Celebrations to Compete on New Season of "America's Next Best Dance Crew"

Gina Mantica '16

Assistant Arts Editor

Directors Jessica Goudreault ’15 and Twyla Vesper Marr ’15 have announced that Celebrations Dance Company will be appear on a new season of “America’s Next Best Dance Crew,” which will air in August on MTV. Celebrations members report that the new season will consist of an entirely different and “fresh” atmosphere — the location, host and judging panel of the show have all been changed.

The show is being taped in Boston at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. Thankfully, this new location eases travel costs and time for those in Celebrations, which allows for members of the company to remain enrolled at Smith during the taping of the show. Sources reported that producer Randy Jackson has convinced former “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell to join the panel. Despite his lack of knowledge when it comes to this art form, Cowell will add an entertainment factor to the show that goes beyond the dancing itself. Joining Cowell on the judging panel is former “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant Twitch and notorious actress Lindsay Lohan. Celebrations Dance Company reported that this seemingly random collection of judges has given them incredible feedback, and both Goudreault and Marr have noticed that their dancers seem to be growing and maturing in this process.

Assistant Director Charnice Charmant has been extremely busy creating choreography for the company so that they can pull out a win and obtain the golden ABDC trophy and the $100,000 cash prize. The company has not commented on what they intend to do with the money if they are, in fact, able to win the competition.

However, there have been hints that the first thing Celebrations will do with the prize money if they win is invest in real costumes for their annual showcases. Currently, Celebrations uses a hodgepodge of pieces from their individual wardrobes for their fall and spring shows. While this technique gives the company’s showcases an eclectic feel, Goudreault and Marr have worked tirelessly to increase the professionalism of the company and expand the company’s presence both on and off the Smith campus. Goudrealt and Marr strongly believe that coordinated costumes are one step in the right direction that the company can take to make their dancers appear more professional during performances.

Members of Celebrations Dance Company also hope to win simply to show America how incredibly strong and, in the words of Charmant, “bada**” female dancers can be. Female dancers are often depicted as small, frail things that could break if the wind blows too powerfully.  However, as Smithies, many students know that this assumption is completely ludicrous. Charmant’s choreography aims to embrace the individual strength of each member in her pieces, empowering not just female dancers but women everywhere. Make sure to tune into MTV in August to cheer on your peers as they battle it out for the title of America’s Next Best Dance Crew.