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Team 2.0 – A Story of Love, Dance & Helping Troubled Youths

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Team Lead

 

In the midst of Ferguson, it is hard to imagine any levity in the Saint Louis community. Yet, just less than 20 minutes from where vehement riots and deafening protests roused fragile emotions to the Mike Brown incident, two individuals peacefully, diligently practiced an art.

Rian Dugar knew he wanted to dance after he saw a Jabbawockeez video eight years ago. The ways the dancers manipulated their bodies to move inspired Rian and since that day he has emerged a self-taught dancer.

Tabiethia Jones, similarly, was inspired to learn dance and has been dancing for nine years.

Their paths converged several years later as Tabethia approached Rian who was dancing at the Twisted Fool (a St. Louis establishment) offering, initially, to be his manager. Shortly after spending some time dancing and working together, Tabethia retracted her management offer as, according to Rian, “She said she felt her place was by my side.”

From that day on, the duo partnered up and formed Team 2.0—a name created from the combination of the nickname ‘2.0’ that Rian formally was given by an acquaintance and the concept that the two together form a working partnership: a team.

Team 2.0 started to practice routines together and their unique moves gained them recognition which led to work.

Initially, Team 2.0 began performing around the Saint Louis area for high schools and local fashion shows, impressing the youth and admiring audiences in their community. Their presence in St. Louis earned Team 2.0 several entertainment segments on KSDK News Channel 5 and other media outlets in the city. Their prodigious talents began taking them beyond St. Louis and Team 2.0 has begun to expand nationwide as Rian and Tabethia have traveled to LA, New York and Atlanta for dance and they have been blessed to be a headlining act at The Empire State Building and to have performed at the World of Dance NY.

Since their establishment, Team 2.0 has had 12 television appearances and six magazine features in 3 years. They have appeared in 2 short films, and have worked with phenomenal artists & icons—in and out of New York–such as Wyclef Jean, Victoria’s Secret model Maytee Martinez, Sheena Trivedi (NY fashion designer), and Pop Diva, Guinevere.

“I now understand that saying: If you can make it here (NY) you can make it anywhere, and that’s what I feel like we’ve done,” says Rian Dugar. And Team 2.0 certainly has made it, but outside of the bright lights and adoring fans, there’s something much deeper that drives Team 2.0 to do what they do, and that is lifting up people who are in need through dance.

Rian adds, “Prior to 2.0, I was putting myself in some bad situations by hanging out with the wrong crowd and not living up to my full potential. When people whom I looked at as brothers and friends kind of just screwed me over, it really put things in perspective. As for Tabz [Tabethia], she was going down a really bad path at one point due to heartbreak and bad relationships. So, you know, when we met each other we were kind of like each other’s medicine to realize that we could be better people and we could do better things. So we decided to use our dance as an anchor, to just really help kids know that you can do what you want to do in life. You can be the best person you want to be. That’s the message that we had to give — not just for kids, but for anyone in general who is aspiring to do something with their life.’”

In fact, helping kids is exactly what Team 2.0 has been doing. On a monthly basis, this dance duo visits elementary, middle, and high schools, performing ten minute dance routines and discussing topics with students such as how to go for one’s goals, how to achieve self fulfillment, and what it means to be true to one’s self.

The duo also organizes separate workshops where they use dance as a vehicle to help at-risk kids by keeping them off the street, reinforcing the concept that dance should and can be used as an outlet instead of fighting or acting out.

TeamKids2

Youth are not the only recipients of Team 2.0’s dance prosperity. On several accounts, Rian and Tabethia have received positive feedback from individuals well into their prime and, some, in their golden years—such as a 61 year-old Argentinian woman who attended one of Team 2.0’s New York workshops. After initial reluctance to participate, at the completion of the dance workshop, the elderly Argentinian remarked to Rian and Tabethia that she “felt like she was in her 20’s again.”

