Scarlett Luis (President)
Scarlett Luis, AKA Red, is Nicaraguan-Chinese but was born and raised in Miami, FL. She brings that Hispanic swag to Hype (Dale~ Ya tu sabes). Although she does not have any professional dance experience, Scarlett improves her dance skills by watching choreos on Youtube or freestyling in the comfort of her room. Coming from a community rich with Latin culture, she hopes to incorporate what she knows about salsa, merengue, and bachata to the repertoire of dance styles that already exist on Hype. Aside from Latin dance styles, Scarlett is very interested in dancehall, soca, and breakdancing. She hopes to, one day, six-step into a dutty wine. ;D Joining a dance crew has always been one of Scarlett’s dream but she realizes that Hype is not just a dance crew-- Hype is a family and she is beyond happy to be a part of it.
Jabril Muhammad (Vice President)
“In West Philadelphia born and raised” is what he wishes he could say. Nonetheless, Jabril Muhammad, a “Fresh Prince” fanatic, is from the West Oak Lane area of Philadelphia. Growing up, Jabril always had a propensity for motion. Whether it was playing sports or wrestling with his dad, he was always up and about. It was not until his 7th birthday, that this motion turned to dance. In his first battle, he broke out into a “wiggly” yet dynamic freestyle. As a result, he won, and his life was never the same. From then on, he became infatuated with dance and artists such as Michael Jackson, Usher, and Chris Brown (later). In 7th grade, his dancing career truly took off! After joining Philly Movements Dance Company, he became proficient in various dance styles including popping, waving, locking, breakdancing, krumping, ballroom, and reggae (dancehall). It was there that Jabril earned the name “Snakepitt” due to his snake-like movements when popping and waving. While with Philly Movements, Jabril had the honor of dancing at the Fourth of July Parade, stop the violence initiatives, “Dance Arts” (now called “That’s Entertainment”), Disney World, etc. With this background, Jabril simply wants to continue getting better. Having been on PennHype for three years, he has brought great energy, swag, and a love of competition to the group. As he continues to grow, he only hopes that he can continue to help his teammates and electrify audiences!
Adisa Williams (Secretary)
Adisa "Didas" Williams first knew she wanted to dance at age 10.She found herself dancing in the living room to (then) Lil Bow Wow's "Take Ya Home" and 'movin' so fast across the floor' that she was convinced she wanted to grow up and be in a dance film.(Back then it was Jessica Alba in 'Honey').After being forgotten for a while and replaced with other performing arts (drama, speech, voice), her love for dance was rekindled in her Jamaican high school being surrounded by lots of modern and Dancehall.She would then go on to take classes at the Edna Manley School of Performing Arts, Harvard Ballroom, with Doug Varone & Dancers and at Broadway Dance Center. Having been exposed to everything from African to Ballet, 'Didas' began to merge her love for dance with her love for performing last year in Brown University's Latin Dance Troupe 'Mezcla's annual show.Now, she's inspired to learn all she can, get more technical training and get out into the dance world after graduation as a choreographer.
Teddy Xiong (Dance Coordinator)
Growing up in the Dallas area, Teddy was brought up on a healthy dosage of hip-hop. Looking for an outlet to express his love of the music, he fortuitously discovered breakdancing in middle school and spent countless hours watching Born, KYS, and Hong 10 wreck many a bboy and developing his own style. In high school, he began learning the multiple dance styles that came out during that time, including Soulja Boy, Jerking, Dougie, Cat Daddy, Shuffling, and the lesser known but equally impressive Shopping Cart. Combining his breaking with these waves of hiphop dances, he practiced his freestyling at various dance parties and banquets. In his junior and senior years of high school, Teddy joined a kpop dance group and had his first exposure to choreography. Despite his lack of formal training, Teddy will always love dance and uses it as an escape from his Wharton classes.
Alex Yoo (Show Chair)
Alex Yoo never expected to become a dancer growing up. Maybe a marine biologist or a voice actor but definitely not a dancer. However, he joined his school's bboy team called Enthalpy in his junior year in high school. Before he knew it, he started experimenting with other dance styles such as broadway, contemporary, and hip-hop. During his senior year of high school, he became one of the captains of Enthalpy and choreographed a six minute act to perform at his school's Asian Culture Festival. He also created a spin-off group called Entropy and performed at his school's end-of-the-year talent show. Now as a senior on Hype, Alex is happy to have kept dancing as an integral part of his life.
Hope MacKenzie (Public Relations Chair)
Hope MacKenzie is a sophomore from Ewing, New Jersey studying Communications in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has been trained for 12 years in tap, jazz, musical theater, ballet, and modern dance, but entered the hip hop genre in her freshman year of high school. She fell in love with the musicality and emotion found in hip hop and created choreography of her own in this genre. Her senior year, Hope rose to be the President of the crew that became her family and solstice from the challenges of life. Dance is what keeps Hope grounded and centered. Hope is incredibly excited to be accepted into Hype, and she hopes to bring some of her own style to the crew in the years to come.
Martha Ofuani (Public Relations Chair)
Martha Ofuani is currently a junior in the college. Throughout her life, she was always musically involved. She was in choir in elementary school, played the violin up until 8th grade, and sang in her school's choir again in high school. Her interest in dancing started in 8th grade when a lot of her guy friends got into breaking and popping. Her interest for dancing grew exponentially as she discovered shows like America's Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance, and dancers like Ellen Kim and Kyle Hanagami. Although Martha never took formal dance classes, she danced in her high school's musicals throughout her entire high school career. She's wanted to be in a hip-hop dance crew for so long and she's really excited to be a part of the Hype fam.
Kevin Park (Financial Chair)
Notorious as "Kevin Accident-Prone Park," this New York City nomad struggles to sport on his new contacts every morning and wears pants too tight for his own good. He can be commonly found on Franklin Jeng's bed, drugged out on NyQuil during the middle of the day. His favorite animal used to be the dolphin, until he found out that these creatures encourage prostitution within their pods. Friends have criticized him on his lack of leg hair, but haters do not faze him, a well-versed motif from philosopher Nicki Minaj. Kevin's proudest accomplishment is being able to run from the train station to his house in seven seconds. He aspires to purge all denim-on-denim outfits, to clog all of Brian Hsia's sweat glands, and to one day "run the trap." But as of now, he continues to diligently practice his rap songs at home for karaoke, or NRB as they call it back in his hometown. It should be noted that Kevin thinks he can dance but that is highly, highly debateable. One thing is for certain though. He loves his HYPE fam and is excited to meet the new generations to come!
Bonnie Mai (Internal/External Relations Chair)
Bonnie Mai is a current Wharton student who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. In the past she has been able to engage in myriad hobbies ranging from drawing to basketball, and from playing the violin to cooking. However, the one interest that Bonnie never had a real opportunity to pursue is dance because she comes from a traditional family in which academics is stressed, and also attended a high school in which athletics took precedence over performing arts. Introductory dance classes in 9th grade are the extent of her dance experience. For this, Bonnie is grateful that she can finally participate in this exciting form of creative expression alongside the Hype family.
Gina Tang (Internal/External Relations Chair)
Gina Tang is a Wharton freshman from Seattle, Washington. She started dancing in a tiny studio in Chinatown, learning ballet and traditional Chinese dance. While also training in jazz and hip hop when she was younger, she ultimately fell in love with her high school's drill team. The bulk of her high school dance experience was with her military drill team, and spent her senior year as co-captain, helping choreograph and lead the team. Gina adores the hip hop genre and cannot wait to dance and grow with the rest of her new Hype family.
Sarah first started becoming interested in dance in middle school when she tried out for her school’s step team and made it. Continuing on to her high school step and dance team for all 4 years, dance became an even bigger part of her life. Music videos and her favorite TV shows- So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew- continue to be integral in inspiring her. She loves watching and performing many different styles including hip-hop, b-boying, contemporary, ballet, and latin, even though she has never had formal dance training. Penn Hype is the perfect way for her to have fun while doing something she loves with amazing dancers.
Jeffrey Cho started dancing his junior year in high school after years of watching youtube videos, SYTYCD, ABDC, and movies like You Got Served, Stop the Yard, and Step Up, . He initially started with breaking, spending hours upside down in handstand position, but later decided to branch out to other styles that required less……flexibility. Aside from learning the choreography to a few Kpop songs, Jeff mainly freestyled throughout high school. His first attempt at joining a dance group left him stranded as the day after he joined his high school step team, all the members were suspended from school and it disbanded. Since then, Jeff’s been looking for a family to dance with and it’s safe to say that’s he’s finally found it in Hype.
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, dance reminds Jesse of his family. Jesse’s passion for hip-hop originated from seeing his older sister dance and perform to hip-hop music. Honing his skills within the confines of his room and Youtube, Jesse has grown to love different styles of hip-hop and is excited to explore them with Hype.
Otito hails from the DMV area where she used to take studio classes in hip hop ballet tap and jazz. She took a break from dance halfway through high school and now she can't wait to get back into the art form by learning and performing different styles of hip-hop. Otito is so excited to learn new choreo and make new friends ! It's definitely going to be a great year, so Get Hype!
Growing up in New York City, Franklin was surrounded by dance. His daily trips to and from school on the subway were frequently accompanied by street artists dancing in the stations and in the trains. These dancers were who first inspired Franklin to commit himself to the art of b-boying. He began his quest in the 8th grade where he took his first baby steps learning how to six-step and awkwardly top rock. Eventually, through the influence of youtube, Franklin found himself branching out and falling in love with hip hop. He spent his high school years learning choreography and participating in school dance showcases, loving the thrill of performing for a crowd. However, it wasn't until Franklin joined Hype that he really considered himself a dancer. By being around such amazing dancers, Hype showed Franklin what it means to love dancing and pushed him improve himself as both a dancer and an artist. As a senior entering his last year on the crew, Franklin can only expect amazing things from Hype.
"Dance to express, not to impress."
Sarah Jeng, a junior in Wharton, from northern New Jersey, doesn't know when she discovered her love for dancing;she only recalls her frequent one person dance parties in her room and basement, dating as far back as she can remember. She hasn't practiced or perfected any styles of dance but loves experimenting with her freestyle. Sarah participated in traditional Asian dance for years and recently gained experience in hip-hop dance from Defined Movement, the junior team of the Bergenfield-based Project D. Her season with them solidified her enthusiasm for dance and she can't wait to start dancing with Hype this year!
Kahaari is a College sophomore, born in Los Angeles, raised in NorthJersey. His true introduction to the dance world came with the rise ofthe West Coast-born dance movement, 'Jerkin.' Often called KBlack, herecruited an 8-man crew, The Sidewalk Troops, that performed at localevents, garnered some Youtube notoriety and was regarded the best inNorth Jersey. He explored hiphop dance styles but never performed withan established dance group and stopped dancing as his crew went theirseparate ways. Now, Kahaari looks forward to dancing and growing withHype.
"No experience is necessary" I like that statement. Hype truly is the first and legit dance team that I joined. I have never danced before but my hips don't lie when Good hip hop song is playing. Always open to try new forms of dancing. Can't wait for two more years with ma HYPE fam
Born in California but raised in Illinois, Kevin had a wide range of interests growing up. Dancing came to the forefront of those interests late in high school when he discovered Brian Puspos and Kyle Hanagami. At the time he was complacent with just watching but the more he watched, the more he wanted to try it. After watching countless hours of choreography from Keone Madrid, Quick Crew, and S**t Kings, his love for choreography turned into a love for dance. Hype is Kevin's first true dance experience and he cannot wait to get started.
Seika Nagao has been dancing from when she was three, but she didn't enjoy the elephant costume too much and left the ballet scene after awhile. However, in middle school she discovered her love for fun, sassy jazz moves, and has been dancing since then. Later, she became an active member of her high school's modern dance group. Recently, Seika has been captivated by Kpop( especially Big Bang) and even choreographed a Kpop mashup her senior spring with friends for fun. She can't wait to continue dancing at Penn and hopes she can sprinkle in some of her own style in Hype.
