As celebrity judges watch every move, nervous parents perform with their talented kids in this multi-dimensional and surprisingly emotional Family Dance Competition.
By John Lavitt
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 04-20-2022
On Friday, April 15, CBS premiered a new dance competition series hosted by eight-time Grammy Award Winner Philip Lawrence and judged by celebrity dancers Dexter Mayfield, Jenna Dewan, and Tricia Miranda. From Creators and Executive Producers Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J, and 3 Ball Productions, the show features talented kid dancers performing with their amateur parents in front of a live audience. Indeed, each kid chose one parent to join them in the competition for $100,000, and the obsessive dance parents suddenly have something completely new to obsess over.
With a surprising emotional resonance and moving expressions of familial love and support (mainly from the kids to their hapless parents), “Come Dance With Me” is a fine addition to the reality competition pantheon. After all, there is nothing quite like watching kids suddenly become the parent as the untrained parents enter their world. Despite significant efforts and impressive results, none of the definitely-trying-their-best parents can match their kids’ inspiring moves and refined abilities. Still, as you watch the back and forth during rehearsals of many of the thirteen teams of parent-child combos, the dedication and the love of the family members shines bright.
Revealing a sweet sensitivity and generous kindness, GRAMMY Award-winning songwriter Philip Lawrence is the perfect host. Lawrence’s successful recording project with Bruno Mars, 24K Magic, swept the renowned awards show by winning Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, Best R&B Album, and Best R&B Performance. However, besides his musical success that began with The Smeezingtons, a legendary songwriting and record production team, Philip Lawrence is a five-time Father of the Year winner with a bevy of happy kids in his home. Bringing such quality to the table, he connects and empathizes with the kids and their parents after each performance.
Undoubtedly, the kids and their parents need support when such an impressive celebrity dance panel critiques them. The judges include one of Hollywood’s most prolific dancers and actresses, Jenna Dewan; professional celebrity dancer Dexter Mayfield; and renowned hip hop choreographer Tricia Miranda. Although they are kind and supportive in their critiques, they are not in their seats to hold back. While often celebrating the high-flying talents of the kids, they also point out the obvious deficiencies of the parents. Indeed, you must be a brave Dance Mommy or Daddy to come on this show!
Ultimately, “Come Dance With Me” is a pleasure to watch because it effectively balances emotion with entertainment. Indeed, as an enthusiastic host with expert eyes, Philip Lawrence provides a barometer that keeps the show moving forward with precision. Yup, it looks like the CBS Network and Paramount+ have a Spring hit. Let’s just hope with an empathetic smile that these bedraggled parents can keep up with their gifted prodigies as the season progresses.