Ally Love Shares 4 Twists That Set ‘Dance 100’ Apart From Other Competitions

'Dance 100' host Ally Love
Tom Dymond/Netflix

Netflix‘s Dance 100 takes the most fun part of So You Think You Can Dance (the high-energy group numbers) and combines it with the plot-twist heavy format to which fans of Netflix reality shows have grown accustom.

The competition series — premiering with all six episodes on Friday, March 17 — makes choreographers the contestants and a company of 100 dancers (the Dance 100) the judges and jury, flipping the script on the usual power dynamic of the world of professional dancing. Hosted by popular Peloton instructor Ally Love (also a dancer), the series hopes to be your next competition obsession.

It starts off with eight choreographers, most of them specializing in the kind of hip-hop seen at the Super Bowl Halftime Show and world tours (some of the contestants have toured with the likes of Ariana Grande and Justin Timberlake).

Each episode, they’re given a theme and a prompt for their pieces, starting with a number that shows off their unique personalities and artistic styles. Other challenges demand props and other requirements, with each production piece growing in cast size every time a contestant makes it to the next round.

Only a few choreographers will make it to the finale in which they’ll produce a number featuring all 100 of the professional dancers. On the line is a $100,000 grand prize and the honor of being named the “best choreographer in the world,” Love tells TV Insider.

The hopeful winners must get enough votes from the Dance 100 to make it to the next challenge, but that proves difficult in the face of constant twists meant to reflect the high-intensity, fast-paced nature of the professional dance industry. One constant: the company’s talent.

“None of the show is about how the Dance 100 couldn’t perform or couldn’t level up,” Love states. “That was never a question. Every dancer came correct.”

Here, Love breaks down the four key elements of Dance 100 to TV Insider, explaining why dancers and non-dancers alike will want to come along for the ride.

Dance 100, Series Premiere, Friday, March 17, Netflix

Brandi Chun in Netflix's 'Dance 100'
Courtesy of Netflix

1. The Dancers Are the Judge & Jury

As a result, some members of the Dance 100 start to stand out. Impressing the company isn’t only about the final product, but also the way one runs rehearsals. Dancer treatment will affect dancer opinions, and some make their opinions very clear.

“Dancers are often seen, not heard,” Love says. “I think that was a shift that needed to happen. And it started within the first episode.”

Love calls out to the dancers in the balcony after each number to get feedback for the contestants. Some “are just keen on giving their feedback, and it’s proper feedback,” she says.

“As we spent more time with each other, the dancers got more comfortable in their position and owning their power, like, ‘I get to decide your fate. I’m not weaponizing that, but also when I walk into rehearsal, you have to take me seriously,'” she adds.

Host Ally Love in 'Dance 100' Episode 2 on Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

2. Love Keeps People in Check

As a host, Love was careful to choose her words wisely so as not to influence company opinion. Rehearsals, as dancers well know, can get messy. But a poorly run rehearsal room isn’t part of the elimination criteria, per se. Love is there to remind the cast and audience of that during judging time.

“I said, ‘Whose performance do you think was the best?’ Not ‘who is the best person,’ or ‘who do you think is the best?'” she makes clear. “Nothing to [conflict with the performance], because whether we like it or not — and again, the beauty of reality TV is that — there is an emotional layer of working with a choreographer. You can fall out of love with their choreography just because you don’t like the choreographer anymore.”

Love steers feedback in the right direction by subtly reinforcing the episode-specific criteria.

Akira Armstrong, Rex Kline, Max Pham Nguyen, Brandi Chun, Celine Edmondson, Janick Arseneau, Rudy Garcia, Keenan Cooks in season 1 of 'Dance 100' on Netflix

3. Eliminations Vary by the Episode

The choreographers weren’t told in advance what elimination twists awaited them. The contestants and viewers know the basic premise (someone’s cut each round), but beyond that, expect surprises around every corner.

“For us to create a show that’s dynamic, we needed to apply pressure in some ways. And that’s exactly what we did,” the Peloton star explains. “Some of the choreographers loved me for it, and some of them didn’t love me for it. All of them loved me, but some of them were like, ‘Here we go again with this nonsense, Ally Love!'”

What these artists churn out in the short time they have will show “what it takes to be a dancer,” the host says.

“You have to deal with a lot of different personalities when you are gigging. That’s why we switch up the dancers,” she continues. “You don’t just get the same dancers and create alliances. It’s just like a real gig.”

From start to finish, Love says the series “uncovers what happens behind the stage” of your favorite live performances.

Celine Edmondson in Netflix's 'Dance 100'
Tom Dymond/Netflix

4. Rehearsals Aren't Safe From Plot Twists

All of the elimination twists are seen on camera, but what’s not shown is the abrupt changes made in rehearsals. For the first episode, Love says each group had about one week to learn the routine as everyone got accustomed to the process. Just how much time did the increasingly growing groups get to practice?

“It would vary, but the most transparent answer is not enough time,” the host teases.

A contestant could think they have two days to prep, but then Love would come in and announce their rehearsal time was being cut in half. This was implemented to reflect industry standards.

“Imagine Rihanna comes in and she sees [Parris Goebel’s, Rihanna’s frequent collaborator] choreography and she’s like, ‘Well, we go on in three days, Parris, and I don’t like this part.’ What is Parris gonna say, ‘Well, suck it up, RiRi. Do it anyway’? No,” Love describes. “The game is whatever she wants, we figure out. So it’s kind of the same concept. We wanna apply some of those real-life pressures so we know that whoever these dancers say is the best, you know is the best, because they’ve been put under the same pressure that they would experience on set in any capacity with any artists or any performance.”

“That unique intersection of all those things is what makes this special,” she adds. “And I think dancers and non-dancers alike will respect that.”