Assemble a team of five dancers; register yourself to a city nearest to you; fill out each dancer’s information; and you’re in. That’s how easy it is for contestants to get their chance to shine on the “Dance USA Dance” stage.
The second edition of the dance reality show was launched recently in New York. Organized by 5678 Media Group and ZEE TV, the launch ceremony featured YouTube dance sensation Matt Steffanina, celebrity Indian American choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan – who first introduced Bollywood to America – as well as dancer-turned actress Lauren Gottlieb of the Bollywood film “ABCD 2” fame. These dance superstars have been roped in to judge the contestants this year. Miss Pakistan USA 2015 Sarish Khan will host the reality series.
“Dance USA Dance” has grown tremendously since its first season in 2017 where the tour consisted of just six cities under the tutelage of celebrated Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan. In this season, the show will tour 15 U.S. cities and Canada, to select the Top 36 regional teams.
As talented youngsters set the stage on fire, the show is sure to appeal to not only fans of Bollywood dance, but dance lovers of all genres.
“We are welcoming dancers of all styles. It can be any form of dance. Latin dance, salsa…they just have to bring their best to the qualifying round,” Anjana Kumar, co-founder of 5678 Media Group, told India-West a day after the qualifying rounds in Atlanta, Georgia.
The next round is scheduled for San Jose, Calif., March 25, after which the pit stops will be made in Seattle, Wash., April 1; Phoenix, Arizona, April 7; Dallas, Texas, April 15; Detroit, Michigan, April 20; New Jersey, April 21; Washington, D.C., April 28; Orlando, Florida, May 5; Cincinnati, Ohio, May 6; New York City, May 12; and Los Angeles, Calif., May 19. The team will also cross over to Toronto, Canada, and will be on the lookout for talent May 20.
The national sponsor of the event is fast food giant McDonalds. Local judges selected by the organizers will help zero in on these teams. Two teams from each city will get a chance to compete in the semi-finals in July. The contestants will be judged in two categories: junior – 6-12 years; and senior – 13-plus.
“We will be picking two teams but if we spot a supremely talented dancer, there can be a wild card entry,” said Kumar. “So, the number of teams making to the finals can vary depending on the judges.”
The regional winners will face off in the semi-finals, and the accomplished semi-finalists will be challenged to put their best foot forward to win the title of “Dance USA Dance” Season 2 champion during the grand finale, which will be held July 15 at the PlayStation Theatre in New York. The finale will be aired on Zee TV.
In the semi-finals, “Dance USA Dance” aims to highlight some of the current social causes, and teams will be asked to dance to promote a cause most important to them.
“The judges will give the contestants causes like youth and women empowerment, child trafficking, etc., and they have to prepare their act on that,” Kumar added.
Though the details of the prizes are still being chalked out, Kumar said the winning team will walk away with $10,000.
At a time where differences are being highlighted, the show aspires to unite everyone and “celebrate who they are, their uniqueness, and their oneness.”
“We are looking for hidden talents,” Kumar told India-West. “In India, dancers get more opportunities to showcase their talents since there are so many platforms available, but here in the U.S. none existed so far. Most of the gifted individuals don’t move beyond the city, so we are looking to provide them a national platform.”
The 5678 Media Group aims to not only spotlight talent but also bring together multicultural communities across the U.S. and create the ultimate authentic experience for everyone.
“‘Dance USA Dance’ is growing bigger each day and evolving into an international platform aiming to showcase talent from across the world,” said the Indian American executive. “Our partnership with McDonald’s will further help us in empowering minority communities to reach their full potential.”
For more information and competition rules, visit www.danceusadance.us.