Although I like Hip Hop, I was not blessed to have enough swag to pull it off. Ergo, I am deduced to become a dorky fan who watches from the side line. I love the culture and its history. I know that if everyone will take the time out to study it, they will fall in love with them too.
Dancing is one essential part of the Hip Hop culture. I got to appreciate and understand it more when I started watching America’s Best Dance Crew. The judges did a good job explaining the whole culture and how dancing has become an integral part of it. Not all performances do the music justice but there are some who really break new grounds.
From a dorky fan like me, here are the top 10.
10. Ill-Emental | I. AM. Me
The visuals they created were great and the idea behind the performance unique. How they moved to represent the different elements was “accurate”. They created exactly what they intended to create. They have a unique concept as a group too. Instead of just doing choreography, the create images through their movements and dance.
This performance captured their essence as a group.
I know people would rank this performance higher and I could understand. It was just a little less of a “dance” for me as it was a performance.
9. My Humps | Dynamic Edition
Many would probably wonder why they are even in the list. Let me explain. America’s Best Dance Crew has greatly leaned towards hiphop groups. Dynamic Edition is one of the few groups that successfully stayed faithful to their type of dance (tap dancing). At the same time, they infused modernity into what they do. They mashed hiphop and pop to their steps and moves. In the process, they made tap dancing young.
8. Disco Inferno | Saltare
Along with Dynamic Edition, Saltare is one of the very few non-hiphop crews that made a big impact in ABDC. They were able to successfully infuse many types of dance in their jump rope. It didn’t feel like they were trying to dance while they were jumping on ropes. They were dancing and jumping on ropes. This performance demonstrated how they infused hip hop, breaking and latin dance in their routine. It was dynamic and prolific and clearly showed that there is virtually no limit to what you can do with dancing.
7. Single Ladies | We Are Heroes
We Are Heroes didn’t try to become men. They didn’t try to move like men. They moved like women doing Hip Hop. That’s what makes them unique. They played the game in their own terms and they looked great doing it. They also sent a strong message – women need not be measured using a yardstick for men. Women are unique, the same way men are.
This performance demonstrated their style and their “point” perfectly. Dancing to Single Ladies, We Are Heroes showed just how an extremely flirty and sexy dance can be interpreted in a hiphop way. They were fearless in their bikinis, comfortable in their non-skinny skin and they popped like world peace depended on it.
As the challenge required of them, they did the “grind” but added the “strobe” which essentially required them to pop, only faster. The result was a surprising hiphop take on a highly sexual dance.
6. Get Ur Freak On | Fanny Pak
I am going to go out and say they should have won the second time they joined but such is life. Audience still get to decide who is America’s Best Dance Crew and America didn’t think it was Fanny Pak.
However, they did leave us this dance, Get Ur Freak On. Even Missy Elliot was jumping on her seat as she watched the crew laid the steps to her easy beat. This crew successfully showed how a fusion of different weird bodily movements can actually come together as a perfect dance routine for a legendary song.
5. Love Story | PoReoTix
Season 5 - Week 1
When you have watched America’s Best Dance Crew for four seasons, you are bound to see almost all kinds of styles and tricks. After all, how many are there, really?
What made PoReoTix unique is their tenacity to infuse a humorous take on the songs they interpret. They are a poppin’ crew. They like robotics and they never really denied it. Their uniqueness comes from their interpretation of the songs. Who would have thought a Taylor Swift song would be perfect in hiphop dance.
4. Pretty Young Thing | Jabbawockeez
Season 1 - Week 5
This performance was so dope that Jabbawockeez continue to perform it to this day. Here’s why. It is a given that no one can ever dance like Michael Jackson. It’s just not possible. However, to be able to give the king of pop justice is not easy either. Yet, Jabbawockeez was able to do it.
3. Get Up Offa That Thing | SuperCrew
Season 2 - Finals
SuperCrew said it best. No other song can ever be as dynamic as a James Brown song. The first performed to a James Brown and they decided to end it to a James Brown. It was a perfect choice.
This performance showed their true style, breaking. However, it also showed just how much they have improved as a crew. More importantly, it brought the audience back to the roots of breaking, dancing and hip hop. It was a demonstration on how the body is to move to complement the song and how the rhythm could be interpreted so many ways.
2. OrQUESTra Quest Crew
Season 3 - Finals
It was a toss off between this and their HipHop decathlon performance. Although the HipHop decathlon is undoubtedly one of their best ever, OrQuestra is the one the first that successfully infused Jazz and HipHop in ABDC. Quest Crew was able to infuse tricks and acrobats and still have an intact choreography.
The way they were able to combine everything made their performance unique. Most of all, they set a new standard, a bar for everyone to follow.
1. Apologize | Jabbawockeez
Season 1 - Week 1
With the exception of one or two performances, all Jabbawockeez performances have been off the charts. They have their own style and I am not even talking about the mask. It is their unbelievable control over their movements and the music. It is almost as if they dictate what music is supposed to mean through their dance and not the other way around.
This performance illustrated that control and their guts. It was incredibly risky for them to perform a slow song and they did without having to resort to the predictable sexy moves that usually go with it. Their moves were simple but precise and appropriate and intrinsically hiphop.
It was the performance that set the tone for all of ABDC. It was a signal that crews needed to think out of the box without having to veer away from their true hip hop style.