“Tank tops, low-cut, STOP!” shouted Miranda Palacio, stamping her foot in rhythm to the lyrics. “In this joint!”
The room echoed as members of The Armada, a local Boise dance crew, counted steps, recited lyrics and directed movements as they practiced—for the umpteenth time—a portion of Nelly’s “Hot in Here.” This preparation was for their 13-minute-long set to open Tyga’s show on Friday, Jan. 25, at the Revolution Concert House.
“Take it from the top,” shouted Palacio.
“Can we make it louder?” asked Alexandra McLaughlin.
Music poured from the speakers, reverberating through the floors and filling the room. Sneakers squeaked as the dancers rehearsed again and again. The Armada was formed a short five months ago by director and choreographer Max Nguyen.
The seven members of the group were chose by Nguyen, who teaches workshops and classes, based on their personality and talent.
“We chose ‘The Armada’ because it seemed to fit,” said Nguyen, who has been dancing for the past five years. “You think of a fleet of battleships—it’s intimidating. Strength in numbers.”
After posting a freestyle video to Tyga’s “Faded” on YouTube, Mikey Castro was approached by promoter for Tyga, and The Armada was eventually asked to perform an opening sequence.
Juggling a budding dancing career while being a full-time student takes hard work and time management.
“I make sure all of my classes are during the day, and all homework is over before practice,” said Castro, who is a junior Marketing major at Boise State. Practices are held two to three times a week in the evenings, though the group has been smashing in seven practices a week to put the finishing touches on their set for the show.
“It’s a good thing school is just now starting,” Marissa Grund, junior exercise science major said. “But we all understand we need to do this, so it’s not bad.”
Though the style of dance they move to is general hip-hop, the group tries to incorporate more of a musical element to their sets.
“We try to embody more music driven versus just rap,” said McLaughlin, who has been dancing since she was 15. “We stick to movement rather than moving to rap.”
The 13-minute set will be a mash-up of a variety of different rap songs.