Joshulyne Park, or just Josh, started dancing through her older sister's influence. After moving to Seoul, Korea at the age of 12, she easily got into Kpop and began learning various Kpop dances. She was apart of a dance club back in high school where she slowly tried to break out of the Kpop genre and get into more hip hop dance styles. Never did she expect to get this involved with dance in college, but she's excited to enter this new environment and learn from others who share her same passion for dance.
Micah Rainey is a junior in Wharton who is planning to concentrate in OPIM. She started dancing at the age of 8 in her hometown of Huntsville, Alabama, and hasn’t stopped since then. In her middle and high school years, her main focus was performing with her schools’ show choirs, which she likes to claim counts as a sport, but she has also been trained in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop. When growing up, she frequently heard from her instructors that she needed to calm down and keep her tongue in her mouth, so she is happy to have found a new dance family where ratchet is a word that people get excited about.
Steve Siu has been dancing pretty much his whole life, but he never took it seriously until his sophomore year of high school. He started out learning tutting and has since turned it into a specialty of his. When college began, he took breaking more seriously and also got into writing choreography. He goes to as many dance events as he can (bboy jams, and the like) in order to fine-tune his skills and draw inspiration from other dancers so that he can push his dance abilities to their utmost limits.
Born and raised on Long Island, Steph has been dancing since she was tiny but for the most part, it was only traditional Chinese dance. Then came Step Up movies and K-pop freshman year of high school and let's just say from then on nights were spent on YouTube, attempting not to injure herself in her bedroom. Soon enough, dance became the medium where Steph could let loose and express herself. She never had a chance to seriously dance or choreograph until coming to college and is excited to continue to grow as a dancer with her new Hype fam
Born in Jamaica and raised in Boston, dance was naturally integrated into Cassandra's life. Cassandra did not begin organized dancing until the age of 8 in an afterschool program. Starting with informal hiphop at the age of 8 to formal training in jazz, ballet, and comtemporary styles at 12 and throughout high school. The formal training never focused on hiphop which made Cassandra realize how much she missed hiphop. She stayed current with her moves through the many popular "Crank Dat" dances and maintained her skills through dancing in the mirror. Being on Hype will give Cassandra the chance to emerse herself into hiphop and grow as a hiphop dancer. Cassandra is also involved in CityStep, a organization that teaches hiphop to children in the Philadelphia area.
April is a senior studying in the School of Nursing and she hails from a suburb in Los Angeles called Northridge. Her real interest in dance probably began in middle school, when she realized how enthralling it was to do the Cha Cha Slide at her best friend’s bat mitzvah. Since then, her love for dancing to upbeat music with people she loves has only grown. Although she did not have any official experience with dance before coming to Penn, April has found that dancing with Hype has become an irreplaceable piece of her undergraduate career. H er exposure to unfamiliar styles of dance through working with this crew has given her the amazing opportunity to fall in love with new forms of expression, as well as work on her strengths and weaknesses. April loves her teammates and remains forever proud of her crew. She knows that Hype Love is eternal and looks forward to the days when Hypies will initiate twerkfests at each other's weddings...because she knows some things won't ever change. :)
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Carina has always been involved in competitive swimming since elementary school as well as the typical Asian musical endeavors, but she loved watching great dancers on shows like So You Think You Can Dance. She never imagined she would actually become a dancer (or be able to embody anything related to swag), but after being introduced to dance junior year of high school, she attempted to self-teach choreography via Youtube, including Michael Jackson’s Thriller and a few K-Pop dances. Finally, in college, she was honored to have the opportunity to pursue her love for dance with her Hype family. She believes it is a privilege to express herself in reaching for visual words that don’t exist in the music and physically manifesting meaning in moments of time—the extension of words, sound, and space. Experimenting with various styles like tutting, lyrical hip hop, and contemporary and learning from the talented dancers in Hype, she is more than excited to see where her time on Hype leads her.