Surrey’s PraiseTEAM dancers need new home

Surrey's PraiseTEAM dancers need new home

SURREY — The lines painted on the gym floor of the Don Bosco Youth Centre are for basketball.

They are meant for a sport governed by rules – a stark contrast to the free-flowing expression of dance.

Surrey’s Praise Theatre Ensemble and Arts Ministry, or PraiseTEAM, have spent the past 14 years dancing across these lines.

From its humble beginnings of just nine dancers to the current membership of more than 200, PraiseTEAM has outgrown its current home.

"There are so many classes that we cannot really give room for all of them and that’s why we are looking for a space," said Beth Reyes, director of PraiseTEAM.

PraiseTEAM began in a small parish room in 1997 when Reyes, who was a dancer, was asked by parents to teach their children.

As the name might suggest, PraiseTEAM has a faith-centred ideology, but the faithbased component is not exclusive and they welcome anyone who is passionate about dance.

"We are not exclusive to only the Christian faith, we still accept students who are from multiple religions and with their own beliefs," said Menelaine Valencia, one of the instructors.

As more students began taking classes, Reyes moved the group into the gym at the youth centre.

"After that, by word of mouth, people started to get interested and it has grown from nine to more than 200 throughout the years," she said.

The addition of hip hop classes and some very talented dancers helped propel the team to the international stage.

In 2013, PraiseTeam travelled to Las Vegas to represent Canada at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships. The varsity team, known as Brotherhood, brought home gold while their megacrew, a dance group of more than 30 members, took silver – an accomplishment they hope to repeat this August. Recently, three of their groups qualified to represent Canada once again at the prestigious international competition.

As the dance classes have grown more popular and the talent of the dancers increases, Reyes and her dancers have set out to find a new home.

The gym at the youth centre is a multi-use facility and is not always open when dancers can practice. There are often drop-in basketball games, meetings and other events that displace the group, said Reyes.

"The church is very gracious to us in giving us this space but then they also have other organizations and we have to move out when there are special events," she added.

For the dancers, some of whom are practicing seven days a week, not having a proper facility is taking a toll.

"It gets really loud, sometimes there are so many classes going on at the same time and if you’re in the back of the room you can’t even hear what the teacher is saying," said Francis Aranton, 17, who started dancing nine years ago and plans to move to Los Angeles in the future to pursue a career in dance.

PraiseTEAM has launched a campaign on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo. Their goal is to raise $100,000 to aid them in leasing a proper studio space in Surrey without having to raise fees for their dancers. To find out more about PraiseTEAM, visit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dyllan Petrin is charged related to an ongoing investigation in Surrey involving a kidnapping and assault that occurred in July, 2019. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)
Man arrested in connection to kidnapping, murder investigations: Surrey RCMP

Police say Dyllan Petrin was arrested in Vancouver

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey chief constable says ‘comprehensive’ public engagement to be done this year

Norm Lipinski says Surrey Police Service has ‘good momentum’

Surrey-raised forward Jujhar Khaira in action with Edmonton Oilers. (Photo:
Q&A: Surrey’s Jujhar Khaira credits parents for their hard work on his path to NHL

Port Kells-raised player talks about his journey to pro hockey with Edmonton Oilers

The interventional oncology team at Surrey Memorial Hospital. The Surrey Hospitals Foundation has invested in innovative technologies to kickstart a new Interventional Oncology service at Surrey Memorial Hospital. (Submitted photo: Yvonne Chiang)
Surrey Memorial home to machines for ‘minimally invasive’ cancerous tumours treatments

Technology can freeze, burn tumours without need for surgery

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read