Dance joins the ranks of reality television

Eric Gonzalez

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The MTV show ‘America’s Best Dance Crew’ (ABDC) has amazed a lot of people and made me give up my Thursday night college parties.

The latest season had me jumping out of my seat after watching some of the ridiculous things the crews did.

And this season, the crew that I wanted to win took it home.

Part of the reason I’ve chosen teams in the past is because they’re Angelenos. Not that it’s bad to play favorites, considering those crews are the only ones that make it to the end, but I wondered if other people felt the same way.

Some of my fellow CSUN students agreed that they enjoyed teams from the Los Angeles area.

CSUN has a pretty close relationship with ABDC and some of the top crews who appeared on seasons one and two.

The connection comes primarily from the hip-hop dance team, FASMODE.

FASMODE has been around for six years and was started by CSUN’s Filipino club, FASA. The name FASMODE is derived from FASA Modern.

This group is one of the most well-known hip-hop groups on campus and have taken some of its members and shown them off on ABDC.

FASMODE Vice President Johnny Thomas, a 19-year-old accounting major, loves what ABDC has done for dancers and said that dancing all together has been a great way to network.

‘For me hip-hop is a giant umbrella,’ Thomas said. ‘I get to know so many people from this area through dance.’

Not only has Thomas seen people he has met make it to the show, he has also watched former FASMODE members make their way onto ABDC.

‘Tiffani (Grant) from Fanny Pack used to be a member of FASMODE,’ said Thomas, who has also met other cast members of season one.

‘I like that I know people on the crews,’ Thomas said. ‘I knew someone from the Jabbawockeez, Fysh ‘amp; Chicks and Fanny Pack.’

For those unaware, Jabbawockeez were the first season winner and Fanny Pack made it to the top three in the second season.

Thomas isn’t the only one who made some connections. In fact, some CSUN students who aren’t involved in dance have acquaintances of their own.

‘When I watched the second season I liked the fact that I knew someone,’ said Jose Fregoso, a 21-year-old CTVA major. ‘I knew Beau (Fournier) from Fanny Pack and I liked their creativity.’

‘Seeing new dance moves is surprising and it’s kind of cool that people are still coming up with new moves to this day,’ Fregoso added.

Even students who don’t personally know any of the dancers on the show have reasons why they watch ABDC.

Kylie Mitchell, an 18-year-old broadcast journalism major loves the way each team used their creativity to master their tasks each week.

‘I loved the different challenges they had,’ Mitchell said. ‘It was crazy how they incorporated it into their dances and still moved to the beat of whatever mix they had.’

Fregoso agrees that the dances are unique, almost like an art.

‘The competition shows another side of creativity in dance choreography,’ Fregoso said.

The originality of the show and the performers is what impressed Thomas the most.

‘I really just liked that the teams had their own style,’ Thomas said.

The show, above all, promotes dance in a positive way.

‘For me dancing is pure entertainment,’ Thomas said. ‘But I like that the show exposes the dance world because it helps people make a name for themselves.’

What he enjoys even more is that people are able to make a living through the popularity of the show.

‘People have the opportunity to make money by teaching classes like that,’ Thomas said.

Tagging along with the show’s popularity, there have been some attempts on the big screen that have had the same effect as the show. Movies like ‘Step Up,’ ‘You Got Served’ and ‘Stomp the Yard,’ have become very popular and even though they can be cheesy, students like Thomas like what they do for the dance world.

‘I think that the ‘Step Up’ movies are most realistic because they took dancers and put them out there,’ Thomas said. ‘I know a couple of people from here that have been called to do some movies and music videos.’

The dance teams have left their imprint on the dance world and now I know why they appeal to CSUN students.

So next season you are going to have to be on the look out because the person sitting next to as you as you read this could be a part of the next America’s Best Dance Crew.