justDANCE! sick.motion.

Words by Ryan Mitchell
Photography by guest photographer Alex Chan

David Thompson Secondary School is home to the iLLEST VIBE, a teen dance crew that says they’re not focused on one particular dance style. True enough, the iLLEST VIBE brings to the table a wide variety of different styles. They have been on high school stages, to night market stages, to the World Stage. Now, justalilhype! brings them to our stage. Read on about the iLLEST VIBE.

Go around and introduce yourselves

I’m Sonia
I’m Johnny

Describe iLLEST Vibe as a whole

Camisha: We basically just made it a dance club, and then we felt we should expand. We pushed it out of school competitions, then into more international competitions. We all came together for one thing and it was basically the vibe we all have for each other, like a family bond or like going to McDonald’s have BBQ s. We have a family bond that we share.

Sonia: After we entered the high school competitions, we joined a company Fresh Groove Productions and we did more international dance competitions.

What is your dance style is like?

Robyn: We are not just one style; we are formalists.

Sonia: We are versatile; we do everything, not just hip hop.

Where does the name iLLEST Vibe come from?

Kevin: It came from Mark’s friend and his name is also Mark.

What does the name iLLEST Vibe mean to you?

Sonia: A family, now. We don’t categorize as anything, we are a group. We are a family and it’s not something we label ourselves as, it’s something we express ourselves as.

How does it feel to perform on the world hip hop stage?

Laura: It’s a big adrenaline with just performing. There’s a lot of energy rushing through and it’s actually a really nice feeling.

As individuals, how does the group support each other?

Kevin: Every time we enter our stage in practice, we leave our problems aside and we just enter the stage with no worries; just have fun and clear your head and just talk it out with your family. When you walk off the stage, what you take is what your learn; what you thought off and on the dance floor and apply it.

What is the greatest challenge the group has experienced?

Karla: Our biggest challenge we face is trying to balance the concern from our parents about school work. It’s hard to balance school, dance and other life activities.

Grace: It is a conflict for us since our school doesn’t support the dance team. As such, we needed to join a group like Fresh Groove because they support us. We try to grow through it.

Where would you say, location wise, is the best dance scene?

Sonia: It use to be more in the Vancouver area, but now it’s grown through Delta and Surrey and it has grown throughout many of the communities.

What do you want to portray to the audience?

Camisha: We basically want to show that we are a clump and we don’t want to step people down. We are one whole family that is tied together, like a family clump, when we dance, or a ‘flomp.’

What your version of taking it to the next level?

Camisha: Try stuff other people have not tired. We try to do more new style and we want to be diverse in what we do because it’s not just about one thing. We also want to make our moves sharper and harder, and show more passion, like the way we project our movements and just everything.

Kevin: In order to improve, first we have to be consistent. No pain, no gain. Everyone in this group has gone through physical trauma, from bleeding to vomiting and it’s what we go through.

Robyn: Keep inspiring each other to keep pushing; that’s what helps.

Camisha: What helps us when we practice, when we clean our segments, and when we do conditioning, is that we don’t leave anyone behind. When someone sits down, we have to all stop. We can’t move on if one of us is behind because leaving one behind is not moving forward at all.

What does HYPE mean to you?

Kevin: HYPE means pushing it to the limit and going beyond 100%. Doing the best that you can.

Camisha: HYPE can be anything you like, not just dance. It’s the passion that is inside of you. It’s the drive that pushes you to the point that you think you can’t go on.

Karla: HYPE. It stores up something that drives you to dance.

Latif: Something that is universal. It can be from anywhere. Something that gives you the adrenaline rush and it doesn’t matter where you’re from as a dancer. Everyone can see the same thing and say, “that is amazing”.

Johnny: When you put passion into something, it doesn’t have to be dance; it could be anything if you put your heart into it and use what you do to inspire people.

Robyn: Inspiration to people to push it to the limit; to not hold back and leaving your heart on the dance floor.

Denessa: HYPE is an emotion that is different for every person because every person has a different type of rush when the word HYPE is applied to them. It could be when you are on a run and you run your hardest, when you are dancing expressing yourself, or when you are in class and you are happy with what you are doing.

Laura: HYPE is showing emotion and having the passions for what you do, and just not giving up. It’s also having that rush of energy go through your body and feel like saying, “oh yeah!”

Franz: Pushing, pushing. It helps to drink a lot of sugar.

John: HYPE is something I cannot really describe. For me, HYPE is being more active and bringing people in with you.

Sonia: HYPE can be different for all ages. When you are a kid, HYPE can be toys. For a teenager HYPE can be food, dance and stuff like that. When you are old HYPE can be sleep.