An all-male hip-hop dance crew that got its start at a Surrey church in 2011 has since stepped up its game, big-time.
They’re called Brotherhood, who have won international dance titles and performed at events around the globe in the eight years since those first rehearsals in the basement of Our Lady of Good Counsel, off 104th Avenue in Whalley.
The crew’s most recent accolade was a first-place finish at the Vibe Dance Competition, held at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, on March 31.
“This is one of the highest-calibre competitions in the world, and this was our third year competing and our second time winning,” said Scott Forsyth, the group’s choreographer and director. “It’s basically an invite-only competition, so it’s the best in the world there. In our world, it’s pretty much the biggest dance competition out there.”
Eleven of Brotherhood’s 15 dancers call Surrey home, with the other four from Burnaby. The core group has remained intact since 2011 – “which is kind of crazy for a dance group,” Forsyth said. “Most of them have a pretty high turnover. We have that chemistry for the last nine years now, and I think that gives us a one-up over other teams. We’ve added a few members, but most of our core is the same.”
Today, the crew members are Forsyth, co-director Adrian Vediola, Francis Aranton, Jesko Guiang, Jerome Hocson, Devan Isaac, Justin Nicolas, Jaymie Sorongon, Angelo Admana, Dillon Tran, Kelvin Tu, Raveinal Lescano, AJ Okyere, Nathan Gavilan and Chris Demetillo.
— Scott Forsyth (@scott4syth) April 2, 2019
Brotherhood was recently featured on NBC’s World Of Dance TV show and also travels the world “to showcase, judge, teach and inspire millions of dancers,” notes brotherhoodcrew.com.
While founded in Surrey, the crew now rehearses all over Metro Vancouver.
“Since we don’t have a studio,” Forsyth explained, “we get access to random studios after-hours once they are closed. So our normal practice schedule is at night from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., and then the boys have to wake up early for their 9-5 jobs or full-time school schedule.”
Last weekend, Brotherhood made a rare local appearance on stage at the Artists Emerge event at the Hard Rock casino in Coquitlam. Forsyth is a managing partner of the competition and convention.
“We always love to come home and perform for family and friends,” Forsyth told the Now-Leader. “Year-round, we’re on call, and take only about one month off in the summer and for the other 11 months, we’re practicing and preparing for competition, travelling around.”
During competition, Brotherhood incorporates themes and concepts into its performances. At the recent Vibe event in California, for example, they took aim at “haters” who lurk on the internet.
“There’s just a lot of talk on social media and everyone has an opinion,” Forsyth explained. “It’s not always constructive, not always true and a lot of times it’s just hurtful, so we wanted to create something about that, and we found hate comments posted online about our previous videos and put a positive on all that.”
Truth is, there will always be haters, and the members of Brotherhood know it.
“The more you succeed, the more they want you to fail,” Forsyth added. “Dance is a tricky sport/art; it’s subjective and is judged based on the opinion of others. Don’t take yourself too seriously and never let the opinions of others determine your self-worth. Just keep creating, inspiring, and remember your purpose.”