Contestant

Da Republik

Bio

Da Republik is a dance crew from the Dominican Republic created by married couple Larybel and Jonathan Castillo. The dance crew, which is currently the reigning World Hip-Hop Champion, was formed by a group of best friends that have managed to live their passion by focusing on opportunities and not on the obstacles they have had to overcome in a poor and small country, where there is no such thing as the “American Dream."

When the members of Da Republik started dancing almost 10 years ago, they danced in the living rooms of their houses. They didn’t have the resources to go to a dance school and learn technique or style, so they learned in the streets. Later, they met Xernan Alfonso, former World Champion, who has shared gifts and knowledge with them.

Last year, the crew lost Brangie Ortiz, one of their principal and most important dancers. The crew was devastated. He died of a chronic illness that in any other country would have been under control, leaving behind a wife, five children and many devastated dance brothers. Now, everything the crew does is dedicated to him. The crew has promised to keep his legacy alive and also to provide for his family. They also want to be a good example for the youth of their Latin community and give hope to the people of their country by letting them know that where you come from doesn’t define you or what you can accomplish - you can still achieve your dreams.

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