SPOKANE, Wash.—A local hip hop dancer was paying it forward in July. James Marchioni’s dance videos were catching thousands of people’s attention on YouTube.
Marchioni moved to New Jersey to pursue his dream of dancing. Some of his teachers competed on shows like America’s Best Dance Crew. Marchioni was teaching teenagers in the Spokane area what he learned.
Marchioni was teaching 16-year-old Tray Lewis and 15-year-olds Devin, Sean Masters and Mark. The crew had been practicing in Lewis’ garage since September. They choreographed their own dances and worked on techniques that their teacher, Marchioni, taught them.
Marchioni was well known among dancers in Eastern Washington. He was just getting his start as a professional hip-hop dancer in July. His YouTube videos of him dancing landed him a few sponsors. Through it all, he kept his mentees on their toes.
"I always feed them knowledge because you can't get that around here,” said Marchioni.
Marchioni chose the four teenagers to be in his dance crew because they had the most heart. He sends them dances to work on and critiques their moves. He teaches them what he has learned when he is home in person.
“Anything he's been through we've been taught and we can get through that. It's been great,” said Masters.
Masters said Marchioni was not just a teacher, but a friend. He inspired Masters to pursue his own dancing career.
"Just seeing them have a blast. They were out just dancing and having fun. I just had to try it,” said Masters.
The crew, called “The Gentlemen’s Club” planned on entering a dance competition by submitting a video online. The winner gets $1,000.