Springfield dance group looks to transform the city through dance


Springfield’s Xclusive Dance Crew wants to changes lives through dance.

The group got its start as original members LaJuan Lane and Jacquan Brewton met as members of Project Jericho.

“We were involved in Project Jericho’s advanced hip-hop class and as we got older, we decided to branch out and form our group,” Brewton said.

Brewton and Lane both got their passion for dance at an early age. Brewton started by becoming involved with his church’s spiritual dancing group. Lane started in the same fashion, but he remembers the dance bug bit him earlier in life.

“My earliest memory was dancing in the grandfather’s living room, trying to nail down Michael Jackson’s ‘Remember the Time’ dance routine,” Lane said.

LaJuan has an even deeper connection with dance, as he used dance to recover from a significant car crash.

“The doctors told him he would be limited in his movements for the remainder of his life,” said Torray Lanier, LaJuan’s mother. “But that did not stop him. He was in a body cast, but would get up and still practice dancing. He’s overcame every hurdle and it was all because of dance.”

Xclusive Dance Crew started as a hip-hop group, but has expanded their dance arsenal by performing in various genres, including ballet, jazz, liturgical and praise dance.

The crew has performed at multiple Springfield festivals and events in the past couple years, including the Harlem Globetrotters halftime show, Shirley Murdock and Springfield native John Legend.

Lane not only wants to project a level of positivity throughout Springfield, he wants to destroy negative stereotypes that surround young men of color.

“When the group was created we wanted to show young black men doing something positive for the city,” he said.

The group has pushed that same message to young black women as the group added women.

Xclusive plans to stay in their spirit-led roots and won’t perform to any music that shows negativity toward any group, especially African-Americans and women.

The group consists of Lane and Brewton, along with Shykela Burton, Deserae Johnson, Tyreese Kerby and Kendra Eckler.

Lane and Brewton are transitioning into more of a teaching and managing role with the dancers as they recruit new members in hopes of expanding.

“This is more than dancing,” Brewton said. “It’s not what we do, it’s who we are. This group has changed me and made me a better leader and individual.”

Project Jericho continues to be a huge support for them, helping with securing dancing gigs, assisting with marketing and giving them career and life advice. The Springfield YMCA provides practice space and the dancers also practice on City Hall Plaza during the week so that the community can watch.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Pence calls for Obamacare repeal during Columbus visit
Pence calls for Obamacare repeal during Columbus visit

The Ohio GOP is anything but united these days: four well-known Republicans are jockeying to be governor, John Kasich recently took a public swipe at Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is walking a tightrope over health care reforms and state Treasurer Josh Mandel faces a primary opponent in the U.S. Senate race. Despite these squabbles...
Atlanta group protests CNN coverage of Trump
Atlanta group protests CNN coverage of Trump

About 30 people gathered outside CNN’s Atlanta headquarters Saturday to protest the network’s coverage of President Donald Trump. “Beware fake news” and “CNN. Criminal News Network” were some of the messages they delivered to people walking nearby and to fellow political conservatives watching the demonstration...
Wind, storms damage north Springfield neighborhoods
Wind, storms damage north Springfield neighborhoods

Storms and high winds damaged property and caused power outages in north Springfield neighborhoods on Saturday morning. Residents of several properties in Northern Estates and Glenco Estates awoke to uprooted trees and branches that fell on and around homes, peeled off siding and knocked out car windows. Providence Avenue and Marinette Drive in Northern...
Woman bit by shark off Florida Keys
Woman bit by shark off Florida Keys

A 40-year-old woman was bit on her foot by a shark in the Florida Keys and airlifted to the hospital Saturday. A good Samaritan reported the shark attack around 12:30 p.m. to the U.S. Coast Guard, according to WTVJ. The woman, who has not been identified, said it was a small shark. She is in the hospital in good condition.
Police break window to rescue dogs from hot car
Police break window to rescue dogs from hot car

Boston police officers and firefighters broke into a car Thursday evening to save a couple of dogs trapped inside. Boston 25 was there when police pulled the dogs from the car and put them into a police cruiser. A woman told us she was out for a run on Columbia Road in South Boston when she saw the dogs inside the car. She said she checked the temperature...
More Stories