Junior Team Division dance troupe The Crazy 8’s had one of the most emotional backstories in the season premiere of “World of Dance.” We learned that one of the contemporary group’s members, Naia, suffers from selective mutism, a form of anxiety in which a person who is physically capable of speech is unable to speak in certain social situations or to certain people. But she didn’t have any difficulty expressing herself on the dance floor. Watch their performance above, and see what the judges had to say about their routine below.
Jennifer Lopez: “Wait a minute! Were you not just on your belly spinning with your head up over your leg? Wasn’t that you? It was kind of an arabesque and then you were on your stomach spinning around doing kind of a breaking move. I’ve never seen that in my life. I was floored … Powerhouse team.”
Derek Hough: “First of all, little munchkins coming out here and I’m like, ‘Oh, look at how cute they are!’ And then you guys start dancing and I was like, ‘Whoa!’ It was so impressive. The stability you guys had in the turns, stopping on a dime, no wobbles. Also, what was so impressive is that each and every one of you is at the same level. Just phenomenal, thank you so much for that!”
Ne-Yo: “I’m going to keep it fair. I’m going to judge the dance. Clearly everyone on this stage is an amazing dancer. I had so much fun watching it I forgot that I was supposed to be actually judging. I love the fact that you guys are juniors. You guys could win at an adult level. You’re that good.”
They just might win at an adult level if they keep this up. They scored 93 from Ne-Yo, 95 from Lopez and 91 from Hough, giving them an average of 93.0. That was the best score of the night for any Junior Team Division act, and it was the third best score of any act. Suffice it to say, Naia left them speechless.