ATLANTA - Have you been to a Hawks game lately?
There are some new guys on the court…and we're not talking about the basketball players. The team's entertainment department is expanding its dance teams.
You’ll see them as soon as you walk in the door: the 404 Crew, a team of nine breakers.
From the concourse to the court, the vibrant, athletic breakers are fan favorites with a proven record of success.
For the first time in Atlanta Hawks history, according to director of entertainment Donni Frazier, the team stole the number one spot for “Game Experience” in the NBA. And it's no coincidence that milestone came at the inception of the 404 Crew, along with a stunt team and drumline.
“There's something for everyone, which is really the way you want to go,” Frazier told Good Day’s Emilie Ikeda courtside. “Our fans are what we want to cater to.”
The team of nine attends weekly two-hour rehearsals, on top of independent practices, sometimes exceeding 10-hours per week. And their hard work shows.
“I would never imagine I'd be dancing professionally for an NBA team,” said crew member Joseph Barron. “This is honestly passed something I could possibly dream of.”
The spotlight on the sport is broadening, as breaking is tentatively set to make its Olympic debut at the 2024 Paris games.
The team manager is hoping their love for the sport may rub off on a future Olympian.
“As we're doing this and incorporating the fans, you might inspire a little kid, [who says], ‘Hey mom and dad, I want to take a class,’ that's all it takes,” said Kennedy Phanthavong, 404 Crew manager.
The introduction of male dancers here in Atlanta is part of a wave across the NBA. The 404 Crew is joining the Golden State Breakers, the Brooklyn Nets Team Hype, and more.
There aren’t girls on the team this year, but Phanthavong is encouraging female breakers to tryout in upcoming seasons.