the ABDC auditions?

Here's a video from Skittleheadz, showing them being filmed leaving the audition room after getting a callback. While MTV has always filmed the callback crews, I think that this 'exiting the audition room' scene is unusual and evocative of shows like American Idol. Will MTV start showing more coverage of the audition process? I hope so, since it would be great to give all the callback crews more recognition for their accomplishments. What do you think?

Video: Elektroytes - "Pretty Little Heart"

The latest from Elektrolytes is "Pretty Little Heart" - some simple choreography with beautiful effect. Three of the Elektrolytes who will be auditioning for America's Best Dance Crew are NOT in the video, but it gives a good sense of the group's abilities and possibilities. From Salsgroovefactory Youtube.

SOPA/PIPA Awareness

You may have noticed that the banner on the top of the blog has had a censorship bar over the top of it. If you've been to Wikipedia or reddit lately, you'll see that they've been blocked out today. This protest is organized by a group that is protesting the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) bills in Congress you may have seen in the news. In short, they allow the US Government to shut down sites that have copyright infringing materials, and block access to oversea sites with copyright infringing material.

Now we're not usually an online freedom advocacy group (although we do like an internet where you're free to share your opinions and ideas and can express yourself.) But we have commented and shown our solidarity against bills that harm the interest of dancers, such as with s.978, the Commercial Felony Streaming Act 

If anyone's had troubles with Youtube regarding music on a video, you know how hard it is to resolve said issues. It will be a million times harder for dancers if SOPA passes. Think about how many dancers put up covers of your favorite song to get exposure and build their reputation, or even for artistic expression and your enjoyment. It's very likely that all such videos will be removed from Youtube. If Youtube is even allowed to stay active if this bill should pass.

Even more relevant to this blog, any links we (or one of our commenters) post not knowing that they have been deemed as infringing could block this site inside the US, meaning you guys wouldn't be able to read up on your favorite dancers.   Luckily, SOPA has been shelved for the time being, but contact your Congress Representative or Senator to tell them to kill this bill for good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dance Hero Japane - Season 1 Results, Season 2 Crews

We've covered Season 1 of Dance Hero Japan (sort of like a Japanese ABDC, but with a different format) before on the site, but we sort of fell back on covering it. Well, better late than never. Here are the results of last season!
1st Place - 370 pts- Time Machine
2nd Place - 300 pts- Beat Buddy Boi
3rd Place - 240 pts - Twiggz Fam (aka Street Kingdom Japan)
4th Place- 170 pts - Vigorous Ladies
5th Place - 130 pts - Victoria
6th Place - 60 pts - Knuckle Bear
7th Place - 40 pts - Team Black Star
8th Place - 20 pts - Melange, Area Rock Styler,
10th Place - 0 pts - Saturday Player
You can watch all the videos at the [DANCEHEROjp] Youtube channel. I strongly recommend you do.

With the first season out of the way in November only, they're already gearing up for their second season this month! It's actually quite interesting since almost half the crews this second season will be returning from last season. The crew lineup for Season 2 of Dance Hero Japan is
-Beat Buddy Boi
-Vigorous Ladies
-Bear Knuckle
-Ms Creative
-Tokyo Beat Surf
-Majestic Dixee's

The first of three rounds will be recorded on January 21st! We'll post those videos here as soon as we spot them. What do you think? Could ABDC take something from Dance Hero? Talent or Format? Quick turnaround? What about the 40% old crew retention rate (and the top crews as well!)?

Video: Pharside & Academy of Villains - "Bare Bad Habit"

Chris 'Pharside' Jennings (member of ABDC's Supreme Soul) choreographed and danced "Bare Bad Habit" with Krystal Meraz and Academy of Villains (which he helped found). This is the first video that Pharside filmed -- hope there's many more! From Youtube.

More ABDC audition footage: Massive Motion's Houston coverage; Fynul Destination video submission

More from the America's Best Dance Crew auditions:
- Fynul Destination cannot attend the live auditions but submitted an audition video. FromFynulDestinationCrew Youtube. What do you think? Let us know if you see other 'official' ABDC7 audition videos, and we'll link to them
- Massive Motion auditioned in Houston and filmed some of the experience. From BuzyBoii Youtube.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Video: Headbangers Crew free-style and krump

Headbangerz Crew consists of Pharside Jennings (ABDC's Supreme Soul, Academy of Villains), Bang Jenkins aka Lando Wilkins (ABDC's Boxcuttuhz, co-director of SGBM), and Ruin. WORLDOFDANCETOUR Youtube brings this free-style and krump performance to "Anti Freeze". 

