One young New Jersey dancer is moving on in NBC’s dance competition show World of Dance, thanks to a flexible routine that earned him a standing ovation from all three judges.
Nick Daniels, 18, a Ventnor, N.J., native, appeared on World of Dance this week, performing his dance along to One Republic’s “Secrets” for judges Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, and Derek Hough. Daniels’ performance focused on his talent for body-bending maneuvers, leaving Ne-Yo convinced that Daniels has the “It Factor” a performer needs to succeed.
“If I ever wanted to know what contemporary looked like without the use of bones, I do now,” Ne-Yo added. “That’s why they call it the ‘It Factor,’ because you can’t really put a finger on exactly what it is. But I can put a finger on the fact that you have it.”
Daniels, who previously appeared on seasons three and four of Dance Moms, first began dancing as a young boy at Encore! Performing Arts Center in Egg Harbor Township, a studio that belongs to his mother, Donna. As Hollywood Life notes, Daniels now lives in Miami, Fla, where he trains at Stars Dance Studio alongside coaches Angel Armas and Victor Smalley.
As Daniels told the judges, his performance took place on the birthday of his late father, Joe Daniels, a landscaper and Atlantic City police officer. Daniels’ father passed away following a battle with cancer three years ago, with the young dancer saying his performance was in honor of his father.
“I feel like this dance was dedicated to him,” Daniels said. “Just not being upset anymore and releasing all the negativity [his death] has brought to me.”
Daniels moved on in the competition with high marks from the judges: 89 from Lopez, 87 from Hough, and 85 from Ne-Yo.
Daniels also detailed the stretching program that makes him so flexible, telling Access Hollywood that he started stretching nightly as a kid and was “born with natural open hips”:
World of Dance airs at 10 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC.