While “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars” have taken winners and fan favorites on tour following successful runs or seasons, few non-competition reality shows ever make the leap from small screen to live stage.
But Lifetime’s “Bring It!” — a behind-the-scenes look at a competitive hip-hop majorette team from Jackson, Miss., called the Dancing Dolls, and its larger-than-life coach Dianna “Miss D” Williams — isn’t your average reality show. It’s not a competition-based show, but it does revolve around a competitive dance team and the resulting drama, work and sisterhood. So it was only natural Lifetime decided to give the girls a chance to strut their stuff for fans of the show on the national stage.
Last summer’s tour was such a hit, “Bring It! Live” is back. Miss D and the girls hit Ovens Auditorium Friday, July 6. The fierce and funny coach spoke to The Observer during tour rehearsals recently about the popularity of the show and what fans can expect from the new tour.
Q. How did you get into coaching?
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When I started the Dancing Dolls in 2001, I was just doing something I love, something I wanted to do to keep kids out of the streets.
Q. What was the team like before the TV series?
Prior to the show, we were prevalent in the community. We did car washes, parades and local competitions, but we weren’t a competition team. We would battle, but not that much. We were a parade team and we traveled to Louisiana, Chicago.
Q. How did you make the team stand out?
I always made them look like the dolls I had as a child with the hair and the makeup. My dolls always had a certain look. They were the pretty girls. They were organized. We aren’t the only Dancing Dolls out there, but our team is the one that’s been the most prevalent.
Q. Were you apprehensive at all about letting cameras into your life?
It doesn’t bother me. I just do my job. I can’t fake me. I’m just being me. I don’t know the cameras are in there unless I back into one. I think that’s one of the best parts about the show is that we just do what we do. For the girls it was strange (at first). They were like, “Why are these people in here?” because if you aren’t a doll, you don’t enter those doors. But it became a family.
Q. The live show isn’t just the routines. The audience gets to see a lot of your personality as well. What can they expect?
Oh, people say I should be a comedian. It’s very interactive. You don’t come and sit in a chair and eat popcorn and leave. If you don’t have snacks and you’re in the front row and you get up to go to the snack bar, I’m going to roast you. The single guys that come to the shows? We have conversations. I’m running down the aisles. I’ll grab someone out of the middle of the crowd. It makes it worse if they tell me no.
Q. Do you have a favorite part in the new show?
The one thing I think everyone will love the most — I don’t want to give it away, but it’s one of my favorite pieces in the show. It’s probably going to bring tears to their eyes.
‘Bring It! Live’
When: 8 p.m. Friday, July 6.
Where: Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd.
Details: 800-745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com.