A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this fun, energetic hip-hop dance competition promotes dance both as an art form and as a positive activity that builds leadership and team strength. The judges offer constructive criticism while commending every team for their efforts and commitment to their craft. Female dancers do sometimes wear skimpy outfits, and some of the dance moves are a bit suggestive, but it's all presented as part of the overall art form. Rare curse words are bleeped out.
What's the story?
RANDY JACKSON PRESENTS AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW is a hip-hop dance competition produced by American Idol=http:> judge Jackson and hosted by Mario Lopez. After auditioning hundreds of dance groups from all across America, nine crews were selected to compete. Every week, their hip-hop inspired routines must impress judges like 'N Sync founder JC Chasez and hip-hop superstar Lil' Mama, who choose the top teams. The bottom two finishers must dance it out in the "battle zone," where they each have one more chance to out-step the other. Meanwhile, viewers can cast votes for their favorite teams to help strengthen their position in the competition. The last crew standing wins $100,000 and the title of America's Best Dance Crew.
Is it any good?
This fun, lively series offers positive messages about dance, leadership, and teamwork. Unlike in many reality competitions, the judges offer both supportive and constructive criticism about the dancers' work; they also remind the dancers -- who range from self-taught street performers to studio-trained choreographers -- to stay true to their own style and not sell out for the sake of being famous. Also inspiring is some of the behind-the-scenes footage of teammates relying on each other for both inspiration and strength.
But it's during the on-stage action that the dancers really show their love for their craft as they demonstrate the different ways that hip hop can be interpreted while having a great time doing it. While some of the dancers sport some skimpy outfits (usually showing off bare midriffs -- and sometimes underwear) and perform suggestive dance moves, this show is still an excellent example of how young people can turn to positive creative outlets for expression, self-esteem, and fun.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what dancing offers kids. How does dance help kids become strong leaders? Do you think televised dance competitions will get more kids interested in participating?
Do you consider dancers athletes? How much work goes into dancing competitively? Do you have to be formally trained in a dance studio to be considered a "real" dancer?
For kids who love dancing
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