After just one episode of Step It Up, Traci Young-Byron already has a ton of critics who think that her style of teaching is way too harsh. Skeptics are especially displeased with her use of a bat, which they believe is a means of intimidating the YCDT dancers.
Tonight’s premiere of Step It Up was refreshing because, unlike other dance-based reality shows, it featured minimal drama with the dancers’ parents. Instead, the focus was on the dancing. However, many of the show’s viewers still managed to take issue with the premiere, as they did not appreciate Lifetime’s decision to once again feature a super-tough coach.
Like Coach D and Abby Lee Miller, Young-Byron is not one to sugarcoat things. She believes that her strict, no-nonsense approach is the key to her dancers’ success. While critics are mostly able to get behind Young-Byron’s high expectations and serious demeanor, they don’t particularly appreciate her decision to carry a bat around as she teaches. This prop is seen as a tool for intimidation that adds absolutely nothing to the studio environment.
Bats are nothing new for those who faithfully watched Bring It before switching over to Step It Up. In an earlier episode of Bring It, the YCDT SupaStarz used bats as a prop during a stand battle against the Dancing Dolls. Since then, this prop has taken on a whole new meaning; it clearly isn’t reserved for competitions. Young-Byron didn’t use words to draw attention to the fact that she was carrying a bat around during practice, but then again, she didn’t need to — the prop spoke for itself. And according to Young-Byron’s brand-new batch of haters, the message sent by the bat was negative and completely unnecessary.
Although a lot of Twitter users only have good things to say about the first episode of Step It Up and its surprising lack of drama, a few displeased viewers have made a point of speaking out against Young-Byron’s beloved bat:
Young-Byron may have carried a bat around with her, but she didn’t exactly go out of her way to use it, nor did she scream endlessly at her students (as certain Lifetime dance teachers have been known to do). Her methods may be unorthodox, but based on the successful round of auditions featured at the end of the episode (not to mention the amazing stand battles and creative dances featured on Bring It), she knows what she’s doing!