Season five of America’s Best Dance Crew kicks off — or is that booty-shakes and head-spins off? — Thursday with a new judge and a full-on 15 crews, including some dancers who’ve competed on the show before, plus a crew from Canada. Check out the full list of competitors below:
Hometown: Stone Mountain, GA
Led by a feisty female, these dancers pride themselves on their southern “Crankin” style and are on a mission to become king of the dance jungle. Cranking uses big step movements and arms to cover the entire dance floor. Each of the six members has a unique animalistic move to wow this year’s competition.
The crew was started by twin brothers, Anthony and Antwain, who quit college to pursue dance despite their family’s disapproval. In response they put this fun loving and goofy crew together and now consider the group an extended family. The twins’ family still has never seen them dance but they are hoping to win back their love and support as they perform on ABDC.
Hometown: Houston, TX
Ghost is a crew that has faced a lot of adversity in life, and dance has always been a refuge. In fact, they all met through their local dance venues over the past five years seeking a way out life’s hardships, gangs, and family death.
Using dance as an escape, crewmember Patrick decided to better his life and leave the rough life of gang banging with the Crips behind him. Unfortunately, there would be more struggle to come. Soon after leaving the gang, Patrick’s mother died from heart failure. They whole crew looked up to Patrick’s mom as if she was their mother — it was a loss for all of them.
They crew would break into a local apartment complex gym room to be able to practice dance. They consider their style inspirational hip-hop and they plan to offer up some of the best musicality we have seen on this show with hard hitting, complex movements. As dancers they are a tight unit and their personal hardships have brought them even closer
Hometown: Houston, TX
These former Texas Southern University majorettes are bringing their bootylicious bucking style to the mainstream stage. These high energy, acrobatic, and stunt filled Southern belles are on a mission to show the world their majorette style of dance that is “often imitated but never duplicated.” Their style is influenced by both street jazz and hip-hop, but what really makes them distinct is an intense booty shaking move they call “buckin’.”
Homtown: Atlanta, GA
This crew has auditioned every season, and their refusal to give up has finally paid off. Changing members after each audition, the crew believes they finally have their dream team for success on America’s Best Dance Crew. Educated on the streets, this diverse crew’s styles include krumping, tutting, popping, breaking and even a hint of salsa.
They do not claim to be “professionally trained dancers”, leading to difficulties in finding work in the dance industry. America’s Best Dance Crew is finally offering them something no one else would: the opportunity to be champions.
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Tired of trendy club dances, this brash Atlanta crew feels it’s time to put true Southern street dancing on the map. These confident dancers are fired up by the complete absence of Atlanta crews’ represented on past seasons of America’s Best Dance Crew and know they have what it takes to put Atlanta on the map. When the crew started, they knew they wanted to bring a little sex appeal to their street crew. The key component to this crew is their lone female member Elizabeth. Elizabeth wants to break all female dancing stereotypes with her hard-hitting moves.
It’s been a tough year for crewmember Jason. Seven months ago his sick mother fell asleep one night when the house caught on fire and she barely escaped. Jason had to move back home and has been spending all his money to rebuild the house. The house is almost finished but he is deep in debt. The crew has rallied around Jason, and such set backs have only made the Swagger Crew stronger and more confident as a unit. With a combination of southern cockiness, fast footwork and determination this crew is ready to bring some raw swagger to the America’s Best Dance Crew legacy.
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
These professional jump ropers are seeking exposure for their sport while at the same time conquering the dance world. They have walked away from their college degrees and steady jobs in pursuit of a dream: to become professional jump ropers and pioneers of a burgeoning sport.
All six members are a part of the USA Jump Rope All Star team, which only features the best of the best in the country. Saltare comes to America’s Best Dance Crew to expose the sport they’ve dedicated their lives to, challenge themselves in a different arena and prove that jump rope is more than just child’s play. Now they must incorporate their unique skill set into major dance performances. With America watching, will these jumpers be able to transition their trademark jump rope into viable dance routines on the America’s Best Dance Crew stage?
Hometown: Montreal, Canada
This Canadian crew is out to storm the home of hip-hop and demonstrate a level of synchronicity not seen before. Being the first-ever foreign crew to compete on America’s Best Dance Crew, Blueprint has a lot to prove. And for this crew, the name Blueprint is more than a title: it’s a creed. Precision, precision, precision, that’s their motto. Every move this crew does, they do as one, moving together. This dance crew is run like an army, training hard to look like one unit, to learn the origin of the move, and then striving to perfect them. This perfectionist crew doesn’t believe in tricks and stunts, they believe in unified movements down to every minute detail.
In the six years since the group started these Montreal natives have become the premiere crew in the Canadian dance world. But making a name for themselves in the country where hip-hop was born would be the ultimate barometer of success.
Hometown: Boston, MA
Legendary Seven are proud to call the hard streets of Boston home, and are quick to tell you they are one of the last true street crews from Bean Town. Their performances revolve around breaking, krumping, and popping but most importantly, big tricks.
