WIGGLE'S view on AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW
Note: this is not a knock on industry dance. If a dancer can pay his or her bills through the industry, I'm all for it. It's more about the compromise of real Ghetto art forms to fit the small TV screen.
Is America's Best Dance Crew real street? Is it Real Hip Hop? Are they really Crews?
These questions have been asked worldwide. It's one of those shows that people want to love, but there is something about the show ABDC that sits bad in the raw street dance community. And I will explain what it is.
ABDC is supposed to be based on the original BBoy/BGirl crew concept, as well as Street Battles between crews. The problem is, most of these crews are not crews at all, but "Dance Teams" and allstar teams. Of course there are exceptions like JabbaWockeeZ and Ringmasters who were actual Crews that stuck with there names for years before the show existed. To further explain, I will define what a Dance Crew is.
Dance crews evolved from Gang like mentalities of New York street Dancers. Originally a crew was a Mafia style group that did what ever it took to hustle money. and organized Gang. The word crew carried on to the young BBoy and Rocking communities in NYC. And what it stood for is a group of Dancers who generally lived on the same block or same neighborhood, and rolled together to Jams and Parties, and battled other Crews for respect and street credibility. BBoy Crews were ran like a gang. Along with the dancers were DJ's, MC's, Graffiti Writers and BACK UP! In case a fight broke out. So a real crew in the streets was really well rounded.
A Real Crew "Rock Steady Crew"
Now to the dancing. What people are trying to express about the show that's disappointing is this. The ABDC crew Battles, are not based on REAL BATTLES! But more on choreography. And not really Hip Hop choreography at that. Most important is the dance SOUL, FREESTYLE and GROOVE as well as individuality is being sucked out and replaced by over use of TRICKS, PRECISION, and GIMMICKS. This does not sit well with hip Hop and Funk Style dancers around the world. If you go to a real street style battle, dancers have to freestyle there entire battle in order to gain respect. That means they have to create moves on the spot, as well a make there pre set moves look as fluid as a freestyle. So this is a big disappointment in Hip Hop and street style dance.
Note: IMHO that in real Hip Hop Dance (and all Street Styles)
"Perfection is in the Imperfections".
Because this is a FREESTYLE BASED DANCE, that means "No 2 Dancers should ever look the same"
FREESTYLE is the KEYSTYLE. IMHO
We believe much of the Precision style stems from the Fitness and Cheerleading competitions from which the original Creator of the ACDC show was a promoter of.
My personal experience on ABDC was a short lived one. I was once a guest on the show in 2009, where they featured the "Wiggle Walk" as a guest move of the week. Through my good friend Dave Scott (choreographer), I was invited and honored in a pre episode and asked to judge the outcome of the use of the wiggles walk by one of the groups. It was great to receive compliments from my boy Dave, and also I was asked to breakdown the wiggle walk on TV, and that was cool. We also did a performance on the streets of Broadway which is always dope! if they did more of this, and featured real Street Pioneers on there show, as well as hire real credible judges to give real insight on the dance styles. Also it would be great to have a person like CRAZY LEGS explain what a REAL CREW is. I mean he is the leader of the greatest BBOY CREW of all times! Rock Steady Crew. This would help with bridging the gap between Underground and Commercial dance.
If a so called Crew is not Paying Dues in the Ciphers?
Then they are NOT A REAL CREW!
Finally. Who are these judges? Not only are they not qualified judges, but they never show and prove there skills on stage. they are never or rarely featured! In a real street style battle the judges HAVE TO SOLO! That's right, the judges have to show why they are judges by doing a freestyle before the finals. This will determine the respect level. And if you don't freestyle after you judge a battle, that is considered a disrespect to all the Street Style competitors and huge blow to your street cred.
What bothers me the most about these TV shows is that, Street Style Dance went from the desire to gain Street Credibility in the Clubs and Streets around the World, Love of Music and Rhythm, To the now Hollywood Dreams, and Fantasy of being a star without properly learning your craft. Kids are spending more time seeking agents than they are learning there dance style.
Commercializing street style dances is nothing new. And it tends to happen in every generation of ghetto art forms. In truth the mentality of a Hip Hop dancer should never change or never be compromised. LOVE OF MUSIC, LOVE OF DANCE, EXPRESSION of OPPRESSION, Ghetto Style art forms need street cred to stay alive. If there is no love in the hood, then it don't exist in the hood!