How does world of dance work

How Does 'World Of Dance' Work? The Competition's Scoring System Sets It Apart


by Caitlin Flynn

Justin Lubin/NBC

I don't know about you, but I'm totally jazzed to tune in to the World of Dance premiere on May 30. There's no shortage of reality TV shows that feature the art form — the success of series like Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dance Moms proves that viewers haven't had enough of dance routines on their small screens. Whether the focus is on celebrities, child prodigies, or trained dancers seeking their big break, it seems like there's a show out there to suit everyone's interests. So, how does the World of Dance competition work — and what sets it apart from all the other dance shows out there?

Jenna Dewan Tatum will serve as the host/mentor of the 10-episode series, which will be judged by Jennifer Lopez, singer-songwriter-dancer Ne-Yo, and Dancing With the Stars fan favorite Derek Hough. No style of dance is off limits — from ballet to "stomping" to hip-hop, we'll get a taste of everything. "We have flamenco dancers, salsa groups, contemporary, tap. The variety you're going to get from this is unlike any other show out there," Hough told USA Today.

According to NBC, the contestants will be divided into three divisions: junior (dancers ages 17 and under), upper (up to four adults), and team (five or more dancers, 18 and older). After four elimination round competitions, the winners of each division will compete against one another for the grand prize in the World Final. And this "grand prize" lives up to its name — it's a cool $1 million.

Justin Lubin/NBC

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hough emphasized that World Of Dance has sought out the best: "You have the Oscars for film, the Grammys for music, and this is that for dance. Obviously it's a little different, but the stakes are very high and it's a million dollar prize. These dancers are the best of the best," he told the outlet. Hough added that the sheer scale of the competition sets it apart from other dance-focused reality shows — the competitors hail from all across the globe, and World Of Dance features soloists, duos, trios and groups competing against one another.

The scoring system is also more specific than what's used on similar TV shows. For every routine, the judges get 20 points each to assign in each of these five categories: performance, technique, choreography, creativity, and presentation. In order to move to the next round, a dancer or team must average 80 points between their three scores. And, the scores are determined solely by the judges — there's no audience input.

How many dancers and teams will hit 80 points in the premiere? Who will bring home that life-changing million bucks? I can't wait to find out.

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About the show

The hit dance competition series WORLD OF DANCE is back for its fourth season and once again led by a judging panel of extraordinary dance superstars – Jennifer Lopez (who also serves as an executive producer), Derek Hough and NE-YO. Scott Evans returns as host. The series gives dancers the platform to showcase their talents for the opportunity to receive a life-altering grand prize of $1 million and the title of best dancer in the world. In partnership with preeminent global dance brand World of Dance, the series brings the world’s elite dancers together to compete in epic performances of artistry, precision and athleticism. Solo dancers compete against duos and crews in an unlimited range of dance, including hip-hop, contemporary, ballet, break-dancing, ballroom and more. The contestants are handpicked from qualifying events around the nation and thousands of worldwide online submissions. Competitors are divided into two age divisions to start: Juniors (17 years and under) and Uppers (18 years and older). The competition consists of five rounds: the Qualifiers, the Callbacks, the Duels, the Semi-Finals and the World Final. In the first three rounds, dancers compete within their division, but in the Semi-Finals and the World Final, acts will compete against each other for the $1 million grand prize. New for Season 4, contestants now arrive at a warehouse under the impression that they’re performing their final audition for a panel of producers. In a surprise twist, hopeful acts will walk onto the dance floor to realize that the Qualifiers have already begun and judges are there to determine if they have what it takes to make it to the next round. The judges will each give a yes vote, a no vote or a Callback vote. If placed in the Callbacks, acts will have one last chance to perform and earn their spot in the next round. Also new this season, judges will now choose which acts go head to head in the Duels round, creating epic dance battles and leading to some of the most intense performances the series has ever seen. Acts won’t know their opponent until they hit the dance floor, so the stakes have never been higher. Last season’s popular Redemption round returns, but this year a special guest judge will decide which acts up for elimination will go head to head to earn the final slot in the Semi-Finals and get their chance to perform on the iconic “World of Dance” stage.    

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Street Dancing: How the Dance Battle Works

Competition Rules

Most of the competitions are held in the knockout battle format. Some of them involve only two dancers competing against each other in one-on-one battles, and there is also the concept of entire teams competing against each other. Each team can consist of two dancers to eight, ten, and sometimes more.

In team battles, any number of people can participate in a routine (prepared bundle) - from two to the whole team, the dance is performed during the round. Opponents are not required to respond with a routine, each team independently decides what they do during their round, if certain rules are not stipulated within the competition. nine0005

O'trip House doing routine

© Little Shao/Red Bull Content Pool

Dancers or teams take turns dancing in the middle of the dance floor. Each dancer or team dances a certain number of rounds

The dancers take turns moving to the middle of the stage, dancing for the duration of their round. The chosen panel of judges then decides who they think won the battle by personally voting for the winner or holding up the card with the winner's name.

