What do you get when you combine breakdancing, gymnastics, and roller-skating? Something that would impress even Simone Biles! We caught up with Jordan McQuiston of the Honor Roll Skate Crew to get the 411 on how they roll. These guys have performed everywhere from America’s Got Talent to the upcoming Denim Moves Roller Disco in LA (RSVP now for this family friendly skate jam if you haven’t already!). McQuiston breaks it down, after the jump.
First, can you give us a rundown on the current makeup of your crew? How long have you all been skating together?
There are five main members that split ownership of Honor Roll Entertainment: Jordan McQuiston, Tony Zane, Diamond Walker, Brandon Perea and Hunter Collins. Aside from the main members, we have four other members for Honor Roll Skate Crew. They are Junior Acosta, Ryan Butler, Darion Reyes, and Oscar Maldonado.
Collectively, we’ve known each other and skated with each other for around 15 years. Diamond, Tony, and myself have been skating together the longest. The idea of Honor Roll Skate Crew was to take all the guys that we feel are the best at our style of skating, and put them together to offer roller-skating entertainment at its best.
How’d you get into skating? It’s not a sport or activity you see a lot of kids picking up on their own.
Everyone on the crew has their own individual stories as to how they ended up skating. I think a simplified explanation would be that we relished the creative freedom. What we do is basically dancing on skates, and both dancing and skating are free from the constraints of rules to a certain extent. The more creative you are, the better, and watching something you created come to life is an amazing feeling. We were all introduced to skating at a young age, and it was the creativity and love for the fluid movement that kept us pushing forward with skating.
That said, roller-skating is kind of having a resurgence. A pop-cultural moment. Why do you think that is, and what do you think of it?
The popularity of skating has always been like a roller coaster: up and down, up and down. It seems at the moment that it’s on the up once again, which is great! I think everyone has a fascination with the idea of having wheels on your feet. I think there are a lot of factors as to why it is having a resurgence. You have a lot of groups out there such as Honor Roll, LA Roller Girls, Moxi Girls, etc. These groups as well as others are using social media to keep the idea and art of what we all do alive. It’s great and I hope that it continues to grow.
Tell me about competing on America’s Got Talent. What’s something viewers and fans might be surprised by?
We’ve competed on many national TV shows, from America’s Best Dance Crew to America’s Got Talent. Each one has subtle things that are different, but all of them are pretty intense. You really feel like you are fighting for your life! Something that a lot of people don’t think about is how difficult and expensive it is to get rights to certain music. So when you are creating pieces to showcase for competition, it’s usually impossible to get exactly what you want, and in most cases it comes down to the wire before you even know what will get approved. As if things weren’t stressful enough – add this in and it can easily put everyone over the edge.
You guys are also featured in Old Navy’s new denim commercial. What was it like shooting that?
It was a blast! We loved working with Jonas Åkerlund and the direction he went with the ad. We feel it’s going to be super big for roller skating, and are so glad we had the chance to be included.
What’s your skate style — the perfect outfit for busting moves?
Our style of skating is considered jam-skating. It’s a combination of hip-hop dance, breakdancing, and gymnastics. Plus roller-skates. Choosing our outfits comes down to comfort and mobility. That’s why Old Navy’s built-in-flex denim is perfect – you get the great look of denim but with the mobility of sweat pants.
Are there any other roller-skaters, dancers, or performers you really admire and/or would like to work with?
We have worked with almost everyone we admire in the skate world on numerous different projects. Some just recently on the Old Navy shoot! I think in the future we would like to collab with groups such as LA Roller Girls, Trey Knight, Terrell Owens, and Moxi. Those are just a few, but we’d want the project to be solely about skating. We already work a lot on music videos and commercials, but we definitely plan on collaborating with other groups in the future with the focus only on skating.
What’s your practice routine look like? Do you guys work out/train together and then also have choreography practice sessions? Break it down for us.
We have been performing together for a long time, so rehearsals are more for cleaning and formatting things to fit a given show at the time. A few of us work out together, and when we have down time we train together as well. Working around everyone’s schedules can be difficult. So sometimes we will find ourselves having rehearsals starting at 2am and ending when the sun comes up. No matter what, we always want to make sure we are showcasing our best work, so we’ll find a way to rehearse.
What’s your favorite song to skate/dance to right now/can we get a hint on what you track you might be performing to at the Denim Moves Roller Disco?
Picking a favorite song to skate to almost isn’t possible! We love to perform to high energy music, usually around 125 bpm. We try to mix popular music into our performance to relate with the audience. One of my favorites is “Beggin’” by Madcon. It’s a remake of the original song “Beggin’” by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
What’s your favorite place to skate or perform?
We’ve performed at so many places, from Madison Square Garden to the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard. It’s a great feeling to have been blessed to perform on some of the biggest stages out there, but it’s not about the place. We love to perform, so our favorite place to perform is anywhere there’s a platform to do so. There’s so much negativity throughout the world, so when we can put smiles on faces during our performances, we jump at the chance.
Finally, any tips for aspiring roller-skaters?
Be creative and think outside of the box! Most importantly… Keep Rollin’.
Bonus alert: You can score Old Navy sculpt denim at 25% off with code DENIMMOVES (valid from 8/11-9/1).
This interview has been lightly condensed and edited for length.
Offer valid on Old Navy merchandise only from 8/11/16 at 12:01 am ET through 9/1/16 at 11:59 pm ET in the US (including Puerto Rico) at Old Navy online at oldnavy.gap.com. Not valid at Old Navy stores. Offer not valid on Everyday Steals, Hot Deals, Today-Only Deals, Flash Sales and Clearance merchandise (merchandise ending in $.97 and $.99). Not valid on international purchases. Discount applies to merchandise only, not value of gift cards purchased, packaging, applicable taxes or shipping & handling charges. No adjustments on previous purchases. Not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts including Gap Inc. employee discount. Gap Inc. is not responsible for lost or stolen coupons.