A Dance Fan Blogs the Very First “World of Dance” Taping!

Dance fan Tiffannie was lucky enough to go to the first World of Dance taping and she was nice enough to share it with us!! She is of the opinion this show is going to be excellent and that the standard of dance is extremely high – I can’t wait!!

Hey All! My name is Tiffannie, and I recently attended the first ever live taping of World of Dance! I thought I could do a write up for my fellow curious Derek fans! Below is my taping experience (with spoilers) (but not all of them because long story short EVERYONE NEEDS TO WATCH THIS SHOW WHEN IT AIRS OMG IT’S SO GOOD).

Firstly, if anyone has ever been to a taping, you probably know why I call them events of “hurry up and wait.” My friends and I arrived early Monday morning to sit in line for a few hours, to get moved to a bus to sit for a couple of hours, to then get shuttled over to the stage to stand outside for a nice chunk of time as well. I won’t go into details of all since it’s a bit beside the point. The only points of interest between these several hours are as follows. A) absolutely NO phones were permitted. Several people were actually turned away after waiting for the first security line due to this. The staff were very attentive (well, I guess they missed a few individuals judging by some leaked images) and made it clear to all in the line that this taping would NOT permit the use of any phones. I left mine in the car. B) Napoleon D’umo walked right by me while I was in the holding line. That was kinda cool.

So once we were finally escorted into the structure was when I first got a good look at the stage. Round elevated stage with the judges sitting adjacent. Three protruding walkways for each judge to enter from. One is later removed (Jlo’s) to bring the crowd in closer. Color changing LED lights lining the border of the stage as well as all throughout the vicinity. The crowd was all pit, standing area only, around the perimeter of the stage. The back half of the crowd were all on risers. It wasn’t too compact but it was comfortably intimate. Though we as a crowd weren’t packed in like sardines, we definitely brought the energy (more on that later). It reminded me a bit of how a UFC/MMA crowd looks/feels, which I think is the vibe they were going for.

Because this wasn’t a live taping, my group only witnessed what would be happening on the actual stage. Before the cameras started rolling, Nappytabs came out with Kyle Hanagami (assistant) and everyone went crazy. Right about here is when I figured out that the whole audience pretty much consisted of dancers or avid dance lovers, which clearly showed as the taping continued, with our reactions and constant level of energy. They told us basically they were thinking of the colosseum-like feel for the dancers when they walk out, almost as if into battle (I mean, they’re dancing for a million bucks so I’d say that’s a battle). Then cameras started and the judges walked out on their walkways. After, Jenna, our lovely host, came out. I’ve always loved Jenna, but seeing her in this element was awesome! She is super cute and adorable, and you can tell she’s pretty excited to be among these talented dancers all across the board. I’m excited to see her backstage interviews and such when the show airs!

Okay quick basic breakdown of the show:
Acts can be solo, duet, or groups of ANY style and pretty much ANY age.
Judges give a score of 0-100 based on five categories (not sure of them all, but something along the lines of entertainment, technique, etc. There’s also a subcategory of crowd entertainment.)
The three scores are averaged, and if that number is 80 or above, the act is going on to the next round. If not, they’re cut.
Each judge has one save throughout the whole season to use. They can save an act before the scores are even shown.
Host will do most interviews backstage with the acts.

Then we got to see acts. And HOLY CRAP, are these the BEST of the WORLD. No kidding, there are many familiar faces for those with a keen dance eye as well as people that just casually breeze the dance realm of the internet, but also a few newer acts as well! Basically, what I’m trying to say here without spoilers is that some of your FAVORITES could definitely be on the show! This show has gone out to gather such a variety of dancers and types of dance to showcase, and it clearly paid off. The talent I witnessed was literally INSANE. The whole audience was screaming constantly, and we were encouraged to vocalize how we felt if we liked something, which everyone definitely did. I’m telling you guys, I’ve been to several tapings, dance events, and dance shows, and I’ve never been with a group with THAT much insane energy. It was CRAZY because all the acts were CRAZY good, which got us even more energized!

As for the judging, Ne-Yo I noticed typically focused on the entertainment value, Jennifer on this as well as technique, and Derek on how ideas were expressed as well as the technique. I know in earlier interviews Derek was afraid of being “too nice” to judge, and let’s just say… I think he was correct on that feeling. Definitely, correct.

In between takes while they were filming backstage with Jenna, several audience members (…possibly including myself) would yell out to the judges, which over time we were asked kindly to stop. BUT, highlights include: Ne-Yo commenting on how the new year encouraged him to try a new look with no hats, Jennifer wearing a big coat because it was cold, and taking the tools from her hair stylist after a bit of time and doing it herself because she “got this,” and Derek, our man, being the incredible guy he is. Someone asked him to dab, and he instead said he’d only do it if the whole audience dabbed. So yes, though I abhor the action, I “hit the dab” with the whole audience and judges. Between these three, they have a great comradery feel and good chemistry together. For example, Jennifer commented on the temperature (before the big coat was brought out) and Derek gave her a big hug. Also, Ne-Yo commented on how great Derek looked in his suit (which we can all agree with). I’m eager to see how the rest of the show pans out with this bunch!

World of Dance has the potential to be the BEST show on television. The individuals that are making this show happen are all dancers, so they are all passionate and motivated to make this show the best it can be. The acts they’ve found for the show are INSANELY TALENTED. The judges actually know what they’re talking about. The host is fun and knowledgeable… WOD is almost like mixing the best parts of SYTYCD and ABDC together with a bit of the Voice and getting literally the absolute BEST dance show possible. Basically, what I’m trying to get at here is PLEASE, EVERYONE WATCH THIS SHOW IN THE SPRING.

Sorry this turned out to be a bit longer than I anticipated, but I hope it’s enough to encourage everyone to tune in! Obviously, I have not affiliation to NBC or anything. I just love dance (and Derek), and I really, really, really want this show to succeed.

Thanks for letting me share what I know! I can totally answer more questions on anything I missed in the comments or on twitter @imtrulytiff!

Tiffannie S