Although this marks the TV debut for Grvmnt as a crew, the members have known each other for years dancing at their home studio in Vancouver, Canada. Known for routines that are high impact, fast, and showcase a balance of groove and old school bounce, Grvmnt’s unique style and flawless execution have already landed them 1st place at the Canadian Hip Hop Dance Championships and went on to represent Canada at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship in Phoenix, Arizona this past August. Becoming a family through the love and passion they have for dance, they hope to inspire others to chase after their dreams!
Dance Mogul Magazine Exclusive…
Dance Mogul: What is it like to be competing on WOD?
Michael: It feels like such a blessing since NBC World of Dance is the biggest dance TV show there is. It’s an honor to be able to perform on a show that so many other famous and amazing dancers have been on. Of course, there’s also some pressure competing on WOD. With so many great previous competitors, we feel an obligation to maintain the standard set before us and to demonstrate that we are also one of the greats.
Emily: Being able to compete on WOD is mind-blowing. To be surrounded by amazing dancers from all over the world and see how they train is so inspiring and motivating. Everyone, including the staff, is so kind, and being around people who have the same passion can spark a connection between yourself and strangers. The support from others at WOD is unreal I’ve been able to meet so many amazing dancers and people.
Dance Mogul: How has HIP HOP made a difference in your hometown of Vancouver?
Michael: The Hip Hop community in Vancouver is one big family. Unlike other well-known “Hip Hop” cities, the Hip Hop community in Vancouver is not filled with pure competition and trying to outperform others. The community in Vancouver is always very supportive of one another and willing to help and teach each other. However, I feel like the Hip Hop community in Vancouver is not as well-known compared to others. Therefore, I think NBC World of Dance is a perfect way to show that Vancouver is able to compete with other big Hip Hop cities when it comes to Hip Hop.
Emily: Hip Hop is definitely a growing art here in Vancouver. There is an increasing number of new students enrolling in different studios around Vancouver and little kids’ interests in Hip Hop is starting to grow as well. The dance community in Vancouver is small but supportive; dancers support other dancers no matter the studio they train at, as we all have the same passion and love for dance.
Dance Mogul: How are you guys holding up during the pandemic?
Michael: For most of us, we’ve made choreography and taught it on free live classes to the public on our Instagram page. It’s a great way to continue sharing something that we’re passionate about and to also stay in shape. A few of us have also been using this time to catch up with schoolwork that we may have missed during our trip to LA. Even though we can’t get together anymore during COVID, we still have meetings over Zoom and check in with each other.
Emily: This pandemic has been an optimal time for me to further my dancing by strengthening my creativity, especially regarding free-styling and creating my own dances. Although it is sometimes hard to find the motivation, I’ve found that I now have more time to make choreography to songs I’ve been wanting to dance to for months. Since it’s difficult to see others, I’ve also taken advantage of this pandemic to virtually reach out to others in my community by teaching online Zoom and Instagram classes. I’ve been able to generate interest from a number of kids in my community and knowing that I’m able to use my skill to virtually impact others brings light to a dark situation. Additionally, GRVMNT has taken this as an opportunity to connect with our followers over Instagram Lives and give them a chance to get to know each member of the team.
Dance Mogul: What does it take to be a successful crew these days?
Michael: The most important thing for a crew these days is the chemistry that they have. Our crew is not made up of the best dancers in the world. However, it is made up of eleven dancers who have amazing chemistry. It is made up of people who are patient with one another, dedicated to their craft, and incredibly hardworking. A successful crew needs to be able to get along and encourage each other when the going gets tough. It needs to be able to accept their mistakes and rise back up even stronger than before.
Emily: In my opinion, respect and a strong relationship are crucial in a successful crew. Skill is also important, but it’s difficult for a group to further their skill if they can’t grow as a team. Rather than arguing when one dancer corrects another, simply accept the advice as you both want to help the crew. Instead of dragging down your teammates and focusing on yourself, try focusing on the team and how you can contribute to the group’s success. Additionally, I find it important for a crew to have a strong relationship so they can connect emotionally on the dance floor. A dance crew is basically a second family; you will spend hours with them in practices and they will see you at your worst when you’re sweating and crying. If you don’t know and can’t trust the people you’re dancing with, you’re basically dancing with strangers and will lose that connection that makes one crew stand out from another.
Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you on your journey?
Michael: We would like to thank our main coaches Cezar Tantoco and Mark Dogillo for always being there for us. When we felt overwhelmed, when we weren’t in the proper mindset, when we were lost and didn’t know what to do, Cezar and Mark always pulled us back on track. We would also like to thank the parents for their constant love and support. Especially to Susan and Joy, our parent chaperones, who took care of us when we were sick and always made sure we had what we needed while we were in LA.
Emily: I would like to thank my coaches, Mark Dogillo and Cezar Tantoco, everyone that played a big part in my journey, especially Jezabelle Nisperos and Nicole Yipp, and our studio Freshgroove Productions. I’ve looked up to each of these dancers since I was 7 and I still do, as they are all incredibly talented and great people. I would also like to thank my parents for their continuous love and support. 11 years of dance and they’ve stayed by my side the entire time: driving me to and from early morning and late-night practices, going to all my competitions no matter how far, and supporting my decision to continue each year. None of these guys ever gave up on me and without their constant push and support, I would not be able to be where I am today. I have the utmost respect for all of them.