It is obvious that Team 2.0 is making a mark in the lives of individuals, young and old, and they do not plan on stopping. When asked what they feel that they can contribute to the Saint Louis community through dance, particularly in the midst of what’s going on with Ferguson, the duo responded that they are first setting up a new location. “We are changing locations to South County to offer more classes with a better venue that is going to be more appealing, bringing in all different ages and different races. What we plan to do is lead by example — show that you can overcome any adversity if you keep working hard and if you keep practicing, and are diligent towards your craft. We also want to show that even though there’s craziness going on in Ferguson and all across the nation, none of that is affecting us. Why? Because we’re able to bypass it, keep moving and keep ourselves on a positive track.”

What’s more is that within 2.0’s journey of healing through dance, Rian and Tabethia have created their own journey—of love. The happy couple is engaged with plans to marry in the near future.

Team romantic



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23 Comments - (Leave a comment! »)

  • India - North Carolina said:

    I was instantly intrigued by the colorful story. What drew me in was the mention of the events that transpired in Ferguson. I am currently a volunteer for a justice league who seeks to put an end to police brutality. The organization works diligently to be effective catalytic leaders. My heart grew when I read about the peaceful efforts to protest in the art form of dance. I am also a dancer! Interestingly enough this article highlighted a few of my greatest interests, dance, love & peaceful protesting.

  • Kami – Minnesota said:

    As far as the article goes, I felt it was a smooth read, one that told a story of two separate peoples’ lives in a way that flowed easily, allowing me to not confuse Rian and Tabethia as separate individuals. In the beginning, you referred to the political and controversial issues going on in Ferguson (and the rest of the U.S./world), thus drawing in your reader’s attention immediately.

    Overall, I loved the overall theme of this article. The idea of someone living in a dark world, and evolving themselves into the light, is something that is so inspirational. I have had setbacks in life, and I am always motivated by others who have lived just as dark of days as me, and have come out of them a stronger person – a better person. This article is a fine example of what I am describing here.
    The photos you included added life and happiness to the article, and made it even more of a reality. The kids in the middle picture brought a sense of joy and enlightenment, and it truly showed what these two dancers really are about – influencing others in a positive way. So many people in today’s society need this, as they become lost and stuck in a “dark spot.”

    Overall, I see many benefits to what you are doing here. I will be sharing your website/magazine here with all my friends and family in the Midwest!

  • Susan – Colorado said:

    I did enjoy Team 2.0. This magazine will affect millions and the change will be awesome! And extremely functional!

  • Amanda – USA said:

    I know a change needs to happen in media today, because the messages are usually so negative and are intent on creating conflict. We need more news outlets devoted to keeping harmony and creating beauty, whether that’s in healing others, or healing within ourselves, or both. I saw these aspirations coming alive in this magazine.

    This article written by Leslie Yvonne Hunter really stuck out to me because it shows the objectives of Winners Within Us. The article is about two people reacting to the troubles of the neighborhood with creative energy and this is very motivating and encouraging. It’s also about them using their talents to mentor children and so their dancing has become a powerful community outreach.

    I found the opening line “In the midst of Furgeson,” to be very important. By making this phrase very first in the article, the writer is setting the scene for where these two dancers are challenged. Since everyone knows about Furgeson, it also shows the power behind this magazine to address hot topic issues of today and give a new fresh look through the experiences of those closest to the conflict. In this way this magazine can challenge society to look at these controversial situations in a different light.

  • Darryl – Georgia said:

    This is such an encouraging story for our young people. I wish this kind of story was not only in your magazine, but on television and spread over the social media outlets like Facebook. I like seeing stories that let young adults and teens see others doing something special to give them hope as well.

  • Alan – Iowa said:

    Having been born in poverty and working my way out of it, then working for many years as a teacher in various settings: Regular English classes, Gifted and Talented Education, Court Placement schools for boys (St. Johns School for Boys & Twin Pines Boys Ranch, both in So. CA.), Total Living Choices (an educational program for physically and mentally challenged youth), I was able to relate to this story in several ways.

    Troubled youth, especially, can be impressionable. Music and dance are two ways in which to get them involved and distracted from the lives they lead. Programs such as Team 2.0 uses can also show these youth (and obviously others) an alternative to the lives they are living.The article did a great job in focusing on what Team 2.0 is able to accomplish.

