After weeks of being sequestered in hotel rooms, rehearsal spaces and the sound stage, the final four crews of Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew were treated to some fresh air, sunshine and Dodger Dogs. On the July 30th, the teams took a trip to Dodger Stadium to see them take on the San Francisco Giants and perform between innings.
Arriving well before the game at 4pm, all the teams and a few press members had already gathered on the edge of the field in the practically empty stadium. It’s the first time most of the crew members have been to Chavez Ravine and they marveled at the size of it since it’s also the first time they’ve danced for such a big audience. "It’s always great to perform in front of lots of people," says Boogie Bots member Mike "magicMIC" Arellano. "It’s different than performing on stage or on camera because the [ABDC] set itself is a lot smaller [than it looks] and now we’ll be performing for all these people live. It’s going to be crazy."
I asked around and, since the trip was a surprise, no one really knew where or when they’d be performing. "We’re just happy to be in the outdoors. I just wish I would’ve worn shorts," says Super Cr3w‘s Mike Murda who was sporting jeans. They looked on as some of the Dodgers engaged in batting practice, appropriately reacting when a pitch got rocketed to the outfield and beyond.
For the between-inning performances, Bryan "boogieMIND" East of Boogie Bots said they wanted to showcase "individual skills and show off our specialties [since] we’re so diverse." He also hoped to dance on top of the dugout, though later discovered they’d be performing down the first base foul line.
Since starting the show, the resident baseball fans haven’t been able to follow as closely as they once did. "I’m more of a Mets fan but when the Mets and the Dodgers play, I root for the home team…but secretly it’s for the Mets," Fanny Pak’s Phillip Collins confides. But they aren’t the only fans as several ball players had stopped by and said they followed the show, one player going so far as to mock challenge the crews to a dance off and throwing down some half-ass moves. Good times.
Because I’m such a fan of all the crews, I had to ask about their t-shirts and how I might acquire one. Since Fanny Pak is a relatively new group, their tee is forthcoming but everyone else has sold out and are waiting for new shipments. They are so popular in fact, SoReal Cru has spotted some up for sale on eBay and have even seen bootlegs. "Some are better than ours," laughs Brian Fucanan.
This is a doubly special week as all the crews not only got to perform for guest judge Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot, they got to perform with her in a group number. "It most definitely blew our minds. Missy is huge to us and dancing on stage for her is a really big deal," says Glenda Morales of Fanny Pak. Crew-mate Matt Cady adds, "It was an honor because the majority of us have auditioned for her countless times and have not booked a damn thing with her."
Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew airs Thurday nights at 10pmEST on MTV. Tune in tonight to watch the Missy themed performances and see who makes the top three.