Femme 5 is an all-female group from Chicago, Illinois. The group is intent on bringing a feminine touch to the male-dominated field of dance. Growing up in the same neighborhood, the members used to compete against each other but upon discovering that they had the same dream of going to LA and pursuing their dance careers, the women joined forces and started their own crew.
Elise Melnick hails from Chicago, Illinois. This twenty-one-year-old woman used to be a gymnast but at age 14, she had a back injury and that incident made her move to dancing instead. She competed with a hip-hop troupe during her teenage years. She makes a living out of being a host for the Saddle Ranch Chop House. She admires Jesse Santos, a teacher who encourages her in many ways and even helps her break into the industry. She looks up to him for his generosity in supporting other people go after their dreams. When it comes to celebrities, Melnick admits that Britney Spears and her dancers used to be a motivation for her. But now, she is largely inspired by people who sacrifice what they have to move out to LA in pursuit of their dreams. By being on the Dance Crew, she yearns to learn more from other performers, believing that this will contribute to her own growth as a dancer.
Eighteen-years-old Allison Forslund from Chicago, Illinois, was a gymnast throughout her grade school and in middle school years. When her coach advised her to try ballet, she listened and immediately fell in-love with the dance form. She was just an eight grader when she started her career. Her idols are her mentor Rachelle, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson and Gil Duldulao. But more than these people, her ultimate idols are none other than her parents. Forslund claims that she considers them her best friends and says that if it weren’t for them, she wouldn’t be dancing at all. What continues to inspire her is the great feeling she experiences whenever onstage and the overwhelming happiness found in doing what she loves.
Eighteen-year-old Gabriela Sansosti discovered her love for dancing at an early age of six. Her mom enrolled her to a dance class at a local studio and the first time she performed, Sansosti already knew that she’ll be dancing for the rest of her life. To make ends meet, she spends her days working at P.F. Changs, a Chinese cuisine restaurant. Her first ever hip-hop teacher Anthony Hopkins remains as the person whom she idolizes. But it is her mom who continuously inspires her and encourages her to pursue her dream of becoming a dancer. This woman is proud of her positive aura and her diligence in working. In joining Dance Crew, she hopes to improve on her choreography skills and build stronger bonds with her group.
Twenty-year-old Kara Kohlmeyer got her interest in dance from her sister. When Kara reached high school, she joined Xtreme Dance Force, a competitive hip-hop troupe and her experiences with the mentioned group triggered her decision to take dancing seriously and make a career out of it. Kohlmeyer is currently enrolled in California State University and works as a saleswoman at a Guess Jeans clothing store on the side. She looks up to Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. She also admires Jess Santos for loving what he does and sharing it with everyone. She gets inspiration from her fellow dancers and is intensely motivated by the goals that she wants to achieve.
Lauren Santelli started dancing at the age of four when her mom enrolled her to a ballet class. Ever since then, she found a love for performing and hasn’t let go. While her dancing idols are Rachelle Oschner, one of her very first dance teachers, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, it is her parents whom she considers as source of her motivation and inspiration. This twenty-year-old woman hopes to gain a professional level dance career through joining Dance Crew. She aspires to get booked as a talent and is also excited to interact with dancers from the LA scene. She is curious to find out many things about having a career in dancing.
Femme 5 is a finalist for MTV’s 2008 reality talent search Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew; where hip-hop dance groups from all over US compete for the prize money and for the opportunity to be given a touring contract.
(Photo courtesy of MTV)