AP NEWS

‘World of Dance’ aspirants face tough, elite jury

May 30, 2017 GMT

Multiple Grammy winner Ne-Yo and six-time “Dancing with the Stars” Mirror Ball champion Derek Hough join multitalented executive producer Jennifer Lopez at the judge’s table of “World of Dance,” premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m. on NBC.

Hosted by actress and dancer Jenna Dewan-Tatum, the 10-episode series brings the world’s elite dancers together to compete in epic battles of artistry, precision and athleticism for a prize of $1 million.

In what looks to be a truly extreme dance competition, solo dancers will compete against duos and crews in an unlimited range of dance styles that include hip-hop, popping, locking, tap, ballet, break dancing, ballroom dancing and stomping.

“ ‘World of Dance’ is by far the greatest dance competition show ever known to man,” platinum-selling recording artist Ne-Yo said on the “World of Dance” website. “First and foremost, we have the best dancers in the world, and when I say ‘in the world,’ I literally mean ‘in the world’ — meaning we circled the globe finding the world’s best dancers and brought them to the show. That’s one.

“Two, the winner of the show gets $1 million. There is a $1 million prize to whoever takes this show. Now mind you, it could be a junior, it could be a group, it could be a duo, it doesn’t matter. You get a million dollars, and you get the bragging rights of basically saying that you are the world’s best dancers.”

Handpicked from qualifying events held nationwide and thousands of online submissions, competitors are divided into three divisions: Junior, any size act, age 17 and younger; Upper, groups of one to four, age 18 and older; and Team, groups of five or more, age 18 and older.

The panel of experts score the acts using a point system developed by “World of Dance,” which judges contestants based on the criteria of performance, technique, choreography, creativity and presentation. The competition consists of five rounds: Qualifiers, Duels, The Cut, Divisional Final and the World Final.

In the first four rounds, dancers only compete within their division, but the World Final brings the winner from each division together to compete against each other for the grand prize of $1 million and the title “Best in the World.”

“It’s like a dream come true, and like, the perfect job for me. In a sense, we created the perfect show for me to be a part of,” Lopez said recently at an NBC press event in Beverly Hills.

A “triple threat” who is proficient at singing, dancing and acting, Lopez first broke through as a Fly Girl on the sketch comedy show “In Living Color” that ran from 1990 to 1994.

“I love dance at such a core level and I always consider myself a dancer first because I became a singer and an actress after. That was my first form of artistic expression. It’s so part of who I am,” Lopez said, adding that the show “reminded me of all the reasons why I love dance and why I wanted to do this in the first place.”