Q&A: Hokuto Konishi and Steve Terada from Quest Crew

Sofia Rada, Reporter

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Best known for winning season three of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, Quest Crew has appeared all over the world and performed with the likes of LMFAO and Sean Kingston. The Crew performed at Northwestern’s Celebrasia 2014 and taught a workshop the day after. The Current spoke to two of its members, Hokuto Konishi and Steve Terada, about their backgrounds, memories and heritage. Konishi hails from Japan and placed in the Top 12 on “So You Think You Can Dance” and currently teaches workshops and choreography. Terada is a California native with a martial arts background, who has done stunts for movies like “Memoirs of a Geisha” and works with various philanthropic organizations around the world.

The Current: How did you start dancing?

Hokuto Konishi: I was back in Japan and watched dancers on a Japanese TV show. I was really inspired, and ever since then, I got started. I was 15.

Steve Terada: I actually started because my sister started doing collegiate dance at UCLA and non-collegiate dance too. I started going. I was also in martial arts that used music. So I kind of crossed those two together and started dancing.

The Current: How did Quest Crew get together?

HK: We used to be part of a different crew. There were different things we wanted to do, so we partnered away and got together and became Quest Crew.

The Current:  What has been your favorite performance?

HK: Being able to win “ABDC.” It’s one thing to win something like that by yourself, but to do it with your best friends was a nice achievement and a good feeling.

ST: It was a whole journey. It was something we worked towards full of highs and lows. There was also the stress of reality television. It was probably the biggest bonding experience we’ve had.

The Current: What are your plans for the future?

HK: We actually did our brand new show yesterday. We’ll be performing that, and we’re really excited.

The Current: Do the Quest Crew members do things individually outside the dance crew?

HK: We all do other things too. Steve does his martial arts. Feng and I teach and do choreography for different artists. Ryan has his music. So we all have our different things going on, but it’s a nice balance that way that we can all come together and still do shows like this.

The Current: What did you like about performing at Celebrasia?

ST: It was our first show back as a full size crew. A lot of us were injured or got busy with individual things. We usually have a hell week, or few weeks, where we just meet up every day and create and make things for the set. It was one of those things that just bring us back.

The Current: Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue dance?

HK: Work hard. That’s the first thing. Things don’t come easy. If they do, that’s really lucky. We actually got very lucky with certain opportunities. There are a lot of people out there that work hard and are extremely talented, but the opportunity just doesn’t come to them. But no matter what, you need to work hard.

ST: And do your research. You could be working really hard at something but in the completely wrong direction. That happens a lot, too. You see some dancers say, “I’ve been dancing for 16 years,” but they don’t know any of the things that are current.

The Current: Do you think having a unique element to your performances is important?

HK: Yeah. I think it could start off by imitating. I mean, anyone does that. But rather than just staying there, try to have that as just a stepping stone, you know, just a phase, to find yourself. Because no one can be better at being you than yourself.

The Current: Did your common Asian heritage affect the formation of the group?

ST: Actually, in California especially, the dance scene is predominantly Asian. I didn’t really know that but realized it as I got into the dance scene. There’s a lot of Asians out there. But I do think that with Quest, having similar Asian backgrounds helps us relate to each other in that sense too.

Email: sofiarada@u.northwestern.edu