By Kharisma McIlwaine
The unscripted TV series “Bring It!” Has been making waves on the Lifetime Network since 2014. The show highlights the life of The Dancing Dolls, a nationally recognized competitive dance group. The Dancing Dolls were founded in 2001 by Dianna Williams, affectionately known as Miss D or Coach D. From their inception, they have grown into one of the nation’s best-known dance troupes. With hundreds of trophies and 15 major championships to be recognized, The Dancing Dolls continues to make its mark in the dance world.
Coach D and The Dancing Dolls are currently on a nationwide tour in 28 cities with âBring It! Live the Dance Battle Tour. Williams spoke with the SUN to resume the show on the road, to compete, to set an example for girls and his plans for the future.
Williams fell in love with dancing when he was just 4 years old. She cultivates her love for dance while studying. She is well acquainted with ballet, modern, jazz, belly dancing and tap dancing. She continued to hone her craft and performance through cheerleaders, exercise team, majorettes and twirlers and was both vice president and choreographer of the Jackson Association for Majorettes, and creator. costume for the Jackson State University Twirlers at his alma mater, Jackson State University. . Her love for dance and the shining example of leadership she saw in her grandmother ultimately led Miss D to become Coach D.
âI’ve been around children for as long as I can remember,â she said. âI started The Dancing Dolls at the age of 21. My grandmother had a daycare called Pied Piper Playhouse where she raised young African American children from the community. She started this business in the late 1960s, at a time when African Americans weren’t really starting businesses, leaving an African-American woman to be the boss and in charge. So I grew up watching my grandma with this business and I said you know what at one point in my life I’m going to be working with kids. My mother welcomed and adopted childrenâ¦ it was right in me.
The “Bring it on!” Highlights the world of competitive dance battles. Williams spoke about the niche The Dancing Dolls has carved out of the dance world.
âThe Dancing Dolls have created this competitive lifestyle where we mix hip-hop and cheerleader,â she said. âThey’re up against other teams where there’s a face-off. It’s a breathtaking dance battle and there’s a lot of entertainment value that goes with it. It’s a lot of fun and it’s unique in every way.
Fans of the show can’t wait to see the preparation of the dancers as well as the exciting showdowns between the competition on each episode. The competition element will certainly be present in the âBring It! Live tour too. Williams spoke about the differences between their experiences on the show and their experiences on the road.
âEverything is different! On the show there is plot and there is editingâ¦ you don’t hear real music on TV,â she said. âOn tour they can’t edit me! They can’t change the music and it’s a live, direct, close and personal view. I’m lucky to be really just me. Now I’m me on TV, yes I am. amâ¦ but in real life I’m a completely different individual. You know when you date different people who are your friends, or when you talk to them on the phone, but when you date in person they are completely different people â¦ It’s me all day. I’m a lot of fun in person!
“Bring it on! Live” wowed audiences across the country on three national tours. The fourth tour promises to give audiences more of what they love, as well as a few surprises. Williams shared his excitement to be on the road for the fourth time and gave a glimpse of what the public can expect.
âIt’s actually surreal,â she said. âAfter the very first tour, we didn’t know what to expect. We knew we had a great product when it comes to the team itself, but even the team turns into a TV show and the TV show turns into a tour, it’s amazing! Now we are entering our 4th year of touring the country.
âI would say just get ready for the greatest rock concert you’ve ever attended in your life,â Williams continued. âPut on comfortable shoes and get ready to dance. We do not know whether or not you will be one of those who will stand out! This year’s dance battle tour is exactly what it saysâ¦ it’s a dance battle where the audience is drawn in and they compete. Our fans really go there. It’s so much fun coming to âBring It Live! Visit. âNot only do you have the chance to see your favorite Dancing Dolls, but you can also listen to me roasting like I’m on Def Comedy Jam. Then you have the opportunity to be the entertainment You buy your ticket for entertainment and the crowd ends up being the entertainmentâ¦ go figure.
Williams doesn’t take for granted the opportunities given to him to be a blessing to many. Although she fought through her own challenges to get to where she is today, she shared her gratitude for being able to be a source of encouragement to others.
âThere are days when I said, ‘I can’t do this’, but I have to remember why I’m doing it in the first place and who is watching me and depending on me,â she said. âJust like Tyler Perry said at the BET Awardsâ¦ dreamers’ dreams are connected with so many other people. So many other people’s dreams are about what you do and who you are. It is important for me to remember that I inspire so many people and people rely on me to give them an inspiring word or quote. Ever since I started the Dancing Dolls, even before I started the TV show, I have always prayed. Some people come to the show to receive this word because we always pray before the show. You never know how much the little things you say and do impact the lives of others.
Dianna Williams and The Dancing Dolls will continue to inspire and entertain the masses. In addition to the show and the live tour, Coach D has his hands full with a number of other endeavors. She currently has an Emoji available for purchase in the Apple Store (which shows her having her infamous drop from death), a book, a Coach D Barbie doll and she recently signed a collaboration agreement with a large makeup line. The tour continues to help her build her personal platform and she encourages The Dancing Dolls to follow suit.
âBring On! Live The Dance Battle Tourâ will be in Philadelphia for one night only on Thursday, July 11. Visit: www.kimmelcenter.org for more information on tickets and schedules. To follow Coach D, follow her on Instagram @ mrs_d2u and @i_am_diana on Twitter.