Season 4 of NBC’s competition series “World of Dance” premieres on May 26, but while we haven’t met this year’s contestants yet, we can probably make one confident prediction: at least one hip-hop act will be in the finals. Heck, it might even be safe to bet that a hip-hop act will win the whole competition. The show’s first three winners have all been hip-hop performers.
The show’s inaugural season ended with the French duo Les Twins from the Upper Division (age 18 and up with four or fewer members) prevailing. Season two skewed younger with The Lab prevailing for the Junior Team Division (under age 18 with five or more members), but they were a hip-hop crew too. And season three brought another change of pace with the Upper Team Division standouts The Kings taking the grand prize back to their native India — yep, they were a hip-hop crew as well, though they put their own specific cultural stamp on their death-defying routines.
So can anyone rise to the top representing a different style of dance this time around? The likeliest may be contemporary, which has come ever so close year in and year out. That flowing, emotional style often produces the most moving numbers, but contemporary acts have been the “World of Dance” runners-up every single time. Teenager Eva Igo placed second in the first season, then Aussie “So You Think You Can Dance” alum Michael Dameski was number-two in season two, and most recently the contemporary troupe Unity LA were unable to knock The Kings off their throne.
Those two styles do the best every year, but maybe it’s finally time for something completely different. Perhaps a winner from the world of tap, ballroom, Latin, or even ballet? Sometimes dancers from those disciplines have a harder time standing out against the high-flying tricks of hip-hop and the theatrical storytelling of contemporary. On the other hand, dancers in underrepresented styles have the advantage of not getting lost in the shuffle of the show’s most dominant disciplines. The opportunity is there if the right contestant can take it.
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