Artistic Drift Crew

Ava White, Reporter

Artistic Drift Crew is traveling to the reality TV show, “America’s Got Talent” this upcoming March. Artistic Drift is a team of six members aging from 20-24.

This opportunity is a culmination of many years of hard work by the crew members. Artistic Drift won first place and grand champion at Top of the World Competition in Anchorage the past two years of competing. In August 2018, Artistic Drift traveled to World of Dance in the Bay Area and received second place out of eight highly competitive teams.

A large reason Drift is going to America’s Got Talent is to bring exposure to Alaska’s dance scene. Alaska’s dance scene is small comparated to scenes in the Lower 48. Head coach Marcus Freeman, 24, has been dancing for a decade. “I started with breaking. My friends Kevin and Xavier and I would watch movies with dancing in them which got me started,” Freeman said. Freeman’s biggest achievement in dance is seeing the spark in youth, and reaching out to individuals through an art form. Freeman described it as “very talented and hungry. It’s very untapped to the point there’s not much exposure and opportunities, or even enough knowledge to gain the opportunities.”

If Artistic Drift passes the first round of AGT in March, it will bring great exposure to Alaska’s dance scene. Drift Gallery Dance Studio has put on and competed in several jams, which are dance battles that determines who is the best at certain styles of dance. These jams allow the dance community of Alaska to come together, and challenges those competing to branch into styles they may not prefer.

Marquece Blanks, 22, has been dancing since he was nine years old, and has been a part of Artistic Drift since he was in high school. Blanks describes as dance as mental. “You don’t have to be the strongest person to do everything, but as long as you have the challenge to overcome that mental block you can do anything,” he says. Blanks’ favorite style of dance is locking, because of its funky vibe and groove.

Christian Cadavos has also been dancing for 10 years, and began with his best friend David Tang. Cadavos is motivated to dance because of his environment and the people he dances alongside. “My company all has their own individuality that pushes me and inspires me to do great, especially the kids,” Cadavos explained. Cadavos describes the opportunity to attend AGT as, “a blessing. My mindset isn’t on the prize, but more on the exposure.”

Freeman’s mindset going into the show is, “it’s time to create a staple for Alaska, an image. I hope people acknowledge it. I feel like when people think of Alaska they don’t really know dance really exists there, and they don’t know how we incorporate dance into our lives. It’s encouraging for me to go to create that feeling for people.” Artistic Drift is preparing for this experience by practicing until midnight every night, constantly listening to their music, and keeping their drive strong. Drift Galleries other three teams, Abstrax, Mosaix, and Akrylix are all cheering them on with their goal of exposure, and growth.