A report from Loop News Barbados.
From 2018, NBC’s World of Dance may feature some Caribbean dancers.
Thanks to a new company, Lequay Edge, the dance reality series will expand its reach into the Caribbean as part of its global search for the best dancers.
Lequay Edge, a newly formed Trinidad and Tobago-based company, holds the franchise for T&T and Jamaica.
Kyle Lequay and Hans Romany, owners of the company, told Loop in an exclusive interview, that their main focus is on marrying sports entertainment and tourism and the World of Dance brand fits in with that.
“Hans has a background is in production and mine is in sports marketing. We were looking for projects that are unique, out of the box and has global appeal and while we were in discussions about a cheerleading event the opportunity to get involved with World of Dance fell into our laps and we were invited to Los Angeles to meet with the President and founder David Gonzales. He is excited about expanding the World of Dance brand throughout the world,” said Lequay.
How it works
T&T and Jamaica will be the sites for two qualifiers which anyone in the region or the world can attend to compete.
A casting call will be made via social media and applicants will be asked to submit a video of themselves. Romany explained that from the video submissions they will choose the persons to compete in the qualifiers which will take place in March for Jamaica and April for T&T.
There will be three categories: one for youth, an Open category for one to five people and an Upper category for six or more people.
Any dancer of any age and from any genre of dance is welcome to apply.
Up to three people/teams that score 80 or above will qualify for the finals in Los Angeles in July.
From those finals, which will pit dancers from around the world against each other, dancers for the televised series will be selected.
Romany said while technical skills is a priority, the judges are looking for people with heart, soul, vibes and who can elicit a good crowd response.
“They gave us the World of Dance bible so we have to adhere to the same standards as everyone else around the world,” said Romany.
Jennifer Lopez is one of the Executive Producers for the show and also a judge alongside R&B singer Ne-Yo and Derek Hough of Dancing with the Stars fame.
The show is hosted by Jenna Dewan Tatum and is produced by Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina.
Showcasing the Caribbean
Since World of Dance is a reality-type series, there will be a lot of focus on the personalities of the cast and the lead up to the final casting.
To that end, Lequay Edge has a tremendous opportunity to sell the Caribbean to an international audience.
“We are doing eight lifestyle videos showing our culture, music, backdrops of T&T and Jamaica that they will put on their platform that has over 30 million viewers,” said Lequay.
There will also be opportunities for Caribbean dancers to learn as celebrity dancers will be attending the qualifiers.
Luka and Jenalyn, the youngest Cabaret professionals in North America and WoD contestants, will be celebrity judges in Trinidad and will conduct master classes.
There will also be a secret judge but that person’s identity is under wraps for now.
An official from WoD will also be in attendance to ensure the qualifiers live up to international standards.
WoD will be launched the first week in November in Jamaica and November 15 in T&T. For more information follow the official WoD Facebook page here.