"Our aim is to keep the circle of inspiration going": NBC's 'World of Dance' season 2 winners, The Lab, talk about second chances and spreading love
The Lab's Kea Peahu and Logan Edra spill the beans on just how in it to win it they were on their second time in the hit reality show, World of Dance.
The world of dance is a crazy, inspiring place. Full pun intended as not only does it apply in general, but also on NBC's hit show by the same name, 'World of Dance'. While the first season of the show garnered massive popularity right from its very onset, the second season proved to be even more challenging, thrilling, and especially inspiring - particularly because of this one group of teeny-tiny tots, called The Lab, aka your 'World of Dance' season 2 winners!
As a group of fifteen, the dancers in the group are believed to be brimming with individual strengths and potential; they all have their own talents and come with their own share of firm conviction that drove them throughout the second season, after their very successful stint in the first season. And even after getting eliminated from the first installment of the show last year, this time they came back stronger, better, and with a lot more positivity. As is clear - that's what it takes to win. With the aim to spread the same love they hold for dance in the world, and to continue to inspire everybody with their art, Kea Peahu and Logan Edra of The Lab shared with MEAWW what it takes to be just 'normal kids with dreams and aspirations.' Here are certain excerpts of their conversation with us:
Firstly - big congrats on winning the second season of World of Dance! How are you guys feeling?
Kea: Thank you so much! To know that we won it's really indescribable how excited we were. Really, I don't even know if excited is the feeling, like - I can't even comprehend it. When we found out, I didn't even realize if it was real or not. I was just so grateful for everybody that's been there just for the position and opportunity that we've been getting.
Logan: Once we found about our win - which was crazy - personally, I just got a flashback of all the memories of our journey, going through my head.
Did you always see it coming or was this unexpected?
Kea: Back in season 1, we didn't know what to expect going into the competition. But for season 2, we wanted to go in to win. That was our intention. And I feel like that drive is what helped us soar through the competition. We didn't see it coming as in like we're the winners, but more like we were just so confident in what we were doing, so as long as we gave out our best performance, it's always a win for us.
You guys were the highest scoring junior team in season 1 already; what led to coming back for another season on World of Dance?
Logan: We felt like when we were eliminated in the third round of season one, obviously, we were devastated. So sad that the journey had to come to an end. Going into season 2 we honestly just wanted redemption for what we hadn't showcased yet in season 1. And everything happens for a reason and we truly believed in that. So we went in this time way more confident, wanting to take the win and just with a more mature and winning mindset.
Did you feel more pressured?
Kea: Yes, we definitely felt more pressured because obviously the judges kind of had higher expectations from us, as well as the audience. They had seen us in season 1. So, yes - it was a lot more challenging. But we did try to come back. We were a lot more prepared so our aim was to make each set and each performance better. Each time we performed, we knew we had to surprise them. So as long as each performance got better, each round, we knew we were good. We just had to escalate through the competition. We just had to up the tricks, the style, featuring ore individuals, telling a story - we just had to level up.
What was it like once you went out in the real world with your stardom? Did it feel weird?
Logan: Yes, it was super weird than what we're used to, you know - cause we're not kids who are famous. We are just normal kids. The only difference is our aspirations and dreams, and as soon as we were able to accomplish that dream, the feedback from all of our supporters and fans just coming up to us in public was very surprising and different from what we're used to, but also very humbling. It just goes on to show that even a little kid that's 8 or 10 years old can inspire anyone else.
You also had five more members this time; what led to that? Did it take time for you guys to adjust or was it a smooth flow?
Kea: We felt that 10 was good, but we thought that it would be even better to add five more because it would make us more powerful. And each individual on the team has their own talent so adding five more such individuals would add more talent and make it even more powerful.
Logan: It was definitely a different adjustment; there were more kids - younger ones as well, one of them is 8 and another is 10 so that was definitely an adjustment. But to be completely honest, it was almost like a perfect fit. They were just able to fit in and we all just got along, naturally. I feel like one of our strength is we create such a family atmosphere. So, anyone who steps n the studio, we welcome them with open arms, no matter where they come from - or who they are or what age they are.
How does it feel to see judges get so emotional after every performance you deliver?
