World of Dance Review
Quest Crew and Beat Freaks Live
April 4th Pomona Fairplex, Pomona, CA
“World of Dance is like Comic Con for hip hop dancers” -this quote was taken from a random person and transmitted on Twitter days after the event. But it is so much more. In fact, the official website states that the tour itself is the largest urban dance competition on the west coast and continues to be the biggest touring event that embraces urban dance youth lifestyle. World of Dance unifies the spirit of hip hop by showcasing dance superstars, top dance troupes and urban fashion.
This year’s headlining acts were newly crowned America’s Best Dance Crew Quest Crew and finalists BeatFreaks. In addition to the spirit of competition, 10,000 in cash and prizes were handed out to multiple competitors throughout the night. All in all, World of Dance Pomona had some surprises, such as ABDC Season 3 the Ringmasters (some of them) and unforgettable performances by Mr. Fantastic and Foreign Exchange.
The festivities kicked off at 3pm and those who filed into the first building noticed a bountiful array of booths. Actually, over 250 select brands promoted their newest designs to as many as 5,000 in attendance. Even boutique brands were there for the ladies too. The booths held a much grander purpose than an in-door flea market; it provided a unique networking opportunity for dance participants through a sponsorship or endorsement. In that same building, b-boys held it down, starting with an exhibition at 5pm and a preliminary battle at 6:20pm. There were bleachers for those who wanted to sit and watch the small stage. At the end of the night, 1st place won $1,000. Just across that stage around 6pm, a celebrity meet and greet booth gave fans a chance to rub elbows with ABDC stars Quest Crew, BeatFreaks, and Fanny Pack.
Those who were not on stage were in for a treat as well. Outside, a freestyle and outdoor schedule kept participants entertained all day. The possibilities were endless: Turf Dancing Hour at 3:00, LA Poppin Showcase at 10:30, and Lil Tommy and Krump Clown showcase at 10:50. Don’t forget the house dance competition at 5:20. In a sea of minors at this all-ages event, a beer booth took the edge off for the older crowd. Alcohol added to the many perks.
Once the main stage began the upper division competition at 7:30, it suddenly became a global dance extravaganza. Hailing from Japan, Shikkin kicked off the first performance of the night with their smooth dance moves. Culture Shock LA, a non-profit group, gave it their all with a stunning pop-lock section. Barkada Modern played hometown heroes and crowed that stage like sardines in a can. After 13 performances, one half of the headliners finally made their way on stage. But before BeatFreaks brought down the house and crew member Shorty was interviewed backstage by Dancetag.tv. Also, there was an announcement made about an online petition called, “Chasing the Glove,” on the official BeatFreaks website. Basically, the all-female dance crew wants to gather as many signatures as possible to get on stage with Michael Jackson. The King of Pop is on tour this summer in Europe and he plans to retire soon. BeakFreak members Rino Kinawa and Maryss from Paris especially idolize the “Gloved One.”
As soon as the ladies hit the stage, the crowd went wild. T.I.’s “Swagga Like Us,” came on the speakers and the girls put on their swagga with their hoodies and went hard once M.I.A. sang the hook. The quick and flawless transition into Busta Rhymes, “Dangerous” highlighted each girls’ musicality and just how precise they were as a unit. The old school breakdown absolutely killed it, as Maryss couldn’t have done it any better- poppin’ and lockin’ all over the place. The audience went nuts when the ladies dropped down like robots and threw on some hot pink shades. It was the beloved “Hot and Cold” Katy Perry routine that debuted on ABDC. The crowd continued to erupt and camera phones lined up in the air as the Michael Jackson thrust signaled the introduction to the baseball bat props they used on the show. Jules walked half-way across the stage on her hands and the transition to the little breaking section was brilliant. Then, the icing on the BeatFreak cake- Shorty grabbed a beanie and did head spins for days. The applause was deafening. The ladies had mad energy, which led to the Mad Con joint, “Beggin,” which they performed on the ABDC finale alongside Quest Crew. The ladies took a well-deserved bow to a crowd that showed so much respect and love for them.
