The JabbaWockeeZ is a seven-member, male, hip-hop dance crew best known for being the winners of the first season of America's Best Dance Crew. They were featured dancers in the episode Vatalihootsit It Up, dancing to the song Dance For Life.
They were initially formed by members Kevin " KB" Brewer, Phil "Swagger Boy" Tayag, & Joe "Punkee" Larot under the name "3 Muskee". By 2004, their members included Ben "B-Tek" Chung, Chris "Cristyle" Gatdula, Rynan "Kid Rainen" Paguio, and Jeff "Phi" Nguyen. The Jabbawockeez do not have a leader of the group; choreography for their performances as well as music and design choices are made as a collective unit. They always perform wearing masks and white gloves and all Jabawockeez members must be at least 6 feet tall in order to join the group.
Phil "Swaggerboy" Tayag, Kevin "KB" Brewer, and Joe "Punkee" Larot began performing as a trio called "Three Musky" in Sacramento, California while wearing white masks and gloves. The mask and glove motif was adopted as a tribute to the 1960s San Francisco strutting crew Medea Sirkas. Stylistically, the Jabbawockeez style of dance features an eclectic mix of various urban styles, primarily popping & b-boying, along with a careful synchronicity to self-made instrumentals which one member dubs "Beat-Kune-Do".
Established in 2003 in San Diego, California, Jabbawockeez is the brainchild of the "Three Musky" who wanted to showcase freestyle dance. The name Jabbawockeez, coined by Joe Larot, was inspired by the fantastical monster from the Lewis Carroll nonsense poem Jabberwocky. The white masks and gloves from Phil, Kevin, and Joe's performances as Three Musky were adopted as the visual signature of the group. In San Diego, through Gary's connections, the Jabbawockeez added b-boys Rynan "Kid Rainen" Paguio and Chris "Cristyle" Gatdula to the group. The original seven member iteration of Jabbawockeez began performing as a group in 2004. This lineup consisted of Gary, Randy, Phil, Kevin, Joe, Rainen, and Chris.
Jabbawockeez rounded out their numbers with additional members, bringing their total to eleven. Phoenix native Jeff "Phi" Nguyen had met Rynan Paguio at various Los Angeles area auditions and performances, and earned a spot in the Jabbawockeez in 2004 by battling Kevin Brewer. The Jabbawockeez also brought Kaba Modern alumnus Ben "B-Tek" Chung and b-boys Eddie "Eddiestyles" Gutierrez and Saso "Saso Fresh" Jimenez into the fold.
America's Best Dance Crew
The Jabbawockeez auditioned a seven-member contingent for the first season of America's Best Dance Crew, because of crew member limits imposed by the show. Originally, the ABDC group was supposed to consist of Gary Kendell, Phil Tayag, Kevin Brewer, Joe Larot, Rynan Paguio, Chris Gatdula, and Phi Nguyen; however, Gary died that year, and Joe suffered a knee injury during the audition rounds. The group chose Ben Chung to replace Joe on the show and left Gary's spot vacant, proceeding with six members. They eventually went on to become the winners of the show. The win earned the crew $100,000 (USD).