Bringing local flare to the popular NBC dance show ‘World of Dance,’ the group, Boys of Temecula, has made it past the qualifying round, performing twice on the show.
Twenty boys from Temecula Dance Company performed two jazz numbers in the junior division, ultimately making it to round two of the season and even managing to raise their score for the second performance. Varying in ages from 12-16, Temecula Dance Company put together the group of 20 boys, choosing them based on network requirements and the technical ability of the young dancers. Finishing with a score of 84.7 out of 100 points, the dance troop made it as far as the internationally renowned Jabbawockeez, receiving the same score in the qualifying round.
The company is proud of their 50 male competition dancers – one of the largest groups in the country – according to Artistic Director Jimmy Peters. The boys in the group have trained with the dance company for four to nine years.
After seeing a Facebook ad for the show “World of Dance,” Peters and Boys Program Director Erik Saradpon decided to submit footage of the group from a past competition.
“The network was looking for certain criteria, and we worked to show the versatility of what our boys can do,” Peters explained.
They were invited to Los Angeles to audition in front of the network, producers and choreographers. After passing those trials, they submitted rehearsal footage of the number they would perform in qualifiers to the network. Finally, they were invited to compete in the Universal Studios back lot; the same place where NBC is producing their premier singing competition, “The Voice.”
Amid a schedule of national competitions in Florida and Las Vegas, the Boys of Temecula managed to find rehearsal time, reportedly sacrificing time from school vacations and after school.
“They all made sacrifices to do the show, whether that be personal time or after school activities. They were all in, working together to make it happen.” Peters said.
Leading up to the show, the boys followed a practice schedule including two to three hours of ballet, two to three hours of jazz, one hour of jazz and two hours of hip-hop, totaling four to eight hours of rehearsal practice every week; however, once winter break began they practiced four hours a day, according to Peters.
Rehearsals entailed blocking choreography, focusing on hitting certain marks and camera angles and readjusting the logistics for a television number. The boys would be given variations of the choreography and trained to remain flexible for the choreographers to choose the best blockings under a time restraint.
After advancing past qualifiers on Mondays, they returned to the studio and to choreograph the next number because their weekly tech rehearsal at the studio was on Wednesdays and filming took place on Fridays. The show schedule placed high demands on the young dancers, and the Boys of Temecula proved their capabilities by their performance in the second round, receiving a higher score than the week before.
Beyond the valuable skills earned in quickly picking up new choreography and perfecting it, the boys have benefited from their time on the show in other ways. Many of the boys have been offered new opportunities and have picked up film and dance jobs since the show aired. The majority of the boys are working, and two of the boys have unofficially been given large roles in major television shows, Peters said.
Growing in acclaim, the Boys of Temecula continue to train and represent their dance company and the greater Temecula Valley community.