Every Friday night, like your favorite weekend-welcoming ritual, #TeamBeautiful tunes into Lifetime’s Bring It to watch Miss D, Kayla, Sunjai and the rest of the #DD4L crew perform death-defying stunts like the heel stretch or death drop. (Maybe not so death-defying, but showstopping nonetheless.)
This season brought some intense dance battles. From the brag out battle against newcomers YCDC Superstarz, to the back and forth rivalry with Divas Of Olive Branch and more, it all boils down to the season finale when the dolls face off against the competition one last time in the Battle Royale.
We caught up with Miss D, who gave us the scoop on her beef with Divas Of Olive Branch coach Neva, what the team will do once their captain Kayla leaves and what to expect from the final episode.
HelloBeautiful: What started your rivalry with Neva?
Miss D: The rivalry between Neva and I started maybe a year ago. I’ve talked at length about my past. It’s no secret, you know, I felt like I needed to do what I needed to do at the time, but Neva felt the need to have a conversation with an outside party about it and asked a bunch of questions. It was a lot of negative things that she said. And then when I called her out on it, she pretended to not know what I was talking about and the one thing I can’t stand is a liar. I don’t like fake people and I can’t deal with that. You know, I’m very open and I’m very honest. If you can say it once, you should be able to say it 50 times.
HB: What were you thinking when you were staring Neva in the eye right before nailing that death drop?
Miss D: That particular week Neva had been sending messages and making little smart comments. She says things and if I don’t respond, she feels like she’s got a hold to me. So we exchanged words during the competition. She said some crazy thing. I tried not to laugh cause she’s an idiot. When I got ready to get on the floor I knew she wasn’t going to expect it and the entire time that I was out there I wasn’t looking at the girls, I was looking at her because the battle is not about the kids at that point its about me and you. Now you got out on the floor and you danced with your girls and you did all of this kind of stuff. Now it’s my turn to show you what real coaches do, its time to get out there & really, really dance. Just like football players have football coaches who can really play the game and dance coaches should actually be able to dance.
HB: Sometimes the opposing team’s dance moves can get inappropriate. What do you tell the girls when that happens?
Miss D: Well, I think that the element of surprise and the element of props and trying to tell a story in your stand, there is a fine line that shouldn’t be crossed. That kind of thing really doesn’t bother us a whole lot but it’s the matter of calling us trash? OK, come on now. Now, we’re going a little bit too far. You know, I had to explain, ‘Girls you know, people are going to say mean things but try not to take it too personal.’ But then they are kids at the same time. So I can say something but sometimes they aren’t going to always accept that.
HB: What were your initial thoughts on the Miami team YCDC Superstarz?
Miss D: My impression of YCDC Superstarz was ‘Wow, there’s another African-American dance team, that’s amazing but they are not in our dance style. The YCDC Superstarz are a contemporary dance team and they are not a majorette dance team so it’s like comparing apples to oranges. They don’t look alike. They’re not the same color. I don’t even feel like YCDC Superstarz and the dancing dolls should even be on the same dance floor. We don’t do the same thing. We’re not in the same genre.
HB: This is Kayla’s last year as captain on The Dolls, what are some of your fears with her departure and is she still going to be involved with the team?
Miss D: Well Kayla is still very much going to be involved. I can’t tell you how because we’re going to start filming our new season next week. For me, its bittersweet, because Kayla’s been with me since she was in the 5th or 6th grade and now she’s a young woman, she’s starting to find her way and do her own thing and I’m happy for her.
HB: How do you think she’ll do in college?
Miss D: You know, I’m not worried about her at all. Kayla is a very responsible young woman. She knows what she wants and I’m happy to just be a part of her life. She says she’s never going to forget me, she’s going to always come back if she needs something. I feel like this is her moment. This is her time. She’s opening a new chapter in her life and this is just the beginning. I feel like she’s just getting started.
HB: Kayla gained some weight this season, how did you talk to the girls about their health?
Miss D: I don’t talk to my girls about weight. We talk about being in shape and being healthy. And who says that being a thicker girl means you’re out of shape? You know in Mississippi, our girls are all different shapes and sizes. We have some that are skinny and some that are thick. We have some that are super thick but can still kick behind their heads and do a split that some skinny girls can’t do. There’s nothing that says you have to be a certain size. Of course, yes, you want to look great in your uniform. Kayla holds her own very, very well and regardless of the weight shes gained, Kayla has not stopped at all. There’s nothing that kid can’t do. Nothing.
HB: How did Kayla react to it?
Miss D: You know Kayla is very conscious about it. Its funny cause I just saw Kayla this morning and she said I just saw your car was here, I just stopped by to see how you were doing, (I was getting my hair done) and she was saying that she’s been working out and she’s been eating differently and I was like ‘Why?’ And she was like ‘Well, I want to be comfortable in my own skin.’ And I was like ‘are you comfortable in your own skin or are you doing it for somebody else?” and she didn’t answer me.
My thing is, I don’t want my girls to feel like they need to do something for anybody else. Social media is a gift and it’s a curse. They’ve had to listen to Kayla being called fat, Kayla being called ugly. I’m not going to say some of the things that she’s been called because its horrendous and it’s about weight. I’ve heard Sunjai be called names and it’s hurtful.
HB: What can you tell us about the season finale?
Miss D: It’s going to showcase a lot of things. One thing in particular happened that week that I’m not going to reveal, but it is the most heartbreaking thing we have ever had to deal with in the history of this team. The season finale shows a squad who bans together in the face of adversity, bans together when your back is against the wall and the wall is crumbling around you. The episode is going to be heart wrenching for different reasons. It’s going to be a good one.
Watch a special clip from the season finale that airs this Friday, below: