Everybody dance now


On March 15, at 7pm in the gym, Downey High School alumni, Janice Calub and dance crew, Grown and Sexy performs as the opening act of the Downey’s Best Dance Crew competition. Their dance included a variety of Hip-Hop songs as well as techno.

Zaira Zamora, Writer

For the third year in a row, four talented dance crews in the city competed to earn the coveted title of Downey’s Best Dance Crew, on March 15, at the Downey High School gym. Nova, The Swirls, Turles of LA, and returning champions Vanity danced their hearts out on stage and fought to the finish in hopes of being crowned the winners. At the end of the night, it was The Swirls who proved victorious and won over both the judges and the members of the audience.


Before the crews went on stage, the people who would be evaluating them were introduced. Murmurs filled the gym about celebrity judge Shane Sparks’s special guest appearance. Eboni Pace was the first to be introduced, followed by Jenn Antonio, and finally Sparks who had the crowd going wild. At the end of the night, these three made the ultimate decision of awarding Turtles of LA third place, NOVA second place, and The Swirls the title of Downey’s Best Dance Crew. Prizes were one-hundred dollars for the winning team, fifty dollars for the runners-up, and twenty-five dollars for third. Last year’s winners Vanity went home empty handed and left the crowd in shock.


At the beginning of the night, people were debating where they should sit in order to have the best view. The anticipation kept building until the lights finally went off and it was time for the show to begin.


“I’m excited to see what these crews can bring,” junior Nissa Palacios said. The first group up was the all boy team NOVA, who wore blue dress shirts and black sweat pants. With their quick and complex body movements, NOVA knew how to start up the crowd for the announcer could barely even be heard over the cheers of the audience. The judges praised NOVA for their body control and musicality.


“My favorite part of the night was NOVA dancing to dubstep with the remix of electro because I could feel the vibrations,” senior Kathy Alvarado said.


The next crew to perform was The Swirls who lit up the dance floor with their neon outfits and vibrant smiles.


“I really liked how The Swirls were moving their hips and I liked their back ups,” junior Nick Palacios said.


The judges and the audience seemed to agree with Palacios, for The Swirls received the most positive feedback by far. With their gymnast-style flips, various catchy songs, and creative choreography, these four girls received overwhelmingly loud screams. The routine incorporated drastically different, yet energetic dance moves that switched with every song played. They were a crowd favorite from the get go.


The third group to hit the stage was Turtles of LA. The three members looked very mod in all black with the Ninja Turtle inspired orange, purple, and red bandanas around their necks. Their dance routine was a little slower than the previous two groups, but their creativity was commendable. With dark sunglasses and old-school music playing in the background, they stood out to the judges for their unique style.


“You guys look like you just did a GAP commercial. You will make money by being on T.V. because you’re what America wants to see,” judge Shane Sparks said.


Last but not least were the returning champions Vanity who confidently stepped on stage to defend their title. With sweaters wrapped around their waists they performed energetically and offered a range of songs and dance moves. Unfortunately, the judges felt that Vanity needed more practice and the group wasn’t able to keep first place.


The first break allowed attendants to go out and buy food as well as to take pictures with Shane Sparks. Kiara Ortega took the opportunity to ask a very special question; the screen projected a slide that read “Isiah, Sadies?!” and the crowd cheered as Isiah made his way down to accept. During the second part of the night the groups were allowed to perform once more after taking in the critiques of the judges for final scoring. It seemed that they took in the commentary and improved their routines. The Swirls still attained the loudest cheers from the crowd, but NOVA showed a dramatic improvement and had a louder reaction than the first time around. Feeding off the crowd’s response the judges were left to deliberate who would come out on top.


Before the winners were announced, the song “All the Way to the Top” about Downey High School Football linebacker Jabari Ruffen performed by D-RECK premiered. The video was edited by Nichelle Esquitin and already has over eight-hundred views on Youtube. Other performances icluded those of Battle Holex, 3-23 AREA KIDZ, and two routines by members of the Downey High Dance Team. Attendants of the night were encouraged to step on stage for a Dance Battle and they definitely didn’t shy away. After witnessing the talent in Downey and dancing the night away, the crowd went home satisfied and looking forward to the battle next year.