Go your own way: ‘Bring It! Live’ espouses technique, confidence
On July 15, Dianna Williams and her team of talented dancers from the Lifetime series “Bring It!” twirl their way into the Boch Center Wang Theatre for a live show. Williams (Miss D) opened her studio in 2001 and pioneered the genre of hip-hop majorette dancing. Since then she’s won more than 100 trophies and 15 grand championship titles. The 2016 live show garnered over 70,000 audience members.
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For more information and to purchase tickets to “Bring It! Live” visit: bringitlivetour.com.
The “Bring It!” television show follows the dancers in Miss D’s troupe as they train for and participate in competitions. Williams has been dancing since she was four, but for her, the troupe isn’t just about learning the majorette skills. “I think it’s important that young girls feel like they have control over their destiny,” she says. Williams used dance as a way to grow her own confidence and sense of self as an African American woman. Now she helps her dancers, mostly pre-teen and teenage women, to be comfortable in their own skin.
In addition to the athletic component, the show features the dancers (called Dolls) relationships with their mothers as well. This adds a second layer of positive female role models. Williams says there’s an element of tough love to her teaching style. “They have to understand and appreciate the sacrifices that we all have made for this team,” she says.
Williams says the live show has a much more tangible energy than the television show. While the TV content is as much about relationships and stories as it is about dance, the live show is a performance of skill. In this way, it’s equally appealing to fans of “Bring It!” and dance enthusiasts. The hip-hop majorette style that Williams’ studio cultivates is a mix of traditional majorette dancing and contemporary moves. Majorette historically conjures images of baton-twirling and parade-marching. By incorporating hip hop moves, Williams has taken a more formal, almost rigid, dance style and given it rhythm and flow.
While winning or losing a given competition is a big focus of the “Bring It!” television show, the live show focuses on the technique of the dancers and the confidence of the young women performing. “I’ve always marched to my own drum,” says Williams. “People want me to drive at ten and two, walk in a straight line and tame my hair. I go my own way, and I teach my girls to go their own way too.”