There are many things in this world that one could call popular culture, essentially anything that the masses of people have come to like and agree upon as being “cool”. One such thing would have to be the hit T.V. show “America’s Best Dance Crew”, or ABDC for short. Seeing as how I myself love the art form known as dancing, I was hard pressed not to choose a T.V. show about it, and ABDC just seemed perfect. Dancing has just begun to really hit the mainstream, and a lot of it was in part, due to this very show. I believe “America’s Best Dance Crew” to be something that holds great value in our society, especially to the many youths and children in the world. With the help of Randy Jackson and a few of the crews in the show, “America’s Best Dance Crew” helps get people interested in dancing and encourages people to try something new, chase their dreams, whilst also marketing some items for the mainstream of people to eat up happily.
“America’s Best Dance Crew” somewhat resembles another hit T.V show known as American Idol, but instead of singing, the contestants dance. This resemblance is most likely due to the fact that the producer of ABDC, Randy Jackson, is also one of the judges in American Idol. Being a star in an already large and popular T.V. show, the name Randy Jackson was sure to carry with it, support and a huge fanbase from the previous show. This similarity helped to make people like the show even more, after all, everyone loves a good “remix”. Similarities ranging from the three judges, each with their own varying personalities, to the voting system that lets the populace choose the team that they like best, ABDC brought with it a very homely abode to what was in American Idol. In the article “MTV Has a Huge Night With the “2011 Movie Awards,” Part One of the Two-Night Premiere of New Series “Teen Wolf,” and the Season Finale of “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew”; Part Two of the “Teen Wolf” Premiere Debuts in its Regular Timeslot Tonight, Monday, June 6 at 10:00 p.m./9:00 p.m. CT”, the anonymous author(s) wrote “The season six finale averaged a 2.1 rating among P12-34, up +17% from the fifth season finale. The finale delivered 2.6 million total viewers, up +24% from last season’s finale. For the season, “ABDC” averaged a 1.8 rating among P12-34, up +13% from the fifth season average. “ABDC” delivered 2.1 million total viewers each week, up +17% from season five. “ABDC” is Thursday’s #1 original cable series with P12-34.” These increases in viewers every season shows that ABDC is growing in popularity each and every season, and soon, in my opinion, it may even reach American Idol status.
Much like how American Idol brought with it a widespread epidemic of millions of people trying to see if they have the natural talent to sing, ABDC did the same, except with dancing. With every season of ABDC came another wave of aspiring dancers. Simply watching the crews on ABDC was not enough. ABDC inspires the public to want to imitate the dancing that they saw on the television. Something that they would have never even thought about attempting, without having first watched the show. This interest in dancing is further encouraged by the shows organization involvement in helping to fund dance studios. In the article “America’s Best Dance Crew Makes Room to DANCE”, the author Krisanits says that “The couple, in part with Nike and the LA84 Foundation, made a donation to fund two new dance floors, made from Nike Grind, a material generated from recycled shoes collected through Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program. The donation allowed the school to properly floor two additional studios, which were appropriately named Randy Jackson Studio and Erika Jackson Studio”. Randy Jackson and his wife funded the Lula Washington Dance Theatre with two dance studios, giving dancers in that area a place to dance. Acts such as these, made by the ABDC organization is a perfect example of how they are trying to encourage the populace into becoming more interested in dance, and help to make the dance community grow.
Not only is the ABDC organization involved with spreading the interest of dance around, but so do the dance crews that participate in the show. The uniqueness of every crew is what attracts the eyes of the public masses. One such crew that helped to greatly influence the spread of this dancing phenomenon would be the Beat Freaks. The Beat Freaks were in the 3rd season of ABDC, and they were an all girls crew. From the article “Super Freaks”, Jones says that “For the Beat Freaks, inspiration is the name of the game. Their “Freak the Dream” tagline has spread and they’ve got big plans to move forward with it — from books to TV shows to clothing lines. “I want the Beat Freaks to have a legacy,” Teresa says. A legacy of creativity, positivity and strength, not just for women, but for everybody.” They showed that boys aren’t the only ones capable of doing athletic dance moves such as breaking. While they did appeal a lot to the females who watched the show, they also inspired everyone else. They were trying to do more than show that girls can dance too. They were also showing that anybody had the ability to dance, and that if you wanted something badly enough, you should go after it, no matter if it was dancing, or something else entirely. They helped to inspire those who watched the show to never give up on their dreams and aspirations, but instead, chase it down until they have obtained it.
The Beat Freaks weren’t the only crew to have a great impact on society. The crew which, perhaps, had the greatest impact on society would have to be the season one winners, the Jabbawockeez. Not only were they one of the first crews to ever hit the stage, but they also were extremely talented and creative dancers. They were the pioneers of ABDC, and a very marketable one too. In the article “JABBAWOCKEEZ HIT THE ROAD” written by Lauren, when asked the question “What’s next?” the leader of the crew Rynan Paguio responded with “Other fields like music, movies and comics. We’re coming out with a clothing line called JBWKZ and would like to have our own tour. We also want to set up an arts-education learning center for the younger generation.” ABDC did not waste their time and immediately began selling Jabbawockeez merchandize as soon as possible. With a hit T.V. show, and with merchandize circulating all throughout the country, getting into the public eye was not very difficult. Because this crew wore a uniform consisting of a mask, shirt, and gloves, not only could the public try to mimic the dancing, but they could also dress to look exactly like their idols. As Storey says in his book, “Cultural Theory and Popular Culture An Introduction”, “popular culture is a hopelessly commercial culture. It is mass produced for mass consumption”. ABDC is a profitable television show, and I see no signs of it ending any time soon, as long as profit is being made.
Even with business taking advantage of the success in ABDC, I still find the show very helpful to the dance community and society as a whole. From my many years of dancing I’ve found that dancing helps those interested in learning how to dance, to stay in shape. It also gives a great sense of patience and self worth. Finally being able to flawlessly execute a move you have been practicing for many months is one of the greatest feelings you could have. All of that time and hard work finally pays off and you can see it with your own eyes. From this one tiny accomplishment, you also gain some self-confidence. If you could achieve something as difficult as learning how to dance, you may even feel that you can achieve anything, and that is a goal worth chasing. Watching ABDC opens the doors to many people to come and learn how to dance. It shows people something they may have never seen before, and inspires them to try it for themselves.
ABDC is starting to really hit its stride in the public eye. Thanks to the executive producer Randy Jackson, a few of the crews in the show, and all of the millions of viewers who tune in to watch the show and vote for their favorite crews every week, ABDC has earned its spot in popular culture today. By getting the masses interested in dancing and teaching them to never stop pursuing their dreams, even with a bit of selling marketable goods, “America’s Best Dance Crew” is helping to bring dance to the eyes of many people around the world. I have never seen so many people interested in dancing in all my life, at least not until after the show ABDC was released. ABDC is really starting to grow and spread dance all around the world. In fact, I wouldn’t even be surprised if the show kept getting bigger and bigger, until it reached the top of the pop culture food chain.
“MTV Has a Huge Night With the “2011 Movie Awards,” Part One of the Two-Night
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