All I can say about World of Dance 2011 in L.A. is DAYUM!! With over twenty groups who performed exhibition routines and twenty-four groups who competed, the main stage was worked to the ground. Every group gave their all and left everything on the stage. No one came half-hearted or half-ass and that’s the only way to perform at World of Dance (WOD).
Thirteen groups competed in the Youth Division, which are groups with members under the age of eighteen with some as young as four years old! If you think being under eighteen slows these groups down or limits their ability in any way, think again.These groups tore it up! I don’t know how so many of these kids can do the things they did and I really don’t care – they were A-MA-ZING and some of them were straight up dance prodigies. Some of the things I saw made me think, “Do my eyes deceive me? Did they just do that? Wow.” In the end, however, there must be a winner. Emanon, reppin’ the 805 and Ventura County, sustained their domination at WOD and won Crowd Favorite and 1st Place Overall; 3-23 Area Kidz won Best Theme and 2nd Place Overall; and Bring the Noise took 3rd Place Overall and Best Costume for their unforgettable Alice-in-Wonderland-themed dance routine.
Aside from the groundbreaking dance moves, the music mixes these groups put together could get any audiences off their seats. The beats were bumpin’ and the arrangements were sick. Fashion was definitely present with a capital F and the biggest trends were t-shirts with catchy or witty phrases and hella fly kicks (Dunks, Jordans, etc.). This comes as no surprise as dancers prefer to be comfortable and boldly expressive. Dance is a lifestyle – dance, music, fashion and art are all interconnected. Having fly gear, off-the-hook beats, artistic direction, and a badass dance routine just goes with the territory.
The Upper Division was CRAZY!! We saw everything from animalistic costumes to guys in heels (Say what? Yeah, you heard me. . . guys in heels. What the? Lol). I’m tellin’ you. . . these groups don’t hold back at WOD; they come hard, go big, and represent. One of the best exhibition routines was by Boogiezone’s Breed. Team Millenia won Best Theme and Best Costume for their jungle/safari-themed routine; The Company, a group from the Bay, took 3rd Place Overall; GRV took 2nd Place Overall; and Crowd Favorite and 1st Place Overall went to none other than The Hype from Hawaii.
This was The Hype’s first out-of-state competition and they came nearly eighty strong to WOD. The Hype and Junior Hype are both branches under Hyper Squad Dance Company (founded by Jason Ulep). Their award-winning routine was choreographed by current director, Josh Ulep, and co-director, Casey Kalahiki. The Hype is a family-based group that proudly states, “Run with Us or Run from Us.” No doubt their phenomenal performance got the crowd and judges to “Believe the Hype.” The Hype earned the highest score ever (99.6 out of 100) in WOD history. That’s how they get down in the 808!
THEWHATITDO congratulates all those who won as well as those who participated. For details on future World of Dance Tour events and competitions, visit the WOD official website.
Article Written By: Juliet Uata
*YouTube Video of Boogiezone’s Breed, Team Millenia, The Company, GRV, The Hype, and Emanon courtesy of PacificRimVideoPress
*YouTube Video of 3-23 Area Kidz courtesy of AREAKIDZ
*YouTube Video of Bring the Noise courtesy of CFDAcademy
*Photos at WOD 2011: L.A. courtesy of Pesi Kava
*Photos of The Hype courtesy of Fale Liava’a
*Information about Hypersquad Dance Company courtesy of Ian Tapu and Jee Kalua