Pacific Rim Photo Press gets the lowdown from America's Best Dance Crew judge Shane Sparks.
For years, there wasn't much mainstream media outlets for dance crews and choreographers to highlight their work and gain respect. However, that has changed even to the point of red carpet photographers noticing and taking photos of these crews due to the popularity of MTV's “Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew”. The show's judge, Shane Sparks agrees with this observation. “We're bringing that recognition. Dancers should be respected just like singers, just like actors in the entertainment industry. From Basketball players to football players, we work just as hard. It's time right now to walk the red carpet have them shout out Jabbawockeez, Shane Sparks, Dave Scott. It's time for them to yell out those names and interview them and what's going on in their life instead of Tom Cruise. You don't see Tom Cruise everyday. You only see him in movies.” states Sparks.
These dancers are everyday people on these shows that are affecting kids who want to dance. “You know, you see these dance crews out there everyday doing stuff for their community. I'm not saying that those famous people don't do anything for charity but what I'm saying is that we're doing a show that is changing a young person's life and affecting them in a positive way. I mean you watch a movie for a quick minute then go home from the movie theater and you don't think about it the next month. I mean, it may change the lives for some people and it's just entertainment, but this show right now for anyone that is seven years old and up, maybe even younger to go out there and dance, it's giving them a goal. Now they are watching this show and it's giving them a reason to do this.”
As for the Asian influence on the show, it's evident with a majority of the crews. “Right now, Asians are the most respected poppers. It's funny. You go on youtube and you type in Unit or I think U-men or all these different Japanese dancers and performers, you'll see the most incredible stuff. I've seen this stuff all my life and I wonder what do they think about when they come up with this stuff. I mean groups like Jabbawockeez, Kaba Modern, all those Filipino groups, it's something that is if you don't love it and practice it, you're not going to get it. Alot of Filipino, Japanese and Korean dancers, take everything outside of dance and take it seriously. They practice it and perfect it and they end up in love with hip hop.
By Peter Gonzaga
Photo by Peter Gonzaga/Pacific Rim Photo Press