ELIZABETHTOWN — Some Bladen County dancers had the chance to work with members of the Lifetime network television show “Bring It” recently in Atlanta, Ga., via a summer camp offered by the group.
Some of the members of the group Dancing Dolls and the show’s star “Coach D,” taught during the weekend camp. Ilka McElveen, who chaperoned the group along with several parents, said that in addition to having to concentrate on the instructions from their famous coaches and being in awe of meeting “Coach D” — whose real name is Dianna Williams — they also had to be aware of the Lifetime camera crew who were filming everything taking place for the television show.
The episode featuring the camp is anticipated to air sometime in October, said McElveen.
Tatianna McElveen, her sister Tavonda McElveen, along with Raiyne Miller, Carrington Monroe and Tara Rodgers took part in the weekend-long dance camp. The girls are all members of the Diamond Divas, a local dance group based in Elizabethtown.
“We just started classes on June 1. I started it basically because the girls need more activity. I try to make it affordable and fun,” said McElveen, one of the founders of Diamond Divas.
Three of the young ladies visited the Bladen Journal office recently to talk about their experience at the camp. The girls learned such things as parade routines, field show routines, dance moves and acrobatic moves, such as death drops, splits, flips and back bends.
“I learned to do back bends,” said Miller, who was the youngest of the group.
The camp moved fairly quickly, according to the girls.
“It was very fun and exciting. They taught us (how to do the moves) very slowly, but then we did them very, very fast,” said Tatianna.
The girls were placed into different groups and worked one-on-one with various members of the Dancing Dolls.
“She (Coach D) is not as mean as she seems on TV. She’s very patient,” said Tavonda.
Both Tatianna and Tavonda said that all of the coaches were encouraging, as well as thorough. They said Coach D also made sure that everyone knew how to perform the routines and, if someone performed well, the coaches made certain everyone in the class knew.
Tavonda said that, all totaled, there were about 300 girls who took part in the camp.
McElveen said that once all of the camp participants arrived on Friday, they were divided into groups and immediately began learning routines. On Saturday morning, Coach D issued the bad news to the girls who didn’t make the cut and continued with teaching new moves to those remaining. On Sunday afternoon, the girls performed the routines and dance moves they had learned the prior two days.
“Coach Dianna danced with them as well (on Sunday),” said McElveen.
When asked which member of the Dancing Dolls they each enjoyed meeting and working with, they each had a different cast member who was their favorite. Miller liked working with Tamia—“because she’s nice.” Tatiana liked working with Camryn while Tavonda liked working with Sunjai.
Tavonda added that the coaches took the time to make sure everyone understood how to perform the moves and routines correctly.
McElveen said she learned about the camp while viewing the “Bring It” website.
“I was going on the website to find out information. I was looking for information about where they get their costumes and clicked on the link,” said McElveen.
McElveen said the weekend offered more than just dance moves and routines. She said there were question and answer sessions for the dance coaches and team captains, as well as information about costumes and nutrition for the girls. Each participant received two T-shirts, a certificate and a medal. The cost to attend the camp was $150 per participant.
McElveen said the Diamond Divas is enrolling new girls each week. Currently, McElveen said there are 38 girls currently enrolled with the Diamond Divas. McElveen said her group will make their first public appearance at the Dublin Peanut Festival and they will have a showcase that evening.
If you would like more information about the Diamond Divas or to enroll your child, call 910-824-4364.