Meet the 916 Crew Choreographers: Summer & Keith Turk

The 916 Crew will have 4 choreographers this upcoming season. Get to know some of the brains behind the beats from KAST Academy of Arts.
by Tracee Jay
Social Media Producer

How excited are you about working with the King to develop this new dance team?

Summer: I'm super excited. I danced with the Kings years ago, so this is a full circle idea for me. I was on the court and now behind the scenes and I'm so excited.

Keith: I'm extremely excited to develop a new team with the Kings, especially with it being gender inclusive. We're going to have a lot of fun. We're going to be able to open this box up to a whole different style of entertainment.

How cool is it that this team is gender inclusive?

Summer: You can do so much more with guys and girls. The dynamic of dance and choreography is going to be even better.

Keith: You know, what I think is really cool. I just recently performed with the Kings, and we shut it down! It was a lot of fun! I had a great time. I was terrified at first but then I was like, you know what this would be really cool if they had boys and then “bam!”

What kind of dance traits are you looking for in a potential member?

Summer: Well, it's hip-hop based but we kind of want to see everything! If you can do anything Jazz, elements of contemporary, elements of breakdance anything that will bring to the entertainment value of the team!

Keith: What I look for is fall-out energy, great character, responsibility, practicing when we're not looking, and maturity. I like souls. Good, fun souls.

What would you say is your choreography style?

Summer: My style my style is kind of sassy and then kind of hood at the same time.

Keith: I am a hip-hop, jazz-dancing, acrobat circus kid. I was in the circus, so I'm very theatrical. I like a lot of character. I like a lot of suspense, surprise and I like a lot of big movement.

Who inspired you?

Summer: Wow, my biggest inspiration had to be my mom for one and then Debbie Allen.

Keith: My teacher back home, named Eileen Moffitt. She poured a lot into me. My grandmother who paid for me to do any and everything I wanted to do. And then my wife. My wife was my teacher.

What are the best shoes to rock while your dancing?

Keith: Balenciaga’s baby!

What is your dance background?

Summer: Well, I'm going to give away my age, but I've been dancing for over 20 plus years. I've been training in ballet over 10 years. I had scholarships to Alvin Ailey I dance in New York, video work and tour work - a lot of stuff.

What is your process for designing choreography for these upcoming auditions?

Keith: I literally stand there and look at the people and go, “here we go.” I like to freestyle off of the top of my head, because you get a better vibe with the people.

Sometimes, you can come up with the best choreography, but it won't look good on set, so I like to see what we got going on. I’ve just been doing it so long now I can just choreograph on the spot.

What is your most memorable dance experience?

Summer: Oh my gosh. It had to be the NBA All-Star Game back in 2000. We got the chance to dance with LL Cool J, and that was amazing.

What makes KAST Academy of the Arts unique?

Keith: Honestly, there isn't a lot of African American Studios in the city, let alone the country. We have a wide variety of colors and shapes and sizes. They win, they work hard, and every year we do a different style. One year we will do Bollywood, salsa, bachata or traditional African dance. All the kids just love the diversity that we bring to the table.

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