Expressenz Dance Center Team Competes on NBC’s “World of Dance”
Writer: Nicole Sipe
Photos Provided by NBC World of Dance & Expressenz Dance Center
The dancers at Expressenz Dance Center in Indianapolis leap, step and dance with the best of them. Now, they are showing off their moves for a national audience as they compete in NBC’s “World of Dance” competition.
“Everyone was so happy to be on the show,” says Karla Curatolo, owner and director of Expressenz Dance Center.
Eight dancers, ranging in age from 14 to 17 years old, make up the dance team that represents Expressenz on the show. Six of the eight dancers live in either Carmel or Zionsville, while the other two live in Indianapolis and Brownsburg.
During the competition, the dancers perform ballet-influenced contemporary dance routines for a panel of judges, which include Jennifer Lopez, musician and dancer Ne-Yo and professional dancers Derek Hough and Jenna Dewan. Expressenz is competing in the Junior Team division against four other teams.
Curatolo says it all started when a producer for “World of Dance” first sought out the dancers.
“A producer contacted us after seeing some of our routines on social media and invited us to an audition in Chicago,” Curatolo says. “We then had another casting audition before being contacted that we had been selected to compete on the show.”
The dancers so far have made it through the qualifier round of the competition. Now they will advance to the next round of the competition, called The Duels.
“We performed the [contemporary] dance ‘Something in the Water’ for the qualifier round,” Curatolo says. “We are excited about our next performance. We worked really hard to apply the judges’ critiques and really bring it for the next round of the competition.”
The dance team, which has been performing together for six years, is used to working hard. They train six days a week and together have won six national titles.
“We wanted to challenge ourselves and compete against the best of the best in the world,” Curatolo says.
Competing on a televised stage is a dream come true for the team, and the dancers are reveling in the experience.
“We have loved the opportunity to be in California and to get to see what it’s like to dance on television,” Curatolo says. “We have met some amazing people, made some great connections and hope that we put Indiana on the map for dance.”
Whether or not Expressenz takes home the top prize on “World of Dance,” Curatolo says that simply the experience of being on the show has been transformative for the dance team.
“It means everything to us,” Curatolo says. “It kind of feels like a dream come true, and we are living some sort of fairytale. Opportunities like this don’t come around that often, especially coming from Indiana, but it has been an amazing adventure.”
World of Dance airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on WTHR.