The FBI Kids & Dream Team Elite Dance nonprofit organization recently provided an opportunity for programs throughout the state to showcase their skills at the Leave it on the Floor dance competition at the Ezell Hester Jr. Community Center in Boynton Beach.
The youth majorette event featured 10 dance programs as they competed in different categories to earn cash prizes and trophies.
Terrell Hammonds, director of FBI Kids & Dream Team Elite Dance in West Palm Beach, said the program hosted a competition for the first time and is looking to create an annual event.
“We received a lot of positive feedback,” he said. “It was exciting for our program and great to have our own event. We look forward to next year.”
Sheryl Franklin, assistant director at FBI Kids & Dream Team Elite Dance, said it was an opportunity for the dance programs to compete at a high level.
“It was organized and ran professionally,” she said. “We made sure all the kids were hydrated. We had our kids helping out the teams. We had a lot of fun.”
Hammonds, who founded the nonprofit organization in 1999, said FBI stands for “Fun, Beautiful and Intelligent Kids.” He originally founded the program to create an opportunity for his three sisters to develop and learn.
The program provides services across Palm Beach County through the art of dance. Participants have received college scholarships and opportunities as back-up dancers for national recording artists, including Beyonce and Missy Elliott, as well the opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl with Rihanna.
Darius Hickman, a longtime member of the program, finished in sixth place during the 15th season of the dance competition TV series “So You Think You Can Dance.” Hickman also has experience as a back-up dancer on tour with Beyonce.
The year-round dance program is designed for boys and girls ages 4 to 18. They meet for dance practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. Hammonds serves as a choreographer instructor and Franklin is a coach, mentor and administrator. They also have eight volunteers who provide assistance with coaching. They are involved in several community events, including Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day parades, Black History programs, Juneteenth, March of Dimes, Walk for Autism and back-to-school events.
“It was designed to keep kids off the street and to do something positive in the community,” Hammonds said. “We encourage kids to stay in school, monitor their report cards, help them with community service and give them opportunities for scholarships. The mission continues to get bigger and we keep visualizing how to grow the program. It’s more than about dance. It’s giving back to the community.”
They compete in dance events throughout Florida and also outside of the state, including Alabama, Atlanta and Texas.
“We do a lot of fundraising,” Hammonds said. “We are dedicated volunteers. We do this because it’s our passion. It’s a positive environment for the kids and a great outlet for them.”
The Leave it on the Floor dance competition event’s sponsors included Taylor Frames Inspired Celebrity Eyewear as well as Florida Power & Light.
The St. Pete Diamond Prima Donna’s (St. Petersburg) placed first in the JV Walk-Thru category. All or Nothing (West Palm Beach) finished second while Platinum Steppers (Delray Beach) placed third. The Royal V Soldierettes (Tampa) captured first in the Varsity Walk-Thru category. The Golden Diamond Divas (Hollywood) placed second while Alluring Attack (Miami) finished third.
The St. Pete Diamond Prima Donna’s placed first in the JV Stand Battle category. All or Nothing finished as the runner-up. The Xtreme Heat (Orlando) captured first in the Varsity Stand Battle category. All or Nothing placed second during the competition. The Alluring Attack earned first place during the Coaches Battle.
The other participating teams at the dance competition included the Dynamic Diamonds (Delray Beach), Cobras (Riviera Beach) and Final Distinction (Lakeland).