Not Your Average Boy Band









If you haven’t heard of V Factory yet, you will soon! The band’s first single, “Love Struck,” was released this summer along with its video counterpart. Not only can this hip-hop-meets-R&B group sing, they can dance!

Jared Murillo, 20, was an assistant choreographer on High School Musical II and is a trained ballroom dancer and former World and United States Champion. You can catch singer and dancer Asher Book as Marco in this month’s Fame! Wesley Quinn, who’s had 11 years of intense dance training, and Nick Teti, who taught himself to dance by watching Justin Timberlake videos, choreographed most of the moves in the group’s “Love Struck” video. And you may have seen Nathaniel Flatt on the small screen dancing in commercials for Target, Sony and the Disney Channel.
We caught up with Jared to talk about the group’s original choreography, the video and, of course, the comeback of the boy band!


DS: How did V Factory get together?

Jared Murillo: It started with Tommy Page at Warner Brothers. I was at a dress rehearsal for HSM: The Concert and he approached me and said, “I’m putting together a group with WB. I know you can dance. Can you sing?” I said I could, that I had grown up performing with On Stage Dance Studio in Utah. After that, he auditioned other guys and found Nick and Nathaniel. He found Wesley through a choreographer he had worked with in the past, and finally Asher through a vocal coach we work with.


DS: What was it like, five guys who’ve never met coming together to form a band?

JM: At first we were unsure of how we were going to mesh. We’re different ages and come from different parts of the country. But we’re like brothers now. We trust each other and help each other out.


DS: How is V Factory different from the boy bands of 10 years ago?

JM: The music 10 years ago was pop-ish and ’90s-sounding. The music we’re creating now is kind of urban with hints of edginess. We have some dance tracks, as well. And we come up with our own choreography.


DS: Tell us about the “Love Struck” video choreography Wesley and Nick created.



JM: Originally a professional choreographed the video, but the label didn’t feel like it suited us well. So we went back to the drawing board. Wesley and Nick’s choreography worked out because they know our style and what looks good on us.


DS: What were the challenges of making the video?

JM: The biggest one was making sure we were all right on the movement. In performance, there’s more leeway. Only the people looking at you at that exact second will notice a mistake. But with the video, it was a challenge to make sure we were hitting certain angles, lines and moves at the same time because the camera picks up everything.


DS: What are the band’s goals?

JM: To keep creating good music and dance tracks for people to relate to. Dance has become a huge thing in our society, especially with all the TV shows that involve dance. People want music they can dance to and groove to. Of course, we would love to have a Top 10 song on the Billboard charts eventually, too.



Photo by Smallz & Raskind

Latest Posts

Trans dancer, choreographer, and activist Sean Dorsey in his work Boys in Trouble (Keegan Marling, courtesy Sean Dorsey Dance)

8 Phenomenal Trans and GNC Dancers to Follow

Whether through color-specific costumes, classes separated by sex, or the "traditional" view of the roles boys and girls should play in ballet, most dance students are taught that their gender determines their role in the studio beginning in elementary school. And, especially for those struggling with their own gender identity, that can cause harm and confusion. "From a very young age, I did not see myself reflected anywhere in the modern dance field," says trans dancer, choreographer, and activist Sean Dorsey. "There was a really intense message I received, which was that my body and identity don't have a place here."

Despite significant societal progress in regards to gender representation, the dance world has trailed behind, and many transgender and gender nonconforming teenagers still feel lost within the world of dance. Prominent trans and GNC professional dancers are few and far between. "Being a Black trans woman means I have to work extra, extra, extra hard, because I have to set the tone for the people who come after me," says Brielle "Tatianna" Rheames, a distinguished voguer.

But the rise of social platforms has given Rheames, Dorsey, and other trans and GNC dancers a path to visibility—and that visibility helps create community and change lives. "Social media plays an extremely big part," Rheames says. "You can't just hide us anymore." Here are eight incredible trans and GNC dancers to add to your own Instagram feed.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Project 21 dancers (from left) Selena Hamilton, Gracyn French, and Dyllan Blackburn (Photo by Quinn Wharton; hair and makeup throughout by Angela Huff for Mark Edward Inc.)

How Project 21 Is Shaping the Next Generation of Competition-Dance Standouts

"I wish I had a better story about the name," says Molly Long, founder of the Orange County, CA–based dance studio Project 21. In truth, it's a play on the fact that she was born on the twenty-first of August, and 21 is her favorite number. "I was away on a teaching tour, the audition announcement was going live on Instagram the next day, and I desperately needed a name. Project 21 was just the least cheesy of the options I thought of!"

The fact that fans might expect the name to have some profound meaning speaks to the near-mythic status Project 21 has achieved on the competition and convention scene since its founding in 2014. Long's dancers are all wholly individual, yet jell seamlessly as a group, and are consistently snagging top prizes everywhere on the circuit. Each season brings a slew of new accolades, high-caliber faculty, and legions of devoted followers.

The industry has taken notice of the studio's unique ethos. "Molly gets through to her dancers in a special way, and they have this incomparable level of commitment to their craft as a result," says dancer and choreographer Billy Bell, who's worked closely with Long and her dancers. "That's what sets them apart—it's like a little dose of magic."

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search