Crew leader “E-Knock” Phillips and fellow Legendary Seven member Darius Rutledge are no strangers to Americas Best Dance Crew. They were both members of the Season One crew Status Quo which finished second only to Season One winners The JabbaWockeeZ. This time around losing is not an option. This means their tricks are even bigger and more imaginative then before.
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Static Noyze has always felt like the outcasts, never really feeling like they fit in with anyone but each other. Bored with what they call “stock hip hop” routines and moves that they’ve seen before, this off-the-wall group of dancers promises to shake up the America’s Best Dance Crew stage with their distinct style of dance. They consider themselves to be innovators of dance and describe their dance style as hip-hop with a contemporary twist. What makes them truly unique though, is that they use their routines (which they refer to as their “creations”) to convey offbeat stories told through cutting edge moves and costumes.
Leading their style brigade is crewmember Peter, a makeup artist by day and drag queen by night. As a drag queen he’s known as Baby Gaga. But even in this world he feels like an outcast saying, “there aren’t a lot of short Asian drag queens in the world.” Static Noyze does not mind being called odd. In fact, they embrace it. These eccentricities are what make Static such a unique group and they hope America finds their unconventionality charming, and become Americas Best quirky Dance Crew.
Hometwon: Providence, RI
Predominately self-taught from music videos, draZtic is set to prove you don’t need major street cred to hang with the big dogs of America’s Best Dance Crew. Being one of the only dance crews in Providence, RI, they do not garner much respect. However with choreography that is an innovative combination of contemporary and ballet fused with popping and hip-hop they plan to earn respect. Because they are all skilled in different styles, draZtik adheres to an unconventional philosophy of leadership by committee. Each member plays an equal role in the design and choreography of every performance. Although this philosophy can sometimes lead to tension amongst members, draZtik feels it ultimately gives them an edge over other crews.
The Blended Projekt
Hometown: West Covina CA
The Blended Projekt is a crew of young dancers (including three 16-year-old members) who combine traditional clogging with hip-hop dance in a technique they call “blending.” While clogging has been on America’s Best Dance Crew before, it has certainly never looked like this. Tired of what they considered the nerdy traditional clogging style, Blended Projekt rips the taps off their clogs and fuses them to their trendy sneakers. Now, when they perform, this band of hip-hop lovers can keep its young, hip look while maintaining its classic clogging technique.
Hometown: Denver, CO
This co-ed breaking crew hopes to break the mold of the B-boy stereotype and prove once and for all that breakers can do choreography too. They consider themselves the first b-boy-choreography crew. The boys and the girls of this crew have trained in all types of dance including hip-hop, jazz and ballet. As this season’s “breakin’crew,” they know they have a lot to live up to in the shadows of Massive Monkees, Season 3 champions Quest Crew and Season 2 champions Supercr3w but they are confident in their abilities and say “we have the one thing they didn’t have: choreography.” BreakEFX is poised and ready to reclaim the America’s Best Dance Crew title for breakdancers everywhere.
Hometwon: North Hollywood, CA
These big boys are out to break negative stereotypes and prove dancers come in all sizes. These guys have big hearts and hope they can inspire others who have a passion for dance saying “no matter what the size, if you love to dance, you are a dancer.”
Heavy Impact hopes that their combination of infectious feel-good dancing and inspirational charm will win over America, but they know this isn’t going to be an easy feat. They know when they walk out on that stage, people are going to assume they are a joke based on their appearance and this has been a hurdle they have faced their whole lives.
Hometown: Westminster, CA
These shaded showmen inspired by robots aim to entertain the dance world with their unexpected humor and revolutionary mixed style. Over the last couple of years Poreotix have laboriously honed their craft of popping and robotic movement and are at the pinnacle of their game. The way in which the crew blends the different dance styles gives them a distinctive animated look, and their integration of humor makes their performances fiercely entertaining. Poreotix are true showmen and never perform without their trademark shades. They use them as a tool to hide emotion so they can provide unexpected twists in their routine, taking the audience from serious to funny without tipping their hand.
Unfortunately, crewmember Justin Valles has more on his plate than just winning the ABDC title. During this season’s auditions, Justin’s father was hospitalized for liver and kidney failure. He has since been released from the hospital but has been rejected for a liver transplant. They are unsure how much longer Justin’s dad can live without a new liver. This obviously weighs heavily on Justin’s mind and he feels blessed to be able to give his family the joy of watching him dance in these unfortunate times.
This crew has captured a special style and is extremely confident they will be crowned the next winner of Americas Best Dance Crew.
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Driven to prove that Hawaii has a thriving hip-hop community, Hype 5-0 is out to show there is more to Hawaii than swaying grass skirts and coconut bras. With limited funds for travel, Hype 5-0 has honed their skills by spending countless hours on the Internet studying crews from the mainland. Now after conquering the island dance scene with imported moves this hard-hitting crew is ready to export themselves to the mainland and take America’s Best Dance Crew by storm. They have immense Hawaiian pride and incorporate native dance moves in all of their routines.
Relishing the fact that they are often underestimated and overlooked, Hype 5-0 is ready to roll through the ABDC crews like an unstoppable lava flow.
Does anything scream “the next Jabbawockeez” to you, PopWatchers?