    It was nice to read about the 61-year-old Argentinian woman’s experience with the Team. However, I would have liked to read about others more specifically that the Team has helped. But all in all it was a very positive and inspiring story.

  • Jessy - Idaho said:

    I like the idea of writing about the hidden heroes in each community. I think one of my favorite stories was about the dancers in St. Louis; they took a bad situation and gave kids tools to make better decisions. It brought a smile to my face along with their love story.

  • Sarah – Oregon said:

    I really enjoyed hearing about two individuals pursuing their passions, their passions colliding, and then they fell in love. How wonderful and uplifting!

    Keep up the great work. This world needs as many positive vibes as possible.

  • Allen – Iowa said:

    Having been born in poverty and working my way out of it, then working for many years as a teacher in various settings: Regular English classes, Gifted and Talented Education, Court Placement schools for boys (St. Johns School for Boys & Twin Pines Boys Ranch, both in So. CA.), Total Living Choices (an educational program for physically and mentally challenged youth), I was able to relate to this story in several ways.

    Troubled youth, especially, can be impressionable. Music and dance are two ways in which to get them involved and distracted from the lives they lead. Programs such as Team 2.0 uses can also show these youth (and obviously others) an alternative to the lives they are living.The article did a great job in focusing on what Team 2.0 is able to accomplish.

    It was nice to read about the 61-year-old Argentinian woman’s experience with the Team. However, I would have liked to read about others more specifically that the Team has helped. But all in all it was a very positive and inspiring story.

  • Julie – Canada said:

    I found the story behind Team 2.0 heartwarming, and yes, most stories in your magazine were uplifting rather than depressing, so, I suppose I like your angle on things. I was a little confused by the Winners Marketplace page… are these your sponsors? Your advertizers? Oh, and good idea to give poetry a space in your mag.

  • Jen - Georgia said:

    Today’s youth is being inundated with messages that belittle and compromise the human spirit.

    When individuals bring the true art of dance to the lives of our youth, they are not only bringing inspiration to hearts and minds of these impressionable youngsters, they are challenging what is somehow considered art and entertainment in the days in which we live. They are allowing an opportunity for kids to envision possibilities within themselves that reach far beyond what they are seeing in today’s pop culture. Team 2 is showing an alternative choice to the lifestyle these kids are plagued with, in a society in which racist lyrics strike a chord and sexual moves on the dance floor suggest demeaning one’s self to gain attention.

    We need heroes today who can and will confront a world that has been so accepting of disgrace. Team 2 members are a wonderful example of a hero as they reach out to kids who deserve the chance to find greatness, strengths and inspiration within their true human spirit.

  • Stasheia said:

    I enjoyed reading this article, learning how dance helped Rian and Tabethia, and how it led to them helping others. I also liked the connection of Rain and Tabethia to their location and what happened to Mike Brown. What made this piece so memorable was not just the tale of falling in love with dance and overcoming obstacles, but the fact that there were positive and inspirational things happening in the midst of chaos, protest, and the tense atmosphere . I would have liked the story to tie into Ferguson a little more, for Rain and Tabethia to comment on what happened to Mike Brown, to know if what happened influenced them their dancing, or outreach programs. Overall, it was a good read and I loved the quote at the end, it summed up the story nicely. “All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them.”

  • Emily – Canada said:

    I really enjoyed reading about Team 2.0. Why? I used to be a hip hop dancer and taught kids the benefits of exercise through hip-hop. It is great knowing that there are others that share similar ideas and goals.

  • Nakia – Georgia said:

    I love how the magazine gives recognition to individuals. .

    Team 2.0 was an interesting story. I’m a sucker for romance, music, history and culture. I haven’t heard the name Jabbawockeez in a long time and I know they inspire a lot of dancers young and old. Though I will admit that the article lost my attention in few places. The article was packed full of information which at some points I wanted.

  • Foss – Washington said:

    Rian Dugar and Tabethia Jones both had a passion for dancing. Team 2.0 also use their passion for dance in workshops that show kids a creative outlet that can lead them off of the wrong path, just as it did for them. As it does, friendship blossomed into love for Rian and Tabethia. They are an admirable young couple.

