Entertainment, Reviews

TV Review: ‘Step It Up’ Episode 1

If you’ve ever watched any big competition episodes of Bring It! on Lifetime, chances are you’ve seen the director of Miami’s YCDT dance team in the audience peeping the Dolls and their moves. It looks like all that sticking around paid off for Traci because Friday night marked the premiere of her show, Step It Up.

Besides Chopped and Shark Tank, I gave up watching reality television. It just doesn’t entertain me like it once did but I think Step It Up is one show that I can actually watch every week. The show is based in Miami and centered around Traci Young-Byron (@Supa_BlackGirl) and her dance company, Young Contemporary Dance Theatre (YCDT).

Let’s get into episode one.

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The episode opens up with Traci sharing how she’s grown her company from just 14 dancers to 100+ and now she’s on the search for new dancers and studio space. During her open audition we get a taste of her personality and how she operates with her students.

Initially her personality turned me completely off. The first young lady that came into the audition was clearly nervous and I felt that Traci didn’t really give her a chance or take into account that it could’ve been her first time in that situation and you have to expect that with an open audition. Dancers with all levels of expertise will come out and you have to be prepared for that. Hell, I would’ve been nervous too if the director was staring at me with a damn bat in her hand!

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Traci goes on to show how YCDT is the real deal as and when she’s asked to send dancers to a talent agency audition and not only does she expose her best five dancers to the agents, they ended up signing one more than they told her that they would. I particularly loved the way she prepared the dancers for the audition. If there’s one lesson I wish I would’ve mastered at an earlier age, it would be learning how to handle rejection and take responsibility for those times I failed because of my own lack of planning or hard work. That’s what she’s teaching them and it’s great.

As the episode progressed, I understood better why Traci is the way that she is and I get it. She grew up in Liberty City, a rough neighborhood in Miami, and many of her students come from the same background. She even said in the episode that she’s going to do all that she can to show them that they can get out of the hood…that they don’t have to stay there forever. Her students clearly adore her, it’s obvious in their cast interviews by the way they speak about all she’s done to impact their lives in a positive way. It doesn’t get any better than that.

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So far my favorite dancer is Misha and I don’t really have a specific reason why other than she seems to have a sweet and genuine personality. I don’t want to compare the show to Bring It! (especially because I’m a Jackson, Miss. native) but this is the type of dance I enjoy watching and seeing young people perform. Maybe it’s because I was a dancer myself, but I feel this show has more depth to it. Regardless, Dianna and the Dolls paved the way for Traci to have her show and let’s face it – both teams are good at what they do.

I’m ready to see what happens next week!

Your Turn To Talk…

Did you watch the show? What did you think of it? Do you plan to watch again? Sound off in the comments section below!

Image Credit: Lifetime | MyLifetime.com

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