The winner of the battle moves on to the next round, and the loser is eliminated from the competition. nine0005

This continues until there are two dancers or two teams left. After that, the final battle takes place and the absolute winner of the competition is selected.

Menno wins Red Bull BC One 2017

© Little Shao/Red Bull Content Pool

How many people can compete?

The average number of dancers selected to compete is usually 16 solo dancers or 8 to 16 teams competing in a single style or mixed style battle. But in the main battle, from 4 to 32 dancers or teams can participate. nine0005

In order to participate in the main battle, dancers must first pass the qualifying stage, where judges will select participants with the necessary qualifications. From 30 to 500 dancers can take part in the qualifying stage. There are five ways to enter the competition.

  1. Showcase round: dancers take turns performing in front of the judges. The judges evaluate each participant, then choose the best dancers with the highest scores. They are allowed to compete. nine0005

  2. Showcase battle: in this case, dancers or teams compete against each other in an exhibition battle format, usually consisting of only one round, and in the case of team battles, a time limit may also be introduced. There is no one winner in the battle: the judges evaluate the performance of the participants in the battle and choose the dancers or teams with the most points. They will be allowed to participate in the main competition.

  3. Preliminary Cypher: The cipher format involves the dancers gathering in a circle and then taking turns moving to the middle and dancing. Usually the duration of the music program put on by the DJ is from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. The dancers are usually given a sticker with a number, and then they stand in circles and just dance for as long as they want. The judges move from circle to circle, observing and judging, as well as recording the numbers of those dancers who made the most impression on them. After the performance time is up, the judges get together and analyze which participants' numbers were recorded and marked by all the judges. It is these dancers who will be allowed to participate in the main competition. nine0005

  4. Winner of the previous qualifying battle: in this case, the dancer is allowed to participate in the competition based on winning another tournament.

  5. By Invitation: The fifth and final way to compete is simply by getting an invitation. If a dancer is known and has a good reputation due to his performances and victories in various competitions at the local or international level, then the organizer of the event can directly invite him to take part in the battles. nine0005

Russian cipher Red Bull BC One

© Dmitriy Tibekin / Red Bull Content Pool

Who are judges and what do they do?

As a rule, judges are well-known and respected dancers who are members of the judging panel based on their years of experience, numerous victories in various competitions or thanks to their global contribution to the dance field.

Competitions always have an odd number of judges to avoid situations with a tie. As a rule, the judging staff includes three or five people. nine0005

Each judge only votes for one contestant in each battle, and the dancer with the most votes is the winner.

The Judges Point to the Winner

© Gianfranco Tripodo/Red Bull Content Pool

Votes sometimes result in a tie, and this is preceded by one of two scenarios.

  1. The judges may vote for a draw if they believe that the level of the dancers participating in the battle is equal. The battle can end in a draw if all the judges vote for this result. nine0005

  2. There may be a situation in which one judge votes for a draw, and the votes of the other judges are divided equally.

In this case, the competing dancers or teams will have to play another round for the judges to vote again. If this additional round also results in a tie, the dancers play another round and continue to do so until the judges reach a decision that will determine the winner.

But if all but one of the judges voted for a draw, then the winner is the dancer who receives the casting vote of the judge who did not vote for the draw. nine0005

What criteria do the judges evaluate when determining the winner?

As a general rule, judges base themselves on a general list of eight criteria that they pay attention to when judging. These criteria are given in no particular order:


How well the dancer feels the music and uses it to express himself in the dance.

Mastery of the base

Demonstration of excellent mastery of the basics of top rock and footwork, descents, transitions, freezes and power moves. nine0005


How well the dancers express their individuality in dance is judged.

The complexity of the elements

The level of dynamism of the movements that the dancer demonstrates.

Uniqueness and individuality of style are judged.


Technical and clean execution of elements without errors.

Round composition

The performance in the round must have a beginning, middle and end, which are connected by smooth and logical transitions. nine0005


Original variations of familiar movements, execution of completely new and unusual elements, as well as demonstration of a technique that the judges have not seen before.

