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.