- Associated Press - Sunday, March 9, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Life doesn’t slow down for Dianna Williams, a dance coach who operates a studio in Jackson. From holding tryouts for her dance teams to working the daily grind of training and mentoring her dancers, it’s a full plate for the owner of Dollhouse Dance Factory.

And after her teams’ work caught the eye of cable television’s Lifetime network, Williams‘ plate is getting much bigger.

The network has begun airing “Bring It!,” a reality series documenting the dancers and coaches at the Jackson studio.

During aired previews of the show, Williams, referred to as Miss D on-camera, takes a no-nonsense approach, pushing her girls to greatness and defending them from any perceived threats.

Sitting inside her immaculate studio recently, the seasoned dance coach is all smiles, thrilled about the opportunities the show can give her girls and exuberant over the chance of a lifetime.

“I’m still the same person I’ve always been off-camera,” she said, adding that already some people are noticing her and her dance teams as being the ones advertised on TV.

Williams wasn’t searching for fame, but a YouTube video of her team performing caught the eye of Lifetime.

The talks for the show, she said, began more than a year ago. After Lifetime signed on to air the series, Williams said the filming began in October. A majority of the filming took place in Jackson at her studio, with some of the show’s promotional materials filmed in a downtown warehouse.

When asked about similar dance reality shows, Williams said “Bring It!” will show a different perspective than other shows out there.

“We love ‘Dance Moms’,” said Williams of the popular dance show already on Lifetime. “But our style is extremely different.”

Describing her studio’s dance styles as “outside the box,” Williams said she teaches cheerleading, jazz, ballet and hip-hop.

Williams said the new show will put a spotlight on the majorette community. “This is the first time I think the world will see this,” she said.

The response of the Jackson community, so far, has been overwhelming, she said.

“The community dance teams, whether it’s mine or anyone else’s, it’s really important to these kids,” she said.

By giving young girls the chance to be involved, Williams said it’s part of a larger goal to get local youth interested in extracurricular activities and to apply themselves.

“It’s an amazing experience for these kids,” said Williams. “They are getting this opportunity of a lifetime.”

Williams said her teams returned from competition in Atlanta last month, had competed in events in Chicago over the summer and have made trips to Memphis and Nashville.

“Boys have their football,” said Williams. “Well, girls want to dance.”


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com

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