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Welcome to ELEKTROZONA
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Written by Ian Sanders   

Welcome to Elektrozona: Elektrolytes - America's Best Dance Crew Champs

Elektrolytes Dance Crew ABDC Gilbert, AZLast night a dance crew out of the small town of Gilbert, AZ woke America up putting AZ on the map. Their perseverance, energy, intensity, and hard work led them to realize their dream of  taking the title America's Best Dance Crew. Have you met the Elektrolytes?

Joey "Slimyfly" Arevalo, Chris Thomas, Nico and Sal "Swerve" Banuelos, George "Slideshow" Jones, Marcus "TK" Jones, Kyle Price, and Benjamin Barnett, BKA The Elektrolytes, have known each other in some capacity for many years. Some of the members went to high school together, and all of the members of this elite crew have either battled with or against each other at some time. This familiarity allowed for a versatility that isn't common in most crews. By this I mean there is no choreographer or leader in the Elektrolytes. Instead, they take an approach in which every crew member plays a part in the art that they bring to the stage allowing for constant growth for the group as a whole. One other remarkable thing about this crew is that they don't see each other as just a dance crew, but look at each other as a family. They are there for each other whether they need it or not, a quality even the judges could see.


The Elektrolytes came into the ABDC competition completely underrated and were looked at as the underdogs. Not only were they coming from a town that no one outside of AZ had ever heard of, but this season was their 4th time trying out. Although they tried and were denied in the past, they remained optimistic about their chances. Their optimism was well founded especially coming off of a 2011 Hip Hop International win. The 4th time was the charm and being chosen to compete in Season 7 of ABDC was the beginning of their dream.

Elektrolytes Dance Crew ABDC Gilbert, AZ Week 2 The path to becoming ABDC Champions was not an easy one. In Week 2 of the competition Chris Thomas injured his knee while landing a gainer a day before their performance to Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me.” Changes to the routine were made, and although the judges commented on the lack of energy in the beginning of the routine, the Elektrolytes gave a performance worthy of moving forward in the competition. Chris’ absence was missed in Week 3 as well when the group performed to  Madonna’s “Can’t Handle Me.” The challenge consisted of Krumping, and with Chris being their best Krumper, the Elektrolytes were again at a disadvantage. Nonetheless they pulled together, and with the contribution and guidance of Chris they nailed the performance. However, once again they faced the criticism of the judges in regards to their energy level at the start of the performance. During the performance Chris announced he would be back the following week, and this is when momentum began to build for the Elektrolytes.

Week 4 was Chris’ triumphant return and was the first time ABDC fans got to see a complete Elektrolytes crew.  With renewed energy the Elektrolytes destroyed the Drake’s “Headlines” challenge in which their challenge was to float.  The judges loved the intricate moves and creativity with the floating portions of the performance even going as far as to compare the Elektrolytes to Season 1 winners the Jabbawockeez.  This performance was a game changer and it was now crystal clear that Elektrolytes were a crew to watch.

Elektrolytes Dance Crew ABDC Gilbert, AZ Week 5The performance in Week 5 to J-Lo’s “Get Right” was bitter sweet for the Elektrolytes. Their challenge was to incorporate canes into the performance and portray a subway scene. Most of the Elektrolytes had never been on a subway before, but nonetheless they impressed the world and the judges with their performance. During the performance Sal lost his cane, but was able to battle back into the routine with minimal damage. Although JC commented on the slip, all the judges were impressed by the overall quality and creativity of performance, and Lil Mama felt like she was back in NYC.

Week 6 was the first time the Elektrolytes had a weak performance. Their challenge was to incorporate capoeira into their performance to Putbull’s “I Know You Want Me.” The challenge was met, but without their usual flare and style.  As a result the Elektrolytes found themselves in the bottom 2 after the votes were counted, and would have to battle Fanny Pak in Week 7 to prove they deserved to continue in the competition.  When asked about being in the bottom for the first time Sal said, "When we were in the bottom we were mad, but when it is time to step it up and our backs are against the ropes that is when we do our best." They proved it in Week 7 knocking Fanny Pak out of the competition and giving an amazing performance to Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been.”

Elektrolytes Dance Crew ABDC Gilbert, AZ Week 8Elektrolytes continued transforming and getting stronger  in Weeks 8 and 9. In Week 8 the Elektrolytes transformed into a giant robot to LMFAO's "Champagne Showers" giving one of their most creative performances in the competition. The performance was so strong in fact that JC said they displayed everything needed to be America’s Best Dance Crew.  Week 9 brought a master mix of David Guetta's "Memories", "Turn Me On", and "Without You"; and they would have to incorporate gliding, gloving, and dancing like a doll. Luckily for the Elektrolytes, Joey used to play with dolls..."Used to." Bringing all their skills and playbook to the table they gave a performance that gave the judges chills, blowing their minds with a barrage of energy. They had done it again, and after an elimination battle with Mos Wanted Crew the Elektrolytes stood triumphant with only the 8 Flavah's dance crew standing between them and their dream of becoming ABDC champions.

Elektrolytes Dance Crew ABDC Gilbert, AZ FinaleAfter a full week of voting,  the Finale was here, beginning with a group performance by the finalists. The Elektrolytes went on to perform with Season 5 champions Poreotix and Elektreotix was born. The performance displayed a nice balance between the 2 crews combining the comedy and entertainment of the Poreotix,  the energy and big stunts of the Elektrolytes, and blending it all together with the control and awesome visuals that define both crews. After the performances what was left were two crews that had given their all through the entire competition. Two crews that had given up all they had to pursue their dream. In the end though only one crew could realize their dream, and it was the Elektrolytes, America's Best Dance Crew.

Elektrolytes Dance Crew ABDC Gilbert, AZ ChampionsThrough their determination, hard work, perseverance, and a willingness to keep fighting even when considered underdogs the Elektrolytes have shown that “Rocky” stories do happen. They proved that dreams do come true, and showed the world that there is more to AZ than cacti. The Elektrolytes journey is still not over. Next up they head to Hip Hop International to defend their 2011 title and compete to be The World’s Best Dance Crew. With their accomplishments thus far the Elektrolytes live up to their name. Dancing fills their bodies, and they fill the dance floor and the audience like water in the desert. Congratulations guys! Welcome to Elektrozona.

 

View Poreotix/Elektrolytes ABDC Finale Performance

 

 

View Weeks 3-9



Photos by Frank Micelotta and provided by MTV.com. To view all the full episodes visit the ABDC Website.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 21 June 2012 17:41
 

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