The Strikers Dance Crew visits Jonesboro

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-A Region 8 dance studio got some very special visitors on Wednesday.

The Strikers are on tour and stopped in Jonesboro at Christie McNeil's dance studio. The Strikers are a dance group that appeared eight times on America's Best Dance Crew on MTV.

Peterson Thelisma, a native of Port of Prince, Haiti, taught students The Strikers dance routine.

"I got a phone call from them. They had seen my website and were interested in stopping for the day on there way through," says dance studio owner Christie McNeil. "I just couldn't believe it. I was so excited and new what a great opportunity it would be for our students."

Thelisma says one of the best parts of their tour is to get to interact with the kids.

"Especially with kids, if you can get their attention, you can teach them just about anything," Thelisma said.  "One of the main things I stress is education. We all came from a different background and we all ended up in college. It gives them a different view on education. Because kids often don't think parents are cool, but if they hear it from us to go to school and stay in class, they'll listen. So, that's been my message throughout this whole thing."

McNeil says it was great students got to see this type of dance on more than just television.

"It means everything because they're bringing something in we've never had and the kids are getting exposed to something different," she said.  "My students have never had the opportunity to see first hand this type of hip hop dance. I was thrilled when they called and chose our town to come to and my studio to teach our kids."

Around sixty students ages six to nineteen rotated in and out of the studio throughout the day to participate in The Strikers workshop.

Thelisma said, "My dance is energetic. Lots of energy and a lot of smiles to the kids faces. Even when we were on the show, it was high quality, high energy pieces."

McNeil says all the students, no matter their age, seemed to enjoy Thelisma's instruction, "The teenagers are really enjoying it. The kids had a lot of fun this morning. Everybody thinks it's great and the parents can't believe how much they've learned in such a short amount of time. Everyone thinks it's great that they're here."

The Strikers taught workshops for several hours before heading on to their next location.

For more information about The Strikers, log onto their website.

For more information about Christie McNeil's Dance Studio, log onto this website.

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