On Saturday, my friend Rachel and I went to Vallejo to watch the 2012 World of Dance Bay Area hip-hop competition. World of Dance is one of the biggest touring hip-hop dance competitions in the world, and always features some of the best dancers and dance crews you will find anywhere.
With the proliferation of online dance videos, you might suspect that people wouldn't be so eager to watch live dance anymore. But quite the opposite, seeing crews on your computer or television does not compare to being in an amphitheater with 4,000 other dancers and fans, cheering on the best and the brightest. It's just a totally different experience.
And at $25 a ticket for several hours of amazing dancing, it's a huge bargain. My friend Rachel turned to me at one point after seeing one particularly awesome crew and said "I would have paid a hundred dollars to see that."
I was really impressed with the quantity and quality of dance this year at WoD, with 30-some crews competing on the main stage. Plus just outside there was a parallel freestyle competition going on all day and well into the evening, featuring b-boys, poppers, krumpers, flexers, and more. It was a serious challenging deciding on whether to stay outside for the freestyle battles or go inside for the main crew competitions.
The junior division alone was enormous and full of ridiculous dancing. Here's the First Place winner's of the junior division, Gravybabies. It's hard to believe that kids can go this hard, and be this tight, doing all of that choreo in sync.
Young Skull Club of San Mateo went just as hard, and had a lot of sass in their routine that I enjoyed. A well deserved Second Place in Juniors.
The First Place winners of the the Upper Division, Beta 010, totally blew everyone's minds with this routine. Afterwards, I turned to my friend and we both just went "what… the … helllll…." Such great illusions and super tight popping. Great use of the Gotye song, too.
The Second Place crew, Chapkis Dance Family just went so completely insane onstage. The little kid who is in front for much of the routine is so crazy good. And everyone just goes so hard the whole place just blew up.
I was not a big fan of the StepBoys on ABDC last season. But I have to say that I really enjoyed their performance at WoD. They aren't the tightest, but they use humor and tricks well in their routines. They just look like they are having a blast and would be fun to just hang out with, which is great energy to bring onstage.
Other highlights for me were the kid crew Art of Teknique, who are so good they don't even compete in Juniors anymore, GoodFellas who had swag for days, and Hungry Bumz who dropped it so hard. I'll post those videos when they become available, hopefully soon!
If you live near a World of Dance tour, I recommend checking it out. I always leave inspired and fired up about hip-hop dance.