Former Bath Beach resident ready to compete in hit NBC show “World of Dance”
Turning adversity and obstacles into advantages is what former Bath Beach resident and dancer Daniella Karagach does — with style.
At 25 years old, Karagach is competing in the second season of the hit NBC dance competition show, “World of Dance ” — which features star judges such as Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, Derek Hough and host/mentor Jenna Dewan — giving the long-time dancer a chance to show the world her skills.
“I never really wanted to do anything like this, and then I saw the show and saw who was competing in the first season, which made me want to try it,” she said. “They’re up against the best dancers in every single style. It was incredible, an experience that I don’t think you can put into words. It was overall very positive. They treated everyone with such kindness and positivity that they made you feel like a star. The whole opportunity was insane. Dancing in front of Jennifer Lopez was outright ridiculous.”
Dancing has been a positive outlet since Karagach, as a youngster, was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
“I’ve been dancing since I was six,” Karagach explained. “I couldn’t focus in school so my mom took me to the doctor and he diagnosed me with very high ADHD. I was always moving and they prescribed medication but my mother said, ‘At six years old, my daughter will not take medication. She put me into ballroom dancing and I’ve been in love with it ever since. I started focusing better. I did better in school. It just helped me overall in life.”
Karagach perfected her skills thanks to her biggest fan, her mother.
“My mom was a single mom who worked three jobs in Brooklyn for my dancing,” she said (the two lived in Queens when she was young). “She didn’t have a lot of money. She drove me to school in the morning, then drove to Brooklyn for work, then picked me and we went back to Brooklyn for my dance classes. She would make three trips every day.
“A lot of the great dancing schools are here in Brooklyn the competitive industry was really good and competitive,” she explained. “When you go to school, it forces you to be your best and focus even more.”
On the show, the competitive nature was a dream-come-true for the aspiring dancer.
“Honestly, it was amazing because a lot of great dancers couldn’t make it on the show and then to have me on was really crazy,” she said. “Competing against other dancers was the highlight because the skill level is ridiculous. Everyone is so different and so good, it’s hard to compare. It was intimidating.”
However, she said, the all-star judges always helped her.
“Jennifer was always great,” she said. “She was always helping, talking to everybody, and she had great tips, not just to succeed on the show but for life in general. She was really great. It was really challenging but makes you grow as a dancer and person to be more focused and in the moment. I would do it all over again. It was like the Olympics of dancing. Whoever does casting on the show did a great job because they have best dancers from all over the world.”
Coming out on top in the competition would mean the world to her.
“Winning this competition would be the biggest achievement in my life simply because the talent on the show was through the roof,” she said.
She would also love to win it for her mother.
“I would be nowhere without her,” she said. “Every time I told my mom I wasn’t good enough, she was the only one pushing and believing in me. That’s all I had. She’s my best friend and did whatever she could for me. To know she’s proud of me is the best feeling in the world.”
“World of Dance” premieres Tuesday, May 29 on NBC at 10 p.m. For more information, visit www. nbc.com/world-of-dance.
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