“We feel very honored to be able to represent the contemporary world on ‘World of Dance,’ and to be the first winners to represent that style is super great for us,” says Madison Smith. She’s one-third of the dance team MDC 3 that won the championship on the NBC competition series, which concluded its fourth season on August 12. They were the only Junior Division act to make it to the World Final this year, and they’re the first contemporary winners on the show after three seasons of hip-hop champs. Watch our exclusive video with the teenage trio above.
Smith and Diego Pasillas are 17, while teammate Emma Mather is 15, but they’ve been dancing together for almost seven years now, “so we’ve grown a lot of chemistry together,” Smith explains. “We feel very comfortable with each other on stage, which is what makes our performances so special.” Being a trio also gave them opportunities for “unique threading and partnering that’s definitely out of the ordinary from what other people would think to do,” which helped them stand out from their competitors in addition to the emotional storytelling they were able to bring to their routines.
But they worked hard to win the grand prize of $1 million, so “I think we can all agree that we want to go on a shopping spree,” says Smith. She and Pasillas are also saving up to move to Los Angeles. Mather will soon be turning 16, “so I want a car, and to have a really fun birthday party, and then all the rest will go into savings.” They’re also looking forward to careers as professional dancers, and winning “World of Dance” will certainly look good on their future resumes.
For Mather, the competition “truly was an experience I’ll never forget, and just winning as the first junior contemporary act … we love contemporary so much that we’re glad we were able to do it justice.” Pasillas remembers that “there were so many amazing contemporary acts on the show this season, and to know that we made it and we won is just incredible.”