After a full night of watching a non-stop dancing competition, the winners were finally announced. The first place upper division trophy went to Choreo Cookies. The crowd favorite went to Barkada Modern and 909 received the Best Theme award. Also, CADC of UC Irvine won Best Costume.
Choreo Cookies, the first place winners, donned red tops and green khakis. It was impressive to see all those bodies on stage stay in sync. They settled into the R&B vide, which was their strongest point. The ladies turned it out, like the song said. Also, Choreo were the only crew to dance to DJ Class’ “I’m the Shit,” which was an entertaining section. Even Janet’s “I Get Lonely” had a cute partnered up bit. This crew stepped out of the urban box and incorporated an interesting mix and finished with straight-up dance/electronic music.
Marvelous Motion had a stand-out performance. This crew impressed with a creative opener, reflective of their So Real Cru-like Houston roots. The use of the hands and illusion mirrored the ABDC 2 finalists. It was very electronic, but what section that’s robotic isn’t like that? The tiny slow-motion section killed and it showed the level of difficulty they were able to master. Damn, the Lil’ Wayne section was absolutely ridiculous and the crowd went bananas. A lot of professional choreographers teach classes to Weezy’s music and it works every time. What stood out about their set were individual performances and they all held their own on stage. As a group, they did not mess around with tutting and they were the experts at it. When T.I. hit the speakers, the stage went buck. One breaker did a windmill, people started crumping and it looked like a good time up there. Surprisingly, Jason Mraz’s “Plane” camp out for the finale- which was a tight way to slow it down and showcase this crew’s precision and their ability to keep the attention of the audience for the whole six minutes.
Another attention-getter was the GRV dance troupe. They had a solid performance of Mims “Move” and kept up their thuggery throughout their whole set. They took it to the hood, for real. Their “in your face” glass break finish was hot. Straight out of Riverside was the crew called 909. Note, this area code mishap should be changed to 951, but who’s paying attention? They took it back to the Wild West, but with a hood mentality. The finale was memorable because it featured Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang” from the Kill Bill soundtrack. The PSM remix is off the chain and the choreography made it even more exciting.
7-year-old B-boy Jalen brought out his own level of excitement from the crowd. He was too adorable for words and he sold the breaker look like no other. His poses were hot and everybody enjoyed his moves as much as he did. Jalen was one of the many highlights of the night and it was absolute delight to watch him do his thang.
While the ladies were full in affect for Jalen, they definitely saved their screams for Quest Crew. Not only are they America’s Best Dance Crew, they are like the dancing version of the Jonas Brothers because of all their loud and enthusiastic, screaming fans. These guys managed to perform for almost six minutes to a crowd that could barely contain themselves. People rushed closer and girls lost their minds as they started dancing. The tutting section from ABDC was even better in person. During the “I’m in Miami” section, Feng busted out a polka dot bikini. The reaction on D-Trix’s face once he was pantsed was priceless. The athleticism of these guys was astounding and silenced the audience at times. The flips and choreography were all on point, leading to many “ohh” and “ahh” that weren’t pubescent scream-related. Every dude brought something to the table, which proved why they are the reigning champions. There was nothing Quest couldn’t do. Just when they were about to walk off stage, the Britney Spears’ song “Toxic” came on and they did their classic ABDC performance. They had a great sense of humor about it, particularly D-Trix, who did pirouettes and got in touch with his feminine side. It was bananas crazy, witnessing the energetic crowd, and the love for their fans was really heart-felt. It wasn’t about them showing off, Quest went out there to entertain their fans and they definitely delivered and closed the night out with a bang.
If you missed Pomona, check out these upcoming dates: New York on June 13th, San Diego on August 29th and San Mateo on October 3rd.