Logan: It's an honor to see someone who has been through so much - not only in the entertainment industry - but someone who has accomplished a lot, to see them touched by our performance is such a win for us. Our aim is just to inspire others, no matter who they are, and to be able to inspire the judges is just great. Seeing them get emotional - especially JLo after our last performance was insane!
If you had to choose one most memorable performance, which one would it be and why?
Kea: Personally, all are special to me, but if I had to pick one, it would be 'Waiting on The World to Change' - that was the last set that we did. The story told made me emotional myself because it was able to inspire not only me but so many others too.
Logan: Personally, the last one we did. Mostly because it was the last time us performing on that stage together - so it was super emotional! We had already done everything, so for the last one all we had to care about was being in the moment and enjoying it and really taking everything in.
Tell us a little bit about the preparation process for your final performance. How did you guys decide on the theme and the song? What made you go for such an emotional number?
Logan: Going into season 2, we had to go in with a better strategy. As the weeks went on, we had to escalate, we had to get better each week. We had to different and add variety. So the purpose for our last set was not just to be emotional, but also to spread a message: there has been a lot going on in the world so we wanted to stress on how spreading love can really make things a lot better. How significant love and kindness can be in human life. And we wanted to showcase that through dancing, on such a platform so it was the perfect combination.
You are also such a variety of people assorted in one tight-knit group. How did The Lab come to be? Who started it?
Logan: From what I've heard - The Lab was started by Valerie Ramirez and it started in a garage and this was way before I was even born. So it's a huge group of around 50 members and some of them have been with The Lab for a really long time. So we all train together, and our group of 15 were the ones that were decided to go for the TV show.
Tell us a little bit about your rehearsal routine. Was it more intense this time on World of Dance than the previous season?
Kea: We mentioned how we were a lot more prepared going in this time, but that wasn't just in terms of expectations. We prepared a lot more training wise too. We knew how hard we had to work just to make it farther along. We trained with the new members, which was different, but not as much We worked out more, we had longer rehearsals, daily. Which went on from 8 to 12 hours.
Logan: So we made sure we were prepared interview-wise, we were clean, we had better tricks, we were in shape, and we even went on a diet for the show! And it really paid off cause we only had three to five days to prepare a whole routine.
What was being mentored by Ne-Yo like?
Logan: It was amazing! I feel like we were mentored by all of them, but being mentored by him - especially because he has kids of his own - so I could feel that he genuinely wanted us to succeed and send that message to inspire other kids.
Kea: Oh yeah, Ne-Yo - he's a bomb judge! He's such a nice judge, so his honest opinions truly helped us! But he also says it in like a mean way. (giggles). But we love all three judges.
Logan: Yeah, we can't have a favorite, we love all of them.
What has been the biggest challenge on the journey for you?
Logan: Oh man, there were a lot of challenges. Like one of the biggest ones we had was to balance school - and getting enough sleep so our bodies don't shut down. But also making sure making sure we had enough time to practice, train, and rehearse. Another one was dealing with each other. (giggles.) We spent every hour of every day with each other, so we had to make sure our chemistry was still there so we could deliver our performances. Another one - which is one of the biggest ones - was getting over the fears we had for tricks and jumps and so on in our performances. Like the props and dive, and jumps - a lot of times they were scary! And while they were scary, they were also special because that showed a huge amount of growth in all of us.
What would you say is the best part about winning on such a huge platform?
Kea: Now that we're done with it, what's really awesome is that we'll get to travel!
How did dancing happen to you? Was it always on the cards for you
Kea: I started dancing when I was 3 years old. That was when I did ballet and stuff. At four, I started hip-hop. I moved to Cali when I was 7, which was mostly to act, but I always had this passion for dancing so that's when The Lab happened.
Logan: My main style is breaking - that's breakdancing. And that happened genuinely because I saw a girl doing it and she was teaching it and that was so inspiring and rare because mostly, men are the ones who take up this style. So us in The Lab as a whole - our mantra is to inspire others, just like how I was inspired by the girl who was teaching breakdancing. We wanna do the same for other people to keep the circle of inspiration going.
What's next after winning World of Dance season 2? Any upcoming projects you're thrilled/excited about?
Logan: I guess it's already started today - I mean, we had a bunch of press today and it's been crazy. Something we're not used to, but we're probably going to have to get used to. We're really excited about the opportunities, performances, and hopefully going on tour! We're really looking forward to meet and greets, and also a lot of traveling!