Written by Alyssa Mondy Photographs by The Williams Fam and Shawn Thomas
The rain continues to fall like every other evening, as I start to wonder if the number of raindrops in the sky can rival the amount of lethargic, bored people stuck in their homes: just another Monday night in quarantine. However, this evening there is a slight change in me. My posture is better, I am NOT in my pajamas, and I have on one of my favorite pairs of hoop earrings. I’m sitting in the same work chair as always except with a bigger smile, but why? I will tell you if you promise to not get green with jealousy; that emotion isn't good for you, you know. As I was saying, I stumbled upon the opportunity to FaceTime four talented dancers tonight in order to interview and write about their journey of becoming professionals. These four boys are brothers: Tag, Keene, Gage, and Rab Williams. Luckily, all of them being young heartthrobs with wild senses of humor, I’d say this interview was more a form of entertainment than a work interview.
Inside the brothers' at home studio
See any familiar faces? These brothers, all in their 20’s are more popularly known on social media platforms as The Williams Fam. After first blowing up on vine, R.I.P to our beloved six second video skits, they took to Instagram and have been growing in exposure ever since. Rab added that he believes “social media has played a huge role in our success by basically streamlining our content to the whole world”. With a combined 1.7 million+ followers across three different platforms, the boys have successfully reached the world scale. They have traveled to multiple countries performing and teaching in the style of hip hop. There is no doubt these guys have accumulated a large amount of success... but how did these tall, young, white boys start dancing hip hop in the first place?
“Social media has played a huge role in our success by basically streamlining our content to the whole world.”
Pre-Show for Daddy Yankee
How did dancing to the beat of this drum begin? About 14 years ago, Keene says that “our mom dragged us off the couch one Saturday morning and forced us into a dance class that she had seen through Raimy’s cheer program”. Raimy is their younger sister, and arguably the reason they all obtained this form of success and started dancing in the first place! You are appreciated Raimy, young women all over the world thank you daily.
After they all realized the amount of passion they all have for this art form, they decided to join a competitive dance team called Chapkis Dance Family where they continued to train and perform for 11 to 12 years.
“We placed a lot”, Keene added in such a way that I am inclined to describe it as a humble brag.
Throughout their childhood the boys were homeschooled, and they shared being on this dance team was an awesome social experience where they really did find a home and second family in the other members and directors of Chapkis. Like many other artists, dance became a form of expression and release for them.
“Our mom dragged us off the couch one Saturday morning and forced us into a dance class."
Photoshoot by Shawn Thomas
The boys decided to make their first big move. Literally.
All this training and experience took place in Northern California: the bay area. After all those years, they finally decided to take a major leap and move to the city of angels: Los Angeles, California.
When asking the boys why they chose to move, Tag explained “We were doing pretty well from the bay area... but all of the entertainment industry and the dance influencers, they all live in LA. So, it kind of made sense to move down where everybody is doing what we’re trying to do.”
After moving to Los Angeles, they were able to collaborate with other well-known dancers, grow their social media following, and take more beneficial and different dance classes. Everything they could desire in order to grow and improve themselves is more accessible here in the land of entertainment opportunity.
What was the hardest part about this move? They claim that the hardest part of the move was just adjusting to city life in general. As Keene was explaining how they came from a smaller town, Rab interjected: “We came from the country-side” which Keene continued with “not being able to hop the fence and run with the cows... you get pretty used to going to the bathroom outside in the fields” and Gage grievously mumbled “now it’s illegal”. However, they did have the comfort of living with each other and relying on other close friends being present in their lives during and after the move to a new city.
Behind the scenes before a Daddy Yankee show
Aspiring professional dancers! Need some tips? When asking the brothers what tips they would give others who may be aspiring to be dancers, they gave me a couple different scenarios just to cover the bases. The first one: if you are new and want to get started with the basics then start taking classes.
A suggestion they made due to the Covid-19 quarantine was to take Steezy online classes. This website has classes that cover basics and foundations of dance for new or experienced dancers. I have taken a few of these classes, and the features on this website make taking dance class easy to access, fun, and tailored personally to you. For more experienced dancers that want a career in dance, they recommend focusing on how well you can help people. How can you help better and how can you expand the amount of people you help? The more people you impact, the stronger your career will be; along with your quality of life. They also highly recommend consistent content on your social media, and not worrying about always being perfect.
What are the boys up to now in quarantine? As of now, The Williams Fam is focusing their energy on bettering themselves, continuing to make their content, practicing their skills with DJ-ing, and learning to be conversationally fluent in the 10 most common languages in the world within the next three years. If you would like to keep up with them and what they’re creating during their lockdown, make sure you click on the link below. Enjoy the show!