    The tie-in with recent events via the Mike Brown shooting incident was nice, otherwise I would not have realized the importance of the location. It also helped the story feel more relevant.

    While reading the first portion of the article, I found it difficult to find a reason as to why I should be interested in this story. It wasn’t until the scope of their success was revealed almost halfway through that my curiosity was piqued. Most readers wouldn’t make it that far.

    However, the article was nicely written. Quotes were clearly attributed, and interesting facts were presented using a variety of sentence structures. Spelling was correct with the unfortunate exception of Tabethia’s name being misspelled when she was first mentioned.

    Ending with Rian and Tabethia’s engagement was a nice touch, but it would have been nice to have their love relationship hinted at more within the article.

    Although the story had a slow start, it turned out to be a rewarding read. Stories of people who start at the bottom and make their way to the top are inspiring. I thoroughly recommend that anyone who needs hope and motivation read this article.

  • Jared – Idaho said:

    I believe it was this story is loaded with potential, but wasn’t done in a provoking manner.

    It was information heavy, which is fine, but it read like a list of events or information. I feel like the story could have been told much better, had it been told like an actual, well, story.

    My emotions were never brought to a response. Any difficulties faced by the duo were glossed over and mentioned almost as side notes. That’s what makes a story compelling. The overcoming of difficulties. This story focused very much on a list of good things that have happened, without ever telling the reader why they ought to care. It’s impossible for an audience to connect or care about a story if they never see odds grappled with.

  • Austin – Michigan said:

    Let me start by saying I really like the concept of articles about people overcoming great adversities to achieve there dreams. This concept hits close to home for myself as i spent several years struggling out of crippling poverty to build myself up to a sustainable level where i am able to chase my artistic dreams. I can honestly say that I truly believe that this publication could do great things for disenfranchised attempting to overcome adversity.

    The above article regarding “Team 2.0″ caught my eye right away as I know a group of dancers in my own town. I read the first line and my first thought was “this is going to be a good read” as it was regarding the civil unrest in Ferguson. I read on waiting for when the writer would describe the ingenious way that this group was fighting racism with dancing, but i found that instead of actively protesting racism, they were basically passively doing what they had done all along. That being said its great that Team 2.0 does presentations at schools and councils at risk youth. Overall this was a good read, It Just picked me up and let me down when the Ferguson mentioning didn’t go anywhere.

  • Foss Raub said:

    I enjoyed reading this article. What a nice story. :)

  • Huda - Georgia said:

    This is a really interesting article. It was well written clearly explaining how the duo met and the many places they performed. It also made clear that the dance duo holds classes for troubled youth giving them new hope. It’s amazing how they set up a new studio to focus more on teaching dance to those who face challenging life situations. The story comes to a close with Sarah and Rian falling in love. Caring about others can lead to unexpected happiness.

  • Ann – Massachusetts said:

    I love positive, inspirational stories and people. Far too often we only hear the negative and heartbreaking moments in life. Especially this one.

    I was immediately drawn into learning about Rian and Tabiethia, who they were and the group they formed, Team 2.0. I like how the article started off by contrasting the positive with something negative that was happening in a nearby community. I would have used Michael Brown’s full name instead of “Mike Brown”. I think it’s important to keep a person’s known name intact and he was referred to as ‘Michael’ all throughout social media and the press.

    The ending was fantastic and I think news of their engagement is one of the “wow” moments that ties the story all together with great positive energy.

  • Paula said:

    You guys ROCK !!!!!!!!!! Way to help the kiddos !!!!!

  • Josie – Nevada said:

    I read the article, “Team 2.0 – A Story of Love, Dance & Helping Troubled Youths”. Overall, I thought the article had a positive message and highlighted two people who are inspiring others in a city where most of the national media attention has been negative. It is obvious that Team 2.0 is making a mark in the lives of individuals, young and old, and they do not plan on stopping.

  • Angell – Missouri said:

    I am Rian’s mother. I feel they deserve this because he was once a kid who seeminly didn’t care about much other than himself, but to see him now take that and give it to others is tremendous and as a mother its amazing to watch your child grow into someone that gives back to others and cares about watching others smile! I’m very proud of them both!

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