A Woodbury-based dance trio is bringing its best hip-hop moves to the Washington County Fairgrounds.
Sisters Addison and Skylar Wolfe, of Woodbury, and their friend Allison Quintana, of Cottage Grove, make up the hip-hop dance group called M2B Crew. The trio will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Washington County Fair's amateur talent show, which will be held in the Park Pavilion and which showcases vocal, dance and other acts from children, teens and adults.
The girls — Skylar is 16, Addison and Allison are 14 — discovered that their act was "meant to be" when they met seven months ago at a local dance studio. When their lessons didn't cover the style of dance they favored, they formed their own group and set up a studio — called Wolfe Den Dance — in the basement of the Wolfe home.
The group took its name — M2B, short for "meant to be" — after the girls realized that they had more in common than a shared interest in hip-hop.
"We started realizing we look the same, [Allison and Addison's] names are similar … And we're like, 'This is just kind of meant to be,' " Skylar said.
The girls started dancing just a few years ago. Now, they eat, sleep and breathe dancing.
Their manager, Kim Wolfe, who doubles as Skylar's and Addison's mother, said her daughters struggled to find the hip-hop community in Minnesota.
"Hip-hop is still an up-and-coming style of dance. Most people still want the classic forms — tap, ballet, jazz," Kim Wolfe said. "So they can't find good hip-hop instructors."
In January, she hired Cory Booker, an instructor who specializes in hip-hop, to be the group's choreographer.
"Studios don't really teach hip-hop dance the right way and don't treat it as its own style," Booker said. "Most studios don't know where to find it."
Booker, who teaches at several dance studios and offers private lessons, meets with M2B Crew weekly to help the girls hone their craft. He trains them to perfect body movements by listening to cues within a song. The girls will often videotape their dancing, then dissect the video to ensure that they are in step with each other and that each spin, stomp, arm twirl or leg kick is properly aligned.
"He's not afraid to be upfront if you're not doing something right," Skylar said. "A lot of dance teachers we'll work with will say, 'That was perfect!' and personally, that's my least favorite thing to hear because dance can never be perfect … Cory always points something out that we can work on."
Booker, who hopes one day the girls pursue a career in dance, said, "I see potential in all three of them."
Building a fan base
Recently, the girls traveled to New York to perform as part of the Jam Tour, a nationwide tour that features performances from social media sensations.
"[New York] was our first big thing," Allison said. "The whole experience was, like, really fun. Just performing for everyone."
M2B Crew also has its own YouTube channel and is working on building its fan base so that it can participate in future social media tours, such as the DigiTour, which will pass through Minneapolis in December.
To gain exposure, the group will often go to the Mall of America and dance for shoppers.
"We'll just, like, dance wherever they let us if security doesn't stop us," Skylar said. "We just basically perform anywhere, which is fun."
The girls plan to continue dancing everyday to polish their synchronized movements, which, they said, takes "lots of practice."
The winner of Thursday's Washington County Fair competition will receive a small cash prize and automatic admission into the Minnesota State Fair's talent contest.
Should M2B Crew qualify for the State Fair and win there, the girls said they'll reward Booker, their choreographer, by giving him the $1,000 first-place prize.
Blair Emerson is a freelance writer. Her e-mail address is email@example.com