Get hyped up with the Gather Round Crew
Gathering Place’s seven-member hip-hop dance troupe serves as park outreach.
The Gather Round Crew: Dravin Hallford, Greg Pointer Jones, Josiah Kelly, Hannah Bakewell, Jordon Escoe and Darick Williams. Not pictured are Jordan Thompson and Micah Wise.
“We initially had the idea to create the Gather Round Crew as ambassadors for the park, to go out into the community primarily to engage kids in a fun way,” says Gathering Place director Tony Moore of the park’s eight-member hip-hop dance troupe.
The crew has performed all over the city, including a halftime show during a Thunder game at the BOK Center. The park released a popular music video of their song “Gather Round” this fall. Along with the Tulsa dancers, it features a cameo from Fik-Shun (Dushaunt Stegall), an internationally touring competitive dancer. The video has had more than 100,000 views.
According to Rodrigo Rojas, the park’s community relations director, the response to the Gather Round Crew has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We know Tulsa is a very diverse city, and music and dance are a great way to transcend barriers that are more difficult to break through with traditional community outreach,” Rojas says. “It’s been a really fun experience.”
Meet the Crew
Greg Pointer Jones, dancer, songwriter and “hype man” for Gathering Place’s Gather Round Crew, was raised with music. “My grandmother and my mother danced while they were cleaning,” Jones says. “They did that all the time. Just blasting the music.”
Gathering Place director Tony Moore first saw the 25-year-old Tulsan dancing on a corner downtown. Moore knew right away he wanted to partner with Jones to utilize his gift. That thought evolved into Jones’ role as programming ambassador “to take the Gather Round Crew where we could not physically take the park,” Moore says.
Jones and 27-year-old choreographer Josiah Kelly were instrumental in forming the hip-hop dance group. “We wanted to do something that was fun, useful, engaging and energizing,” Moore says. “We knew these were the two gentlemen we needed to hype it up, choreograph it and bring the professionalism to it.”
Jones relishes his role as hype man — generating audience excitement before and during the group’s performances at Gathering Place and community events.
“That’s who I am,” Jones says. “I love being energetic. The more energetic I can get, the more I can bring it on to other people.”
Fellow crew member Kelly has danced professionally since the age of 18, teaching, choreographing, competing and performing across the U.S. Kelly has enjoyed his time with the team. He likes sharing a positive message with new groups of people.
“That’s what the Gathering Place is all about,” he says. “Not scattering, but gathering people together, and not just to dance. The dances open the door for us to be able to bring community together, so that’s what I get excited about. It’s a stepping stone to bring the vision home.”