dysFUNKcrew members performed at the Adams Theater at 2021 Suffrage Centennial Celebration
Becky and Jamal interviewed by the Adams Theater student interns in the summer of 2021
dysFUNKcrew: DANCE EXTENDS TO FRIENDSHIP, COMMUNITY, AND FAMILY
In the last decade, dysFUNKcrew have performed tons of local shows, but the core members have also been deeply rooted in their communities. Most of the members initially met as student members of at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ Dance Company. During that time, they created lasting bonds over their love for performance. Their desire to continue dancing together as alumni is what led them to eventually establish dysFUNKcrew, now a well-known Berkshire dance troupe. Its core members have mostly stayed in the area, growing their careers.
“For us, rehearsal isn’t just about the creative process,” said Jamal Ahamad, one of the original dysFUNKcrew members and a teacher at Mt. Greylock Regional Middle and High School (as well as a faculty member at Berkshire Dance Theatre and a professional videographer). “It's hanging out together, being friends, family, sharing that love. Our bonds are much stronger than just dance.”
Many of the members are also faculty members at Berkshire Dance Theatre, including Becky Ahamad, Jamal’s wife, who is BDT’s artistic director. The Ahamads live in Adams, and learned about the Adams Theater when Yina emailed BDT about potential performances. “We were like, ‘this sounds really cool and we want to be on the ground floor,” Jamal said. BDT ended up performing at the theater during the Adams Centennial Suffrage Festival in 2021.
An arts management major while at MCLA, “the theater space was often talked about in my classes,” Jamal said. “We talked a lot about what it was and what It could be. It’s amazing I'm around to see it actually become something.”
As they prepare to celebrate their tenth anniversary with a show at the Adams Theater on June 4, dysFUNKcrew is looking back at video footage from their shows, putting together a program that encompasses a decade. “It's amazing that between our members, we’ve created hours worth of material,” Jamal said.
That footage is also a documentation of ten years of friendship, teaching, and community. “Shared interests and values are important,” Jamal said. “I’m always amazed at how blessed I was to find dance, because dance has led me to family. I’m sure quite a few of the members of dysFUNKcrew feel that way.”