The world has been obsessed with the new NBC dance competition show, "World of Dance", hosted by Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, Ne-Yo, and Jenna Dewan. The series features the world's best dance soloists, duos and groups of all ages. Unlike talent competition shows such as "America's Got Talent" or "SYTYCD" that allow anyone off the street to audition, "World of Dance" only features dancers with extensive training, a significant reputation and passion for their art.
Two of these professionals that have emerged from the competition are Sean Lew and Kaycee Rice, aged 16 and 15 years old.
They competed as a duo on the show, and blew both the judges and the audience out of the water with Sean's detailed choreography and their ability to work together to achieve the desired effect for the audience. Although they were eliminated during the Division Finals, they left a lasting impression on all who saw them perform, both live and online.
I have been following both Sean Lew and Kaycee Rice on social media for a year or two now (they have raked up millions of followers collectively), and have loved seeing them dance individually. They both have striking stage presence, clean technique and maturity well beyond their years. When I saw the announcement that they would be competing together on "World of Dance", I was ecstatic. From what I had seen of their solo performances in competitions and master classes, I thought their styles would mesh well together...
...and I was so right!
Week after week, Sean and Kaycee told a story through connecting their two bodies and making one cohesive unit. The first week of the competition, they stunned the world with a routine to "Silence" by Marshmello feat. Khalid, telling a beautiful story of trust, reliance and allowing people into a deeper part of yourself. Other performances by Sean and Kaycee on the show included a technically intricate pop/lock hip-hop routine, a stunning contemporary piece about a hopeless love, and a captivating fusion dance complete with complicated lifts and on-stage rain. They truly covered all their bases through the course of the competition.
Sean and Kaycee are equally as amazing in class together as they are on stage. Sean brings freaky fast footwork and deep, controlled flows while Kaycee offers a more energetic, light-hearted approach to choreography. Together, they create a beautiful dichotomy of energy and grace, difficulty and simplicity. They both give 110% percent in every class they take or teach, which has motivated many dancers that follow them, both children and adults, to work hard and achieve their level of skill and professionalism.
As mind-blowing as their performances are, Sean and Kaycee are amazing for reasons far exceeding their technical talent.
Both dancers can frequently be seen at charity events such as "iDance4ACure" and "Pray for Paloma". They are always encouraging their followers to be themselves regardless of any outside pressures to do otherwise. They speak from personal experience, and are icons for maintaining individuality in a career that seems to push people to be "dance robots". Kaycee's clothing brand, labeled "Weirdo Apparel", is a testament to her commitment to remaining herself amidst all her new-found fame.
Both Sean and Kaycee are insanely talented in areas other than dance. Sean graduated high school at just 15 years old, is an award-winning chef, and is musically talented as both a singer and pianist. He also edits many of his own videos. Kaycee has years of acting experience, and apparently, a ridiculously high pain tolerance as she auditioned for "America's Got Talent" with a broken foot!
Although the dynamic duo stays constantly busy with brand deals and TV appearances, they keep their friendship a priority. They have recorded many an interview in which they state their love and appreciation for each other, which explains why they dance so cohesively.
They are life partners both on and off the dance floor; something that not many performers can experience.
There are more than enough reasons to love Sean and Kaycee individually, but put them together, and they're basically superhuman. On and off stage, they set the example for what a well-rounded artist should be: diverse, motivated, and true to themselves.
(Also, if you haven't seen Sean's birthday tribute video to Kaycee, you should. It's adorable.)