When a battle is a one-on-one elimination competition, the judges take into account all the criteria, with each judge independently deciding which points are more important. If the battle has a different concept or format, judges may pay more attention to some criteria than others, and accordingly, the general approach of the judge to assessing performance in competitions may change. nine0005

Below are the four different competition formats and a list of criteria that the judges primarily look at in a given competition:

  1. Qualifying/showcase/preliminary rounds. Judges can choose a limited number of dancers. They strictly evaluate the performances, so in this case the criterion "performance" becomes the key. Any inaccuracies and errors in the performance of movements become a reason for giving a low score and simplify the task for the judge, narrowing the circle of applicants. The criteria "individuality" and "complexity of movement" are also of great importance. nine0005

  2. Cypher king/queen competition. The judges pay great attention to criteria such as "style", "personality" and "musicality". In this format, breakers form a circle, then take turns starting to perform in the middle of it. As a rule, dancers are given a sticker with a number. The judges observe the participants and write down the numbers of the participants who made the greatest impression on them. (Sometimes the judge remains incognito, and it can be any member of the cipher). At the end of the time, the judges gather and decide who made the greatest impression on them - this person will be given the title of king / queen of the cipher. nine0005

  3. Team battles. The uniqueness of the team battle lies in the fact that different criteria are evaluated in different rounds, and based on this information, you can send the strongest team members to participate in certain rounds. This means that the team can strategize and send the strongest dancers to participate in the respective rounds.


Watch as crews showcase their skills at the 30th anniversary of Battle of the Year in Montpellier, France. nine0005

Exception: audience-selected battles

On some projects, such as Red Bull Dance Your Style, the performances are judged by the audience, who may not understand all the subtleties, but simply dance lovers who came to enjoy the bright performances. The audience, evaluating the performances of dancers, as a rule, pays more attention to such criteria as the complexity of the elements and individuality. Viewers are more likely to vote for a dancer whose performance was able to inspire them and included high-level technical elements. The criterion of musicality is also important, but it must be at a very high level so that the audience can understand and appreciate it. Usually the audience does not pay much attention to the criteria of performance, possession of the base or composition of the round. As a rule, technical movements and individual style make a big impression on the audience. nine0005

The crowd votes for Dance Your Style

© Alex Grymanis/Red Bull Content Pool

BODYTRAFFIC: how the world works | Madan

Thursday, 8. October 2015 - 13:18

One of the choreographers, Barack Marshall, said in an interview: “In my opinion, today's world is a more peaceful place than half a century ago, but still we see ugly manifestations of nationalism in different countries. National identity is not only an individual cultural baggage, but often also a desire to separate from other groups. They say that national differences lead to conflicts, but I believe that people are interesting to each other precisely because they are different. These differences should not be erased, but, on the contrary, should be emphasized. The discussions and discussions that arise when working with people from a different culture can be very effective and lead to great results. Those ballets that I created for BODYTRAFFIC are, in many ways, the result of multiculturalism. BODYTRAFFIC performances are also attempts to understand through the language of movement, through ballet, how the world works.” nine0005

BODYTRAFFIC choreographers are atypical and emotional, sincere and always on the road and in search. Barrack Marshall is an example. His production of "At Midnight the Green Bride Flitted Over the Village Square" is set to ethnic music interspersed with songs by Yemenite Jews, songs in Ladino by Yasmin Levy, songs in Yiddish by the Berry sisters, and songs by Barack Marshall's mother, dancer and singer Margalit Oved. The plot of the ballet is based on real events in the family of Yemenite Jews in Aden, who were neighbors of Margalit Oved. Full of humor story about a family where there were eight sisters and one brother. A story about jealousy, anger, sadness and loneliness. It is worth recalling that Margalit Oved is one of the founders and the first soloist of the Israeli theater of ethnic dance "Inbal". She married a native of Morocco, who lived in Austria, together they moved to the USA, to California, from where at 19In 1994, Margalit Oved returned to Israel for some time to save the country’s oldest dance ensemble “Inbal”, a ballet theater of Yemeni and Sephardic dance, founded by the legendary Jerusalemite Sarah Levi-Tanay back in the 40s, from financial and other crises.

It would seem that Barack Marshal was destined to practice ballet: he grew up behind the scenes, in a ballet studio, but as a child, according to him, he only recognized football and a little music. At the age of 25, in 1994, together with his mother, he came to Israel to attend the funeral of her sister, his beloved Aunt Leah. After the mourning shiva, Barak came to the Inbal studio and, unexpectedly for himself - as he recalls today - expressed his feelings in several pirouettes on the stage: sorrow in a jump, grief - in a turn of the body. It was so unusual - first of all, for himself. Both the dancers and the director of the ensemble drew attention to Barak's outrageousness, who suggested that he, who had never studied ballet or choreography before, think about the work of a choreographer. Until that moment, Barak, who studied philosophy at Harvard, wanted to study law for money, and music for his soul. nine0005

“I accidentally went to the Inbal studio and unexpectedly started dancing - this is how the play “Aunt Leya” appeared, a sad story about our family.” That first Barak ballet was shown in 1995 at the Suzanne Dalal Center in Tel Aviv as part of the Shades of Dance festival and received the "Award for Creativity". And later - in 1998 - the first prize of the Paris Biennale. After "Aunt Leia" Barak staged in Israel ballet performances "Shoshana's Balcony" at the Israel Festival and "The Wedding of Emma Goldman" - about Red Emma, ​​the famous anarchist of the first half of the 20th century. By the way, on her grave it is written “Freedom will not descend on people. People must rise to Freedom” is an excellent topic for ballet and cabalistic reflections, which Barak has been doing for the last fifteen years in Los Angeles - a city, according to him, quiet, comfortable for life, incomparable with the bustling Tel Aviv. nine0005