More from Houston auditions: Freestyle cypher video featuring members of many auditioning crews

Another video from the scene outside America's Best Dance Crew auditions, from DigiNig Youtube. This was a free-style cypher with members of different crews, with parts filmed by MTV. If you can identify some of the dancers, leave a comment with the crew/crew member name, the time on the video, and what he/she is wearing (to help us identify who you're talking about)

More from Houston ABDC Auditions: Double UP crew audition video; Elevation outside the studio

Double UP Crew posted a video of their Houston audition for America's Best Dance Crew. From GamersUnite1337 Channel.
- Elevation Crew also auditioned in Houston and posted this photo of the crew outside the SoReal Studios where the auditions took place.

Video: Ellen Kim and Krystal Meraz workshop - "My Speakers"

Ellen Kim and Krystal Meraz danced together to "My Speakers" at an Academy of Villains workshop. From ellenkimCHEEE Youtube.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Heko's News from the Houston Auditions

Heko attended the Houston auditions for America's Best Dance Crew Season 7 on January 15, 2012. Here are his comments from the day. Thanks Heko!
  • 2:36 pm (Houston Time)  It's crazy here. I've seen lots of crews and the only crew I know right now that made callbacks is DBA (Triple Threat).  Everyone and i mean EVERYONE is talking about Illmatik Phlow, i have no idea if they auditioned yet or if they're still waiting 
  • 2:44:  BREAKING NEWS: I just saw Jungle Boogie and they are wearing the same thing, they could be auditioning again or they are just performing there to warm up the crowd  
  • 4:54: Most of the Puerto Rican crews are here and I also heard something about Dumbo [Poreotics] is here with Funkdation Crew, supporting them. I also heard RNG made callbacks.  Illmatik Phlow arrived about and hour and 30 minutes ago, and the crowd went nuts. Still don't know if they auditioned yet. I also saw Roast Beast and heard that they made callbacks too.  
  • Crews from Chicago and Houston that Heko (and others) know made it to the callbacks (there are probably more):  Illmatik Phlow, RNG, DBA, Roast Beast, Funkdation, Elevation, Skittleheadz, Preconceived Notion, and Collizion. UPDATE: from comments, other callback crews - Wild Style (Wyld Styl?), Mix It Up Crew, Fatally Unique, 2 Much Dance.

Auditioning crew to watch for: Babymation!

Phyllis Johnson helped with the America's Best Dance Crew auditions in Chicago (and maybe elsewhere). I thought this Facebook post from her is intriguing: "OK, this all girl crew ages 6-11 from Japan was amazing. They couldn't speak any English but they understand 5-6-7-8! "Baby-mation" remember their names".

They have connections to Klaamation and their name on other videos is Babymaation. Here's a very recent video of the group:

43 crews auditioned in Chicago; how many will come out in Houston? Let us know if you go!

From Phyllis Johnson's Facebook: Amazing turn out in the freezing cold and snow for America's Best Dance Crew Season 7 auditions in Chicago yesterday... 43 Crews came out and rocked it! 

I expect at least as many to audition in Houston. If you attend today's ABDC tryouts as an auditioner, friend, press, or interested onlooker, let us know about it!  Send us your impressions, travel diary, photos, videos, whatever, SO LONG AS IT DOESN'T VIOLATE ANY OF THE MTV AUDITION CONTRACT RULES! You can post links here or email them to And, good luck to all auditioners!

Ringmasters Latest Dance Reel

Ringmaster members Nugget and Slick (ABDC Season 3) recently released a video showing highlights from their work on America's Best Dance Crew and beyond. This is a good reminder of the power of ABDC -- the guys from Ringmasters were able to move from relative obscurity to a national audience and parlay their abilities into many live and taped venues, despite having a highly unclassical style. I hope to see more of them in 2012. From RingmasterSlick Youtube.