Local father-daughter dance duo set to take the stage on America’s Got Talent.
If you caught the auditions for the 18th season of America’s Got Talent, you know that The Parent Jam’s got talent. What you might not have known is that two of the contestants in the Los Angeles-based dance group are from Plymouth.
Baron and Zoey Brooks are no strangers to the stage. “I’ve been at Summit Dance Shoppe for six years,” Baron says. During competition shows, Baron performs with a group of fellow dance dads as part of a hip hop ensemble. “Some of these guys have been doing it for well over 30 years consecutively, but it’s basically a bunch of us dads,” Baron says.
While the Dancing Dads do compete, Baron notes that it’s about more than just winning. “We do all of our recitals at Summit Dance Shoppe, so we have technique, but we’re kind of more of that group that brings entertainment to everybody,” he says. “We just want to spread the joy.”
Zoey, 9, has been dancing for the majority of her life. The rising 4th grader at Providence Academy has her dad matched for time spent at Summit Dance Shoppe, with her specialities ranging from ballet and lyrical to contemporary and hip hop. “My favorite are jazz and contemporary,” Zoey says.
When asked how long she’s been dancing with her dad, Zoey doesn’t skip a beat. “Probably for my whole life,” she says.
Baron says that The Parent Jam is the brainchild of well-known hip hop choreographer Phil Wright. “We’re really family oriented,” Baron says. “What we’re trying to get across [is that] no matter what profession you’re in, there’s always time for family.”
During the audition, Wright elaborated on the origins of the dance group. “The Parent Jam started in a very small hip hop dance studio in Los Angeles,” he says. Simply put, “It is a collection of parents and kids dancing with one another.”
Wright was a familiar figure at Summit Dance Shoppe for Baron and Zoey. “Phil Wright has been coming to our studio here and there throughout the years and doing some workshops and some guest choreography,” Baron says. “I took the liberty last year of introducing myself to Phil.”
Six months later, Wright messaged the Brooks family with an exciting proposition. “He asked us if Zoey and I wanted to be on America’s Got Talent,” Baron says. “And here we are.”
An Auspicious Start
When The Parent Jam took the stage in colorful matching parent-kid outfits, they were met with an enthusiastic reception from the audience and judges alike. “I think for me and for a lot of us on the team, we’re used to being that entertainer and performing in front of people,” Baron says. “I think the nerves are something that kind of goes out the window. You’re anxious, and you’re wanting to get out there and just put on a good show for the audience, so that’s what was going through my head.”
Zoey echoes her dad’s sentiment. “At first, I was kind of nervous, but then when we started dancing, I just felt like I was dancing at my studio,” she says.
The duo will be heading back to California to prepare for upcoming live America’s Got Talent shows. Visit NBC to learn more about the show schedule and to download the app that allows you to vote for your favorite performances.