Mukilteo teens dance way to finals of MTV show

  • By Jackson Holtz Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, May 22, 2012 8:25pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

MUKILTEO — After surviving near elimination for two weeks, Rated Next Generation’s young dancers hope to wow judges and fans across the country with another stand-out performance on MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.”

The Mukilteo-based dance team, known to their fans as RNG, wanted to finish the show at least in the top five, said Jennique Derousseau, 15 of Edmonds.

“We reached our goal, and it felt so good to get there,” she said. They try tonight to make it into the final four.

With no time to rest, the team has been working full time to prepare for this next round. In tonight’s episode, they’ll dance to Rihanna’s “You Da One.”

The tempo is a bit slower than past songs, and the team developed a story line to best demonstrate its skills, Jennique said.

“It was really cool to dance to Rihanna’s music. She’s amazing,” the young dancer said.

Each week the team has faced elimination by a panel of celebrity judges. RNG came close to losing in each of the past two weeks, but has managed to stay in the mix.

“This crew has grown the most on this show,” celebrity dancer D-Trix told RNG on last week’s episode.

Singer Lil Mama agreed. She encouraged the young team to keep working hard.

“Don’t loose sight, because you know, you guys can be winners,” Lil Mama said. “You guys perform, and do you perform.”

The dancers’ home team fans have been cheering each episode with viewing parties at a Mukilteo sports bar and in people’s homes, said Heidie Sharpe, a co-owner of The Connection Dance Studio in Mukilteo, where the troupe formed and trains.

“We’re so super excited,” Sharpe said. “We love them and miss them and want them to come home.”

Four of the seven teens in RNG live in Snohomish County. In addition to Jennique, local performers include Anneka Acode, 13, of Lynnwood; Paiton Hamilton, 13, of Mill Creek; and Marina Morga, 14, of Mill Creek. The troupe’s other participants live within driving distance of Mukilteo.

The high energy and intense pressure continues as the team enters tonight’s competition.

“We wish them the best of luck,” Sharpe said. “They’re already America’s Best Dance Crew to us.”

For the dancers, their success is proof to others that goals can be reached, Jennique said.

“We just want to say you can do anything if you put your mind to it,” she said. “Go for your dreams no matter how big they are.”

And in the meantime, “Vote for us. We need the votes and they really do count,” Jennique said. “We need a lot of votes and supporters.”

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447;

Watch RNG on MTV

“America’s Best Dance Crew” is scheduled to air at 10 tonight on MTV.

For more information about Rated Next Generation, go to

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