On Fri., Mar. 21, at the Downey High School gym, the annual Downey Best Dance Crew competition takes place to fundraise money for the dance team. Downey’s dance team started off the competition by performing Friday Night Lights.

Calling all dancers

April 4, 2014

Dance enthusiasts, students, parents, and supporters gathered in the gym to watch the fifth annual Downey’s Best Dance Crew show hosted by the Downey High School Dance Team on Fri., Mar. 21. The three unique dance groups, Sinful 7, Street Ninjas, and Supa Threat, battled to claim the title as Downey’s Best Dance Crew.

Once the show commenced at 7 p.m., an announcer introduced the four judges. The first judge, Cassie Garcia, was previously a student from Downey High School and a dancer on the dance team. The other judge was Jason Evans who is involved with various arts and entertainment performances. Bailey Stump, who is a dancer/ choreographer and also known for being an actor in the movie Bring It On: Fight to the Finish, was also among the judges. The last judge, Downey teacher and coach Mr. Hitchcock, was greeted by applauses and cheers by the crowd.

The dance team led the show as they performed a routine they previously did at a Clippers game. Senior Jacqueline Alejos came to the event to support her sister Jazmin Alejos, who is on the dance team.

“I wasn’t going to come, but my mom said, ‘How about we go see your sister?’ so then I came to support my sister,” Alejos said. “To be honest, I’m glad I actually came because I saw the performance by the (3-23) Area Kidz and it was amazing!”

The first group to perform in the first round was Sinful 7, an all-girl group that dances to various Hip Hop and R&B songs. Mr. Hitchcock said that the group had “good energy,” but they should “smooth out the transitions.” The second group was Street Ninjas, costumed in similar outfits and disguised with masks, similar to the dance crew, Jabbawockeez. The judges were impressed and one of the judges, Bailey Stump, said, “I absolutely loved that!” Supa Threat was next on the list and they showcased their stepping moves. To end the first round, Lincoln Heights’ dance club Urban Movement performed for the crowd. They set off a lively vibe as the announcer welcomed the audience members to dance in a battle circle.

During intermission, guests went out to buy Shave It and wrote shout outs for the various dancers performing for the night. The audience was also invited to dance to the tunes of Mr. C’s Cha-Cha Slide and El Caballo Dorado. Once the crowd made their way to the gym again for round 2, the announcer explained that for this part of the show, the three groups would perform the same routine, but perfect it by using the judges’ advice.

The three dance crews performed and before the winners were revealed, a special routine was performed by the well-known (3-23) Area Kidz. The crowd cheered with enthusiasm as they danced and sang along to the music in the group performance. Once it was time to reveal the winners, the three groups lined up side-by-side to await the announcement. The third place winner, who was announced first, was Supa Threat and following in second place was Sinful 7. First place went to Street Ninjas who was both the judges and fan favorite.  Dancer Julian Rios from Street Ninjas shared his excitement.

“It was unbelievable!” Rios said. “The second they called the winners, my legs just died on me. I couldn’t believe it. Out of all the hard work we put through and support we had from family and friends, it’s just unbelievable since this is my first competition and we won. After practicing every day for the past three months, all our hard work has paid off. It’s just a great feeling.”

The Downey Dance Team not only put on a show to fundraise for their club, but also allowed individuals to form crews with their friends or classmates and share their passion for dance. It was a memorable night for the performers, audience members, and judges.

“[Judging] was tough,” Mr. Hitchcock said. “I didn’t want to be too critical, but at the same time I wanted to give them something to work on. The event turned out really well. There was a big crowd; the dance crews were really well, and it seemed like everyone was really into it.”

As for next year, new dance groups will be able to perform for the title of Downey’s Best Dance Crew 2015.

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Mizhelle Cortes, Writer/ Business Team
Mizhelle Cortes has been seeking an extra curricular activity her first three years of high school, but as a senior, she feels she has discovered her passion as a writer and business manager for The Downey Legend. “It makes me feel special that other students will read my work,” Cortes said. “I can provide unheard stories from students and staff.” Since Cortes is planning to pursue a business career, she is pleased to be part of the financial support of the online newspaper. Despite her overwhelming schedule with honors courses, Cortes is glad to take a break and write school news. She anticipates improving as a journalist and meeting all those interesting students hidden in the school campus.


Cortes finds pleasure in reading realistic fiction novels, particularly those by the author Joyce Oates. Oates has inspired Cortes to have a voice of her own and experiment with her writing by using imagination and unique qualities. In her free time, she enjoys watching scary movies with her friends and tasting the variety of yogurt flavors from YogurtLand.  This vehement writer aspires to attend UC Berkeley after her senior year and pursued the careers of business and fashion. Cortes feels UC Berkeley is her dream school since it is far from home, which allows her to gain more independence and dorm in such a beautiful campus. After finding her dream job, she wishes to form a family and settle in The Golden State, in order to stay close to her family. Another of her future goals is to travel the world, specially the Philippines to visit her family. With all her determination, Cortes wishes to accomplish all the goals she sets in live, maintaining her passion for writing through out her adventures.
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Mayra Castro, Photographer
Current photographer for The Downey Legend, Mayra Castro, approaches her senior year with optimism and hopes to makes her final year memorable by never missing an opportunity to hang out with friends, while still managing her academics. Castro describes photography as her favorite art medium and, although her passion is fairly new, she is eager to gain more experience by practicing alongside the other Online Newspaper photographers. The senior decided to join the staff because she wanted a place where she could showcase her work while working with other passionate and goal oriented students. She is also considering a future in photojournalism and hopes to familiarize herself with the publication process.


Castro’s main goal for the future is to be the first in her family to go to college. The aspiring photographer feels that a college degree is a necessary component to be successful in today’s economy. When she is enrolled in school, Castro hopes to major in photojournalism and eventually have her images published in a popular magazine where thousands of people can appreciate her work. In her personal life, Castro describes herself as a simple girl with simple tastes. She appreciates the small things in life like listening to music or simply hanging out with friends at the local mall. She looks at each day from a relaxed and optimistic perspective. “The most important part of my life is being happy,” Castro said. “That's all that matters.”

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