DANCE CREWS COMPETED FOR TOP HONORS — AND A SPOT IN A MUSIC VIDEO — AT A LOCAL CHARITY EVENT
BY RODOLFO ROMAN
Special to The Miami Herald
Dance instructor Terrell Hammonds drove a bus filled with 40 children and teenagers from West Palm Beach to Miami, but it wasn’t an ordinary field trip.
His dance troupe, F.B.I. — which stands for Fun Beautiful Intelligent — laced up their shoes to perform the latest moves and compete against six other dancing crews in Stop the Violence and Dance, a charity event at the Caleb Center Auditorium on Saturday.
Dancing groups from as far away as Ocala vied to win the $2,000 first prize and an appearance in a music video for recording artist Katrina Laverne Taylor, better known as Trina.
First place was a tie between F.B.I. and Access Granted of Miami-Dade. The groups will split the cash prize but both will appear in the video.
Wreckless, a dance crew from Broward, finished second.
Hammonds said the art of dancing has served as a positive hobby for many of his students.
“It has kept them off the street, jail and getting in trouble with their friends,” he said.
Wearing black and red dancing attire along with colorful makeup, F.B.I. member Zaria Raiford, 9, said performing is a chance at stardom.
“I have fun with dancing,” said Raiford, who showed off ballet and jazz moves on stage at the Caleb Center, 5400 NW 22nd Ave.
“I have wanted to be on television since I was 4 years old.”
Spectators paid $11 for pre-sale tickets and $20 at the door. A portion of the funds will be donated to the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 2166 NW 62nd Ave. Groups of four or more participants paid $150 to compete.
The event was organized by songwriter and Miami Lakes resident Reginald Saunders in an effort to spread a positive message and showcase young talent.
“Instead of those kids creating violence they are using their extra curriculum time to be seen and heard with the gestures of their bodies,” he said. “Music lets them move to the next level.”
Trina was on hand to witness the up-and-coming performers as she sat in the front row.
“The dancers spent a lot of time to try to create the show,” she said. “It was just a positive event.”
The Miami-born rapper, songwriter and model graduated from Miami Northwestern High School and has released five albums, including Diamond Princess.
At the event, spectators danced, clapped and screamed as artists performed moves like the “kick ball chain.” Poets, singers and comedians also took to the stage before each performance.
Terry Shackelford, 27, a local dancer who has appeared on MTV’s America’s Top Dance Crew, led his 18-member dance group Access Granted. His member’s ages ranged from 16 to 27.
“Maybe I can push someone into the field and help them move up to have a professional life,” said Shackelford, who performed to music artist’s Ciara’s song Gimme Dat.
Access Granted member Shaquisa Wilcox, 16, has been dancing for three years and said the art has helped strengthen her relationship with her mother.
“I used to talk back to my mother,” said the Miami Northwestern High School student. “Now, we spend a lot of time together.”
Her mother, Linette Wilcox, hasn’t missed a performance.
“It makes me proud seeing her enjoy something she likes to do,” she said.