Nanaimo’s downtown and waterfront have been spotted in viral videos thanks to two young dancers whose vibe is contagious.
The duo Funkanometry – Nanaimo’s Jacksun Fryer and Duncan’s Carlow Rush – create dance videos that make their way across every social media platform, gaining millions of views and likes.
Already well-known on the mid Island after back-to-back appearances on the NBC TV show World of Dance, Funkanometry’s international profile was raised after they released a pair of viral videos showing them dancing to Superstition in front of the Modern Café and then Stayin’ Alive along the Harbourfront Walkway.
“We had been making TikToks for close to a year before that. We were just doing our thing. Some of our videos wouldn’t really pop off,” said Rush.
They didn’t really expect the waterfront dance to gain the kind of attention it did.
“Obviously we were like, ‘this is a really dope spot,’ but other than that, it felt normal,” said Fryer.
They’ve been excited to see and hear the kind of feedback they’ve been getting. They love to hear that their videos get people up and dancing. Rush said people have said they’ve signed up for dance classes or gotten back into the pastime because of Funkanometry.
“That’s one of the best things we can do with our videos,” he said. “That’s one of the best reactions to get, seeing people get inspired.”
“Even if it’s not dance,” added Fryer. “I’ve seen someone say, ‘I had the worst day today but this totally flipped my day around.’ That’s so crazy, just one minute of us dancing can do that.”
Of course, there’s more to it than one minute of dancing. Fryer said Funkanometry has been “really lucky” to be able to create a brand as a dance duo, but Rush stressed that in addition to the luck, there’s been a lot of hard work.
“They see the video, but we put hours in, finding a cool spot, making up the choreo. There’s work that goes into it,” he said.
Funkanometry’s choreography is part of what makes the pair unique. Their style is “a little bit different,” said Rush, and that’s been shown in a number of their videos, for example an early dance to Michael Jackson music.
“A lot of people expected us to hit all the M.J. moves, the back slide, and we just totally took it our own way,” Fryer said. “People really liked the spin on it and so we were like, ‘well that’s cool, because that’s us.’”
Their dance moves have led them to network TV, social media stardom and some business opportunities, and there’s more in store. They’re working on more videos in some cool locations, they said.
“Keep watching – there’s some cool stuff coming,” Rush said.
The youths talked to Best of the City after a performance at the Vancouver Island Exhibition, and said dancing for a live audience in Nanaimo after so long in a pandemic was like seeing the comment section of their social media channels come to life.
“There’s something about this Island. We talk about this: we’ve travelled and every time we come back to this Island I feel safe, everyone’s so welcoming and nice…” Fryer said. “It feels cool that we can do it in our own backyard.”