You know how they say a little dose of healthy competition is good for you (or something like that)? Well I for one am a firm believer that that is a very true statement. Competition helps you to be disciplined, to strive for greatness and to personally set high goals for yourself. It is the foundation of so many ventures in our world and we would not be who we are as a country without it. No, this is not a piece on the American work ethic or how to get what you want out of life.
Last night we saw the season three premiere of Bring it, a Lifetime Network reality TV show that “shines a spotlight on the elite world of hip-hop majorette competitions,” and these girls are the epitome of what it means to be competitive. It was cut throat, entertaining and with it taking place in Mississippi, it was country ghetto fabulous.
Bring It is very interesting to me. The thing that stood out first and the most is the dynamic between the coach and the mothers. It is very… weird… unheard of even. I say that because Coach Dianna Williams, a.k.a Miss. D, does not hold back when she talks to these girls. And more than that, she does not hold back when she talks to their mothers either.
Case in point, in the opening scene, Miss. D and the girls, The Dancing Dolls, are prepping for their first competitions of the season against the YCDT Supastarz of Miami, FL, the newcomers from last year that beat their asses. During practice, one of the girls, Zatia, could not keep up with the rest of the team. Her mother, who proclaims that her daughter is the next coming of Beyoncé, does not like how Miss. D does her. When the girls where doing a routine and Zatia could not obviously keep up, she “cut her.” Now the moms are not allowed in the practice. In fact, they have to wait outside the whole time. Tawantza sees that her daughter has been cut and she starts banging, not hitting, BANGING on the door. The other mothers look at her like “oooooh yous in trouble now.” Miss. D comes out asking, “Who is banging on my door.” And that’s where it gets heated. Tawantza says that her daughter should not be cut and that she is just doing what she learned (implying that if she messed up that’s because Miss. D is fucking up). Well Miss. D quickly puts her in her place saying that it is Tawantza’s fault she is messing up and if she “has eyes” she can see that for herself. They go back and forth and the scene ends with… gasp… Zatia being cut from the team all together. Like kicked off, don’t come back, bye, bye cut from the team. Of course her mother is not having this and vows that they will be back.
Here, the other mothers just sat back and watched. None of them took up for Tawantza and her daughter and I thought this too was interesting. Not often do you see black women give up their “oh no you didn’ts” and neck rollings to another black women who speaks to them and their children any way she wants.
“I make the goddamn rules,” Miss D told Tawantza before they left. The other mothers just stood on the other side quiet. Hmmmm.
We saw a lot from the other team as well. Led by Coach Tracy, these girls are fit, pretty and very Miami. She whips them into shape on a daily basis with blurpees every practice and pounding into their heads how much better they are than the others and they need to “Bring it.”
We get a peek into what Miss D and the girls are doing for the competition and she has a whole elaborate dance routine planned which involves the baby dolls (the second and third grade aged girls) and a flamboyant Grace Jones, Tracy look alike played by one of her male choreographers.
On this episode we also got to look into Kayla’s life. As the captain of the Dancing Dolls, she holds a big responsibility. I will point out here that she is not the fittest or the smallest of the girls. In fact, she could stand to lay off the burgers and do some planks. But that aside, it is refreshing to see her drive, her dedication and her dancing. The girl can move and has a big heart.
One of the major scenes from last night was the meeting before the meeting. Coach Tracy and her girls actually showed up to the Dancing Dolls studio unannounced. The mothers saw them getting off that damn bus and again where like “oooooh ya’lls in trouble now.” One of them ran and told Miss D who came out with the girls to confront them. Tracy said something about their spot being “cute” and was then immediately told to vacate the premises. But before she did, a call and response type thing happened where she said “Is she mad” and her girls as one big choir said “or nah” and pranced off.
This scene in particular really made me think about how we raise our girls to be petty and catty. First of all, I think the whole damn thing is catty. I mean these girls are working their butts to the bones to beat the other team and these coaches are treating it like it’s the damn NBA championship. The way that these women interact shows their girls that it is acceptable behavior and I hate to see them in their Divine Nine organizations at their HBCU’s one day.
The two coaches really talked a lot of trash to each other and to the cameras and the time to “show and prove” finally came. The girls battled each other and it was all good… until the Superstarz went to do their lift. Needless to say, they fell. While some of the Dancing Dolls moms cheered, others gasp in horror and motherly concern. Coach Tracy screamed from the sidelines, “keep going, keep going.” The Dancing Dolls finale went off just as planned and they were awarded that well deserved trophy. So um yea, Coach Tracy had to eat all of her words.
Bring It, for the most part, is probably one of the more positive reality shows on TV today. We will definitely see what Miss Dee and their girls have in store for next week and the weeks to come. Miss D has no problem she didn’t come from a pretty past as she did porn movies to support herself at one point, and she works really hard to make sure her girls don’t follow down her earlier path. She instills in them that live isn’t just one big handout, it’s working hard for what you want rather than let other people beat you down to feel your not worthy of your dreams. Dance Moms could learn many valuable lessons from these girls and Miss D.