Fly Girlz represent Canada at World Hip-Hop Dance Championships [Article]
Edmonton, ON – When the Fly Girlz take the stage at the 9th annual World Hip-Hop Dance Championships, expect to see true hip-hop dance represented to its fullest. This all-girl dance crew from Edmonton, Alberta is set to travel to Las Vegas July 27th to August 1st to compete against dancers from more than 30 countries.
“I don’t think Canada gets enough respect in general in the hip-hop world and I don’t think women in hip-hop get enough respect. So we know we’re going to rip it down and people are going to say Canada? Crazy! All girl crew? Crazy!” says Kerry Koble, dance instructor, choreographer and founder of Fly Girlz dance crew.
They took their first step in turning heads on May 21 when they won the Western Championships in Burnaby, BC, qualifying them as the dance crew to represent Canada in the World Hip-Hop Dance Championships.
The girls decided to enter after Fly Girl Asha Marshall noticed an organizer of the world’s qualifiers commented on a video posted on YouTube of Fly Girlz performing.
“It said someone should contact me from this group and so I asked [Cookie Reyes] if anybody had contacted her from the crew as yet and she said, ‘no, but go to this site and sure enough it was an advertisement to go to the Western Championships,” says Marshall.
The five day World Hip-Hop Dance Championships will feature 2,000 dancers. The event also offers dance workshops led by industry professionals and panel discussions with celebrated legends of hip-hop dance.
Gracing the stage before stars like Busta Rhymes, the Jabbawockeez and Super Crew, as well as holding down the title of Artists Emerge champions for the third year, the Fly Girlz are demonstrating that their fluid, fresh, inimitable, true hip-hop dancing abilities are anything but common.
“The amount of work we put in really sets us apart from other crews,” says Marshall, member of the crew and dancer since age four. “We don’t come to play, we come to win and show that we really love what we do and take it seriously by coming professional and prepared.”
Because Fly Girlz maintain their strong work ethic by practicing all year round, Marshall says they’re really always prepared, which made it a breeze to rework and perfect one of their routines in time for the western championship.
“We’re actually going to do the same set that we did at the nationals,” says Koble. “We’re just going to try and make it a little bit better but you know if it works, don’t change it.”
Really trying hard to step it up for the worlds, Fly Girlz are now rehearsing four times a week to fine tune their routine.
“We all love to dance and we all love different styles,” says Koble. “But we’re really about hip-hop: preserving it and showcasing it in its truest form and kind of being an example to girls that you don’t have to booty shake. That’s not a hip-hop dancer and that’s why we’re trying to work so hard at what we do.”
Koble formed the Fly Girlz seven years ago after she quit her job as a personal trainer and began working as a bartender at a nightclub.
“I actually initially put the group together first for this nightclub, not to go out and street battle or anything. I kind of just wanted to be creative,” Koble says. “It was a big club, there was about 1,000 people coming in there a night. We started to get a reputation and I was already teaching [dance] in the studios and we had already entered a few competitions and then we just got more serious.”
The crew’s original members have come and gone since Koble initially put Fly Girlz together and is now made up of seven talented women including Kerry Koble, 31; Asha Marshall, 24; Aileen Leskow, 24; Cherelle Goerge, 23; Angela Miracle-Gladue, 25; Minh-Thu Lam, 21 and Talia Adler-Magat, 20 who have danced together for almost four years. There is also an understudy Fly Girlz member in training, Rachel Layton, 19.
“I felt we shared the same vision and heart for the dance, which is something I wanted since I started dancing, to form a crew of females who loved b-girling, locking, house, hip-hop and popping,” says Angela Miracle-Gladue of why she decided to join Fly Girlz and become their B-Girl. She’s been dancing since she was 6 years-old.
All the members of Fly Girlz are making immense sacrifices for the opportunity to be crowned World Hip-Hop Dance Champions. Asha Marshall’s cutting a trip to China short, flying back specifically to compete. Kerry Koble gave up a surprise anniversary trip from her boyfriend so she could stay in Edmonton for practice and rehearsals. Angela Miracle-Gladue even pushed back her graduation date, because a mission in the Philippines necessary for her schooling conflicted with the World’s in Vegas.
“It’s all part of it,” says Koble. “All the girls have made financial and time sacrifices.”
And August 1st long weekend in Las Vegas, their hoping it pays off. Canada’s rooting for you!
For more information about Fly Girlz or to make a donation to their trip fund, visit The Fly Girlz [FGZ] group on Facebook.
Written by Melissa Sundardas for HipHopCanada
Fly Girlz Photography