A duo of teenage dancers left Jennifer Lopez in tears after delivering an incredibly powerful choreography on World of Dance.
Sean Lew, 16, and Kaycee Rice, 15, performed on the season two premiere of the NBC show on Tuesday night. They put on blindfolds before the music for their dance even started, earning an ominous : ‘Ooh, this is going to be really good or really bad’ from judge Ne-Yo.
As it turned out, the performance veered towards the former, as Sean and Kaycee, of Los Angeles, earned a standing ovation from all three judges—Jennifer, 48, Ne-Yo, 38, and Derek Hough, 33—and profoundly moved Jennifer through their choreography.
Touching: Teenage dancers Sean Lew, 16, and Kaycee Rice, 15, moved Jennifer Lopez to tears on Tuesday night’s episode of World of Dance after dancing with blindfolds
Performance: Dressed in beige pants and sand-colored T-shirts, Sean and Kaycee began dancing to the tune of Silence by Marshmello featuring Khalid
Profoundly moved: Jennifer had tears in her eyes by the time the two teens finished dancing
Poignant: The first part of their choreography saw them trying, and repeatedly failing, to connect, in a powerful take on the difficulties that sometimes surface during relationships
Dressed in beige pants and sand-colored T-shirts, Sean and Kaycee began dancing with their backs to each other, to the tune of Silence by Marshmello featuring Khalid.
The first part of their choreography saw them trying, and repeatedly failing, to connect, in a powerful take on the difficulties that sometimes surface during relationships.
About a minute into the performance, Sean finally took off his blindfold and later removed Kaycee’s. Once the blindfolds came off, the dancers’ body language changed entirely, as well as their facial expressions.
With bright smiles on their faces, they completed the rest of the choreography, this time appearing much more in sync.
The symbolism wasn’t lost on Jennifer, who is currently in a serious relationship with baseball star Alex Rodriguez after three marriages that ended in divorce.
Strong: Kaycee and Sean’s powerful choreography wowed Jennifer from the beginning
Finally, he can see: About a minute into the performance, Sean finally took off his blindfold
Connection: Sean then removed Kaycee’s blindfold and the choreography took a turn
Different: After the blindfolds came off, both dancers appeared much more in sync, and they kept dancing with bright smiles on their faces
Storytellers: Jennifer made it clear it was the story Sean and Kaycee told through choreography that really touched an emotional spot in her
She was first married to Cuban waiter Ojani Noa from 1997 to 1998, before wedding dancer Cris Judd in a union that lasted from 2001 to 2003.
J-Lo then married singer Marc Anthony in 2004. The pair had two children, twins Emme and Max, now 10, before announcing their split in 2011 and finalizing their divorce in 2014.
After Kaycee and Sean’s performance, she made it clear it was the story they told through choreography that really touched an emotional spot in her, telling the two dancers: ‘You really touched our hearts.’
‘The idea of not being able to see in a relationship, being so close to somebody, but not really seeing them, and then taking that off and allowing them in, it’s beautiful!’ she said, crying so hard her fellow judges Ne-Yo and Derek patted her back.
Without letting on which of her relationships the routine brought to mind, J-Lo fought through her tears to continue her praise.
‘It’s like, ”See me!” And then one person has to see the other person first, and the other person gets that trust and it happens… It was just so beautifully done,’ she told them, still crying and giving them a high score of 96, helping them through to the duels.
The two teen dancers were mesmerized by how much they managed to touch the singer’s heart thanks to their performance.
Got it: ‘The idea of not being able to see in a relationship, being so close to somebody, but not really seeing them, and then taking that off and allowing them in, it’s beautiful!’ she said
High score: The pop superstar awarded the duo a score of 96 points. Kaycee and Sean have now advanced to the duel round of the competition
Exes: Jennifer did not specify which of her past relationships the routine brought to mind. The star, who has gone through three divorces, is pictured with her first husband Ojani Nona, with whom she was married from 1997 to 1998
Past: The singer and actress was later married to dancer Cris Judd from 2001 to 2003
Former partners: J-Lo married singer Marc Anthony in 2004. The pair had two children, twins Emme and Max, now 10, before announcing their split in 2011 and divorcing in 2014
‘That moment when we finally finished our dance, removed our blindfolds, and we saw the reaction from J-Lo and how she had tears in her eyes… we were completely shocked because that amount of support and the reaction that we got was nothing compared to what we ever thought we would receive,’ Kaycee told HollywoodLife.
Sean was as touched by the judges’ reaction as she was, adding: ‘I think the automatic feeling of having a standing ovation is very unexpected. The moment we finished the piece, it was more just like a relief for us, because we were like, all that stress is gone.’
Jennifer’s reaction was a clear indicator that she got the meaning behind the choreography, which came as a precious reward for the two performers.
‘The fact Jennifer was crying from it and she genuinely understood what we were trying to go for, that meant the most to us,’ Sean said.
Performing with blindfolds, and thus being unable to judge the audience’s reaction, was ‘very, very scary’, he explained, adding: ‘The blindfold was definitely risk, but at the same time it was the one little extra boost to really clarify the story of the piece.’
Kaycee and Sean have moved on to the duel round of World of Dance, and will thus appear again to defend their spot on the competition.