Entertainment

Thanks to Jennifer Lopez, Lee’s Summit’s Blake Piatczyc squeaks by on ‘World of Dance’

Blake Piatczyc of Lee’s Summit (far left), and his Miami All Stars dance team listened to feedback from celeb judges Jennifer Lopez, NeYo and Derek Hough on “World of Dance” Tuesday.
Blake Piatczyc of Lee’s Summit (far left), and his Miami All Stars dance team listened to feedback from celeb judges Jennifer Lopez, NeYo and Derek Hough on “World of Dance” Tuesday.

And on the second episode, NBC said, “Let there be Blake!”

After a widely watched premiere of NBC’s new dance reality show, “World of Dance,” last week, local viewers were left wondering when they could see Lee’s Summit dancer Blake Piatczyc (say it pee-AHT-check).

That moment came during the second episode on Tuesday. That’s when Piatcyzc — a 23-year-old who’s opening a massive dance studio in Lee’s Summit this summer — competed as a member of the Latin ballroom team the Miami All Stars before celebrity judges Jennifer Lopez, NeYo and Derek Hough.

With a high-octane routine set to Lopez’s song “Dance Again!” the All Stars performed just well enough to move on to the show’s next round, making an emotional connection with Lopez along the way:

“There’s an unbridled enthusiasm and passion that you have,” Lopez told the troupe after its performance. “It was why I wanted to be involved in this whole thing — because of routines like that, because of dancers like you.”

And while Lopez praised the complexity of the All Stars’ routine (“there was so much going on, sometimes I didn’t know where to look”), Hough left the team with some constructive criticism:

“I would say there’s tricks in there that I’ve seen before,” Hough said. “I love being surprised. I actually kind of wanted more of that. So just remember that if you make it forward.”

NeYo sounded less enthused: “For me the dynamics weren’t where I feel like this group has the potential to take them. I felt like it was good, it wasn’t great for me, but it was good.”

The mixed results made for a nail-biting judging session. Dancers are scored from 1 to 20 based on five criteria — performance, technique, choreography, presentation and creativity — for a possible high score of 100. Performers need a composite score of at least 80 to move on.

The All Stars — with Piatczyc — just made the cut, tallying a score of 81. (Lopez and Hough both scored the team an 82, Neyo a 79). It was the lowest score of the night.

Now Piatcyzc and viewers must return to the waiting game as “Dance” will continue to air at least two more qualifying episodes. The 10-episode show has 47 competitors and averages six per episode.

“World of Dance” airs at 9 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC.

Aaron Randle: 816-234-4060, @aaronronel

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