Catch the Bieber Backup Fever

Anyone with a radio, computer or—let’s be real—a pulse knows Justin Bieber has serious star power. But did you know his dancers are hot on his heels? Commanding thousands of Twitter followers and teaching master classes across the globe, Justin’s backup dancers have become stars in their own right. “The fans are so diehard—it gets crazy,” says Nick DeMoura, one of Bieber’s dancers. “When we go to the mall with Justin, it causes riots! They scream our names when they see us.”

This month, the dancers will join Bieber on the big screen in the release of Never Say Never, the dance-filled 3-D concert flick directed by Step Up’s Jon Chu and choreographed by Hi-Hat. Get the scoop on this dynamite dance crew before they hit the big screen.

Michael Vargas

Hometown: Tracy, CA

Dance life before Bieber: Music videos for Missy Elliott, Omarion and Boomkat; flicks like You Got Served and Bewitched; commercials for Sunkist, Toyota and Coca-Cola

Fun fact: This seasoned B-boy earned his nickname “X-mas Tree Mike” from choreographer Marty Kudelka and the other Justin—Timberlake!

After losing a Ping-Pong match to Timberlake, he was dared to jump off a wall holding a Christmas tree, and the name stuck.

Nick DeMoura

Hometown: Boston, MA

Dance life before Bieber: Movies including Step Up 3D, Dance Flick and Prom Night; music videos for Natasha Bedingfield and Jessica Ferguson; commercials for T-Mobile and SQUARD 81; TV shows such as “Lincoln Heights” and “Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll”

Fun fact: A former DS Future Star Award recipient, Nick has taken his talents abroad by teaching classes in Taiwan, Denmark, Rome, Milan, Barcelona, Copenhagen, London and more. True to form, his first gigs with Justin Bieber were in Paris!

Marvin Millora

Hometown: Richmond, VA

Dance life before Bieber: Concert tours with The Cheetah Girls, Jesse McCartney and Nick Cannon; industrials for Disney, Red Bull and Nickelodeon; MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew” and the ABC show “Dance Machine”

Fun fact: Marvin got his start as a professional in high school dancing at Kings Dominion theme park. He then went on to study dance at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and scored a scholarship at Hollywood’s EDGE Performing Arts Studio.

“The whole ride with Justin has been amazing—to see an artist really start from nothing and go to the top. We’re not just his backup dancers; we’re like Justin’s family, entourage and crew.” —Marvin Millora

Anthony “Kanec” Carr

Hometown: Bronx, NY

Dance life before Bieber: Flicks including Fame, Hairspray and the Step Up series; awards shows such as the Academy Awards, Soul Train Music Awards and The Teen Choice Awards; music videos for JoJo and Gnarls Barkley; tours with Usher, JoJo and Missy Elliott

Fun fact: Kanec trained at the School of American Ballet, and he sings, performs and teaches with NYC hip-hop crew, AmountBoyz.

Latest Posts


Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by Jamayla Burse

Catching Up With Christian Burse, Comp Kid Turned Complexions Rising Star

With her nearly limitless facility, well-timed dynamics and incredible control, Christian Burse's future as a dancer was guaranteed to be bright. A student at the renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, and at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, TX, Burse has consistently made waves: She won first runner-up for Teen Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals in 2019, received a grant for summer study at Juilliard from the Texas Young Masters program in 2020, and was named a YoungArts finalist for dance in 2021.

So, it wasn't all that surprising when Burse announced that, at just 17 years old, she would be joining Complexions Contemporary Ballet as an apprentice for the company's 2021–22 season.

Dance Spirit caught up with Burse to hear all about her first season with Complexions ahead of the contemporary ballet company's run at the Joyce Theater in NYC this month.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

contest
Enter the Cover Model Search