Oklahoma teen takes the stage in ‘World of Dance’ national competition

TULSA, Okla. – An Oklahoma teenager says he had only a week to prepare to be sent into the spotlight on a nationally-televised dance competition.

Matthew Elliott was always athletic and was involved in soccer, basketball and karate. But when he started dancing when he was 7-years-old, he realized that he found his calling.

“It’s not only athletic and a sport but it’s also an art form that you can really get creative in and be yourself,” Elliott told KJRH. 

Last year, Elliott took a master dance class from a Los Angeles-based choreographer and the leader of the dance group ‘Embodiment.’

“He was like, ‘I need another guy for this group. We need to do it really quickly. ‘ So I didn’t have much time to think. And I was like, this is a chance of a lifetime,” Elliott said.

The 17-year-old is now part of the all-male contemporary dance group ‘Embodiment.’

“Contemporary doesn’t have to be all of these super pretty, slow lines. Men can be in it and dance masculine and really get into it and show the power behind contemporary,” he said.

With just one week to prepare, the teenager found himself walking onto the stage of ‘World of Dance.’

During this week’s show, ‘Embodiment’ advanced to the latest round of the competition.

“It’s so beautiful to see a group of strong men be so vulnerable. It was moving to me. I thought it was a really clean, clear story, very impactful. I felt myself very emotionally moved at the end, and I almost didn’t know why,” Jennifer Lopez said.

“Here’s my only issue with a lot of male contemporary dancers,  the style is so graceful and so elegant that sometimes the masculinity suffers. That is not the case here. That is not the case here. This is the epitome of masculine and elegant but like combined,” Ne-Yo said.

‘World of Dance’ is shown on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.