If you've been to a teen event at Charleston Town Center Mall in the last few years, then chances are you've seen a boys' dance group perform. The U-crew, as they're known, are talented guys with some serious moves.
The group's members are brothers Jarrett Hansen, 15, and Michael Hansen, 16, and their cousin Cody Burdette, 14, all students at Sissonville High School. The fourth member of the group, Shawn Hansen, 18, stopped performing after graduating high school in 2011 and moving away to pursue a job.
The guys got their start in 2007 at a dance competition held at the Town Center that summer to celebrate "High School Musical." Having never taken a dance lesson in their lives, the boys choreographed a dance routine and entered the competition.
All of them agree that the last thing they expected to happen was to win. "We were shocked that an amateur team like us could even have a chance at winning something like that," Cody said. "We really didn't even have anything prepared."
The group has performed every year since then at major mall events, such as fashion shows and celebrity meet-and-greets. Currently, the boys are working on a new routine that they will debut at the Town Center in March.
Dancing has also opened a few new doors for the group. Since the competition, all the members of the U-crew have become members of Charleston Town Center's Junior Board and Teen Board. These programs give teens the experience of becoming ambassadors for the mall through a wide variety of marketing opportunities and events.
Still, the boys remain very down to Earth about their talent and performing skills. Also, even with the other activities they're involved in, they remain devoted to dancing. It seems to hold a lasting place in their lives.
"I like to be individual," Jarrett said. "Dancing gives me the opportunity to stand out and get out there. It's fun, and I love the energy."
Their peers seem to like it, too. "There's always going to be people who don't like it, don't approve, but with us, most people think it's really, really cool," Cody said.
Of course, dancing isn't the only thing they do for fun. None of them are strangers to the stage. They have performed in local productions, and Cody has participated in the "Charleston's Teen Idol" singing competition. The three current members are all enrolled in theater class and involved in school productions at Sissonville High School.
Cody and Michael agree that acting and being involved in the performing arts are their favorite things to do. Jarrett also shares this hobby, but he says art, particularly drawing, is more of an interest to him.
Chances are, at the next big mall event, you'll see the U-crew performing on stage. Take a second to stop and watch. With the talent these guys have, there's no doubt you are in for an awesome performance.