Magic-based ABDC filled with performance lessons

February 13th, 2009 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General

In case you missed it, MTV has posted the most recent episode of “America’s Best Dance Crew,” which aired last night. The magic-themed episode featured stage illusionist, designer and mastermind Franz Harary.

Each crew had to incorporate a magic effect into their performance that night. Whether you’re into poppin’ and lockin’ or not, this episode is chock full of advice and tips you can use for your performance. Consider these observations:

  • Beat Freaks, the first group, was easily the best performance of the night, because their entire routine was structured around the levitating ball. Unlike the other groups, who danced for a bit then did their magic, the ball never left the stage. The judges gave great reactions.
  • With all due respect to certain magicians who have great disdain for “mouth garbage,” Quest Crew showed the value of a good story or narration. It’s one thing to impale someone as an effect, but quite another to show a creative reason for the effect.
  • Even though they didn’t get eliminated, the Fly Khicks had the worst magical performance of the night. Note that the judges said portions of the group’s routine outshined the magic.
  • What a difference a twist can make. Instead of a person just appearing from thin air, Dynamic Edition’s take on the trick was a good spin and related to the group’s performance.
  • Though the walking through a person effect was cool, the Strikers All-Stars didn’t incorporate it into a cohesive routine. Also, one of them whipped out a flaming wallet. Why?

At Ellusionist, we’ve always wanted you to succeed as a magician and meet your performance goals, whether you’re a hobbyist or an aspiring professional. We’ve released a lot of cool stuff over the last few months, but what really makes these effects pop is YOUR presentation. The biggest lesson that came from last night’s show is that performing a simple effect is not enough. You must take into consideration everything that goes around it, and how you use it. That applies whether you’re on a reality TV show or performing for friends at school.

What did you think about the episode? Discuss it in the Ellusionist Forums.


  1. New blog post: Magic-based ABDC filled with performance lessons

  2. How did the beat freaks do that trick?

  3. When I contacted them and asked them that very question, this is what they said:

    “Very well, thank you.”

  4. How did the Strikers All Stars do their trick? I still can’t figure it out!

  5. I saw the QuestCrew performance although I didn’t know the whole episode contained magic… or else I would have watched all of it.
    The story line of the piece was good, and the impaling at the end made sense (though it could have been executed smoother but good for their time spent!) but I really liked the appearance of the money early on.

  6. Oh and I can’t get this video to play on IE, Firefox or Chrome. Could just be me though.

  7. rickhenderson on:

    Ok.Yes, I’m a dance geek AND magic geek.
    Thanks @ellusionist.

  8. Tanie Wczasy on:

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.