But back to Europe. After "Emma Goldman's Wedding" was shown in "Suzan Dalal" at the "Curtain Rises" festival, the performance went on a European tour in honor of the 50th anniversary of Israel (it is symbolic that Emma herself, who was born in Kovno in Lithuania, emigrated to the United States and was deported from there for freethinking). On the waves of such success, Barak Marshal was invited to become the “home” choreographer of Bat Sheva, he himself began to dance in his own productions, but then fate intervened: he broke his leg and could not return to dancing. Barack Marshal returned to Los Angeles in 2000, and in addition to teaching, he seriously took up music. Israeli composers living in America wrote vocal works for him, he performed with his mother to the accompaniment of the famous cellist Yo-Yo-Ma, and sang with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Jewish Orchestra. Several times he came to Israel to conduct summer master classes. Five years ago, Yair Vardi, director of the Susan Dalal Ballet Center, invited him to stage a new performance for the Tel Aviv Dance festival. Barack came and staged "Monger" - a ballet to Balkan music, and then in America - "Rooster" and "Harry". And now - a new ballet "At midnight, the green bride fluttered over the village square." nine0005

"Dust" - choreography and music by Hofesh Schechter. The ballet is based on impulsive, bright and rhythmic contemporary choreography, but… with political overtones. As always with Hofesh Schechter, an Israeli who has been working in England for a long time, a choreographer, musician and composer, whose performances are imbued with the spirit of uncompromisingness and a critical look at the post-colonial world - and, above all, at Britain that caressed him, in which Schechter successfully lives and works with 2002, topping the list of choreographic talents along with McGregor and Akram Khan. Hofesh Schechter - winner of the Critic's Circle National Dance Award for Best Contemporary Choreography in 2008 - is considered one of the most inventive and talented choreographers working in the UK today. nine0005

The hypocrisy of the modern world infuriates Schechter, and he rebukes him with his own music. Talented, sensitive, endowed with a fantastic ability to transform emotion into a nervous choreographic cuneiform, Schechter does not take skill. Hofesh Schechter was born in Jerusalem in 1975 and moved to England thirteen years ago. “I love the fact that when I wake up in London, I never know what the weather will be like. And I just love rain, damp and cold. I'm not really an Israeli, even though I was born there. My parents are of European descent, they have German, Russian and Romanian roots.” Schechter studied at the Dance Academy in Jerusalem, then danced at Bat Sheva under the direction of Ogad Naharin, and at the same time began to study percussion, becoming a musician and composer. “I found that the choreography gives me a way to express my emotions, including my anger,” he said in an interview. “Most of my works are autobiographical and are a reflection of my feelings, what I experienced. ” nine0005

After leaving Bat-Sheva, Hofesh, living up to his name, went to Paris to learn how to play percussion instruments in search of creative freedom, where he began writing music for ballet and theatrical performances. In 2002, he crossed the English Channel, ended up in London, and began performing with an Israeli troupe. His very first choreographic work was shown throughout England, as well as in Finland, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, and Korea. All of this was supported by Place, a London-based fringe centre, with which Hofesh has been working since 2004. There he staged the ballet "Uprising", thanks to which he woke up famous in the morning. In the British dance scene he is very, very sought after and well known and is considered one of the most interesting avant-garde British choreographers working in the field of contemporary dance. Hofesh Schechter does not flirt with the audience, his choreography is devoid of sentiment. But he has everything that makes a choreographer worthy of attention: his style, his worldview and, of course, his talent. And the craving for experiments and mixing dance and heavy-metal, mixing styles. “We experiment with sound, lighting and choreographic solutions to crystallize a specific energy,” says Schechter. nine0005

"One More Time Before You Go" by Victor Kuijada is a ballet with hip-hop elements, largely based on theatricality and improvisation. By the way, Kuijada himself, a great connoisseur of the US street dance culture, choreographer and dancer, performed hip-hop in Los Angeles clubs until the age of 26, and then took up modern dance and choreography, founding his own group “RUBBERBANDance Group” in 2002 after studying street music. , classical and modern dance. His dramatic, spectacular dance blurs the boundaries between hip-hop, classical dance and contemporary dance and introduces the audience to the author's unique style. nine0005

"O2J0y" by Richard Segal is a choreographic tribute to American jazz standards. No European pessimism, but absolute American happiness and joy, sound and movement to the music of Glenn Miller, Oscar Peterson, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

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