By Al Sullivan, Senior Staff Writer for The Hudson Reporter, November 8, 2018
For High Tech High School sophomore Victoria Caban, competing on NBC’s TV show World of Danceover the summer was a dream come true.
Victoria—who lives in Jersey City and trains at New Jersey Dance Fusion in North Bergen—competed on World of Dance in the junior division. She wowed judges Jennifer Lopez, NE-YO, and Derek Hough with her Flamenco performance to Camila Cabello’s “Havana” in the duels portion of the competition.
“My daughter loved Jennifer Lopez and always wanted to dance for someone famous,” said her mom, Martha Caban.
Victoria said she looks up to Jennifer Lopez because she’s an incredible dancer, singer, and humanitarian, and because she and Lopez share the same Latin roots.
“She’s Puerto Rican and we come from the same country [sic],” she said.
In a junior field with multiple contemporary, ballroom, and hip-hop dancers, her unique flamenco moves gave the judges a taste of something different.
She said flamenco music is unique and she wanted to present it against more popular musical numbers.
Victoria competed through The Cut phase of the show.
Victoria said she originally wanted to take part in the competition to show how different she was, and what flamenco dancers can do.
But because Puerto Rico suffered the ill effects of Hurricane Maria in 2017, she wanted to donate some of the $1 million prize money to help the island if she won.
Victoria received a high score of 90.7 from the judges, who appeared amazed by her fierce and sassy flamenco dance.
For the eight weeks of qualifying rounds, the performers have only had to average 80 points or above to advance to the next round.
Born on February 22, 2003, Victoria began dancing when she was 9 years old. She previously competed on So You Think You Can Dance and has trained with North Bergen-based Kozmic Energy and Pulse Elite. She is currently exploring opportunities to perform internationally.
Victoria has a wide range of talents as a dancer, singer, and actress. She has even worked as a model.
World of Dance is an American reality competition television series, hosted by Jenna Dewan and executive produced by Jennifer Lopez. The series features dance performers, including solo acts and larger groups, representing any style of dance, competing for a grand prize of $1 million.
The series brings the world’s elite dancers together to compete in artistry, precision, and athleticism. Solo dancers compete against duos and crews in an unlimited range of dance, including hip-hop, popping, locking, tap, ballet, break dancing, ballroom, stomping, and more.
The contestants, handpicked from qualifying events around the nation and thousands of online submissions, compete in four divisions.
The competition consists of five rounds: Qualifiers, Duels, The Cut, Divisional Final, and the World Final. In the first four rounds, dancers only compete within their division, but in the World Final, the winners from each division compete against each other for the grand prize.
Victoria, a resident of Jersey City all her life, has been dancing since age nine.
“The talent on the show is very competitive,” Martha said. “But she had an amazing experience being around professional dancers. Jennifer Lopez is one of her idols. As a little girl, Victoria used to mimic her. Now she got to meet her and dance in front of her.”