It’s 8:57 PM on a Friday night. My boyfriend left me home alone so he could spend some “dude time” with his “bros” and I am sitting on the couch wearing mismatched underclothes with my feet are kicked up on my black coffee table. What’s on my TV? Lifetime’s addictive show “Bring It.” Add some Krave cereal and this is my definition of a great night.
I discovered “Bring It” one week prior. I was too lazy to grab the remote after some show I was watching went off so random programming made its way into my living room. Well hello, “Bring It.” Who was this woman yelling at these children like this? Chile, that’s Dianna “Miss D” Williams (Eye of the Tiger Drill Team from 82-88, a member of the Dancing Dolls Drill Team 89-91 and Captain of the California State Dominguez Hills University Cheerleading Squad from 97-98) and those children are wig snatching, bucking beauties. Founded in 2001, in Mississippi, the Dancing Dolls have a loyal following and are considered the dance troupe to beat at EVERY competition.
“You gon’ sit here and lick your wounds? Or what are you going to do?,” Miss D yells across the rehearsal studio. The girls have a startled look in their eyes–they know it’s time for cuts. Miss D doesn’t play when it comes down to stand battle–if any of the dolls aren’t ready, they won’t perform and it’s as simple as that. It seems harsh, but she’s teaching the girls to be the best and that’s exactly why they’ve won over 25 Grand Champion titles and have more than 200 trophies under their belts.
“Dancing Dolls” brings an interesting dynamic to reality TV. These young girls are disciplined, athletic and able to take criticism. Miss D instills confidence in them that radiates during competition. “Bring It” also exposes the other side of the Black community–the working parent. Aside from Miss D and the girls, “Bring It” highlights the mothers and fathers in the equation–how they stand outside rain, sleet or snow to watch their daughters dance. They’re at every practice, competition and event supporting the squad every way they can. “The parents are the heartbeat of every child. They are the sole support system and every child needs their mom there,” Miss D said.
Tonight is the season finale of “Dancing Dolls” so we caught up with Miss D to see what she has in-store for next year and we can expect from the Dancing Dolls in the future.
HelloBeautiful: How did you get into dancing and how did the Dancing Dolls start?
Miss D: I’ve been dancing for as long as I can remember. The Dancing Dolls started in 2001. It’s an organization that I started on my own after trying out for the dance team at the local college, Jackson State University. After trying out numerous times and not making the team, I decided to start my own dance team. There were several little girls in the city that wanted to learn how to dance, but there was nobody to teach them. So, of course, with me being as vivid and head strong as I am, I took on that task.
HB: Some people say that The Dancing Dolls’ moves are too mature, how would you describe they’re dancing style?
Miss D: The Dancing Dolls style is a mixture of all genres of dance. A lot of people call us hip-hop style majorettes. Majorettes twirl the batons, but the dancing dolls, we don’t use batons but we still use that high-stepping, high-kicking majorette style. We also combine a mix of hip hop, tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern and contemporary. We use every single dance style mixed into what it is that we do. There’s no right or wrong way to dance. A lot of the booty shaking moves started in Jamaica, the Caribbean, Africa. The Hawaiians teach their kids to rotate their hips quickly. These are what some kids are growing up seeing anyway and most cultures are introducing this stuff as a child. It just so happens that my dance team does it in the deep South and it’s going mainstream that it’s being looked at in a different way.
HB: Kayla is the captain. She knows how to lead the team. But, what’s your advice for the girls who want to become captain?
Miss D: Becoming captain of an organization is like becoming CEO of a business. You have to take on the task of doing all the work that is required for your boss. Kayla knows that I have to create choreography, I have to make sure the team is at practice on time. I have to make sure the choreography is taught, I have to make costumes, I have to deal with the parents. In so many words, Kayla has to do the same thing. She’s like a miniature version of me. Being captain of any team, it requires a lot of responsibility, a lot of maturity and a lot of dedication.
HB: When you look for choosing a captain, what are the five traits that have to be there?
Miss D: There’s a variety of things that I look for: leadership skills, dependability, attitude, academic achievement, personality, girls that get along with other girls that they are willing to listen to. You can’t have a weak-minded person lead the team. They have to be able to dance.
HB: With Kayla leavingthe group, who do you see filling her shoes?
Miss D: It’s between two people right now: Tamia and Cameron both have capabilities of taking over the team and taking the team to the next level. But, both Tamia and Cameron, there are pros and cons to both of them. Cameron, I think is an amazing dancer, she has a superb technique and she has a great personality, and the girls love her. But, on the other hand, Tamia has great skills, she also has personality, she’s also very likable, and she’s dynamic on the dance floor as well. They’re equally as strong, but in different ways. So, it’s going to be a tough call.
HB: What’s going to be the deciding factor?
Miss D: To be honest, I can’t really say, you’re just going to have to watch the show.
Tune in to the finale tonight at 9pm on Lifetime, but in the meantime, check out this sneak peek of episode:
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