Miami Studio Wins National Dance Battle Without Getting Crunked

Without fail, every time we're getting down at a club, there's always a hard-core group of dancers, that get up in each other faces until a giant dance battle breaks out. We try to hold back our boyfriend, but he's all "Naw, I can't

let them disrespect." Next thing we know, we're left with whiplash as he

pirouettes into someone's grill. Typical Saturday night at LIV,


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The makers of Step Up 3D, the third installment in underground, street-dancing flicks, recently organized a national dance dub contest, pitting Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta against each other in a vicious dance battle. Leotards were torn; blood was shed. Just kidding, everything went down politely online via YouTube entries.

And although Step Up 3D is set in Gotham City, a Miami studio was awarded the nation's best dance dubbers. And they faced fierce (work it!) competition: New York dance-dubbed all over Times

Square, Los Angeles represented on a movie set, and Atlanta enlisted the

help of steppers. Watch Miami's winning video, set to Flo Rida, after the jump. Brush your shoulders off, 305-ers. All that time in the club finally paid off.

For starters, dance dubs are a popular YouTube meme where people lip sync and dance while the camera pans through various rooms and The contest, sponsored by Step Up 3D, asked studios to create a dance dub to Flo Rida's "Club Can't Handle Me." The winners would get more than respect; they'd get a $7,500 Best Buy gift card.

Focal Point Dance Studio, the only studio representing Miami, was late in finding out about the contest. But even after only four short rehearsals and a one-day shoot at their Kendall studio, Focal Point's director Amanda Tae had a feeling Miami's entry showed the most passion.

"I found out we won early Friday morning (the day the movie came out) and I just my house," she recalls. "I'm sure I woke the neighbors, but it was such an amazing feeling knowing that Miami is finally being recognized for our love and passion for dance."

The dance studio is unique in that dancers are trained not only to "take their talent from the dance floor to the stage," Tae explains, but also to movie sets and music videos. Tae, who trained in dance at New World School of the Arts as well as Sports Management at Florida International University, runs a talent agency alongside the studio.

She has funneled such talent as award-winning choreographers Julien Valme and Ricky Ruiz, Nicole Hellman of Broadway's West Side Story, and Jeanine Mason, who was the season 5 winner of So You Think You Can Dance!.

Focal Point's instructors have also shared stages with A-listers Chris Brown, Missy Elliott, and Britney Spears. Tae hopes that, in bridging the amateur and professional dance worlds, Miami will become "the next mecca of dance, one step, turn, and dance dub at a time."

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