Hush Crew: bringing K-pop beats and dance to the Downtown Crossing area

By Hania Malhas 
Boston University News Service

What started as a few friends in the BU miXx — a K-pop cover dance group at Boston University — has become a regular staple in the city’s street performing scene, supported by fans both online and in-person, with a viral video here and there, too.

Established in 2019, Hush Crew is a dance group that is mainly known for its K-pop dance covers, performing live in Boston’s Downtown Crossing area almost every weekend.

“We [originally] didn’t have a name or anything,” said Aaliyah Flournoy, one of the founders of the group. “We just kind of threw it up on my YouTube channel. And we applied with that video on YouTube.”

Starting as BU miXx and continuing to grow into Hush Crew — in Boston and Los Angeles — was not something they originally planned, according to Flournoy. But now, operating as a group of some 45 dancers, the group continues to evolve.

“Even if you’re new or not, we’re all treated equally, which is really cool,” said Bela Ahumada, one of the group’s newest members. “Because it’s hard to find a community like that.” 

Hush Crew’s main stomping ground has been the city’s Downtown Crossing area, a spot that members say brings plenty of exposure and convenience, given the shops and position straight in the heart of the city.

 “[It’s the] easiest spot, just because it’s the place for mostly foot traffic,” Flournoy said. ”There’s a lot of people watching, which people in our YouTube videos like to see.” 

In addition to going viral on TikTok and posting videos on YouTube, Hush Crew also participated in a K-pop festival in 2021 hosted by KTC — an internationally renowned K-pop group that Hush Crew looks up to, according to Flournoy. 

“It was really surprising to get the message that we were invited to perform,” Flournoy said. “A lot of groups come and compete for placements and stuff like that. But we and another group were invited to perform as headliners.”

Performing in public comes with ups and downs, though. While there are supportive fans, the group has also experienced some negative interactions.

One TikTok video the group posted went viral after one of the dancers took a video of an anti-masker verbally attacking them because they were wearing masks.

“I think it’s a little hard sometimes … we get comments that we don’t want to hear,” Ahumada added. “All of us are very comfortable with each other. And we have a really safe space,” Ahumada said. 

But overall, reception for the group’s performances tends to be positive online, as well as in person.

“I think they’re very talented and cool,” audience member Tamara Cheriha said. “ I’ve never seen anything like this before and I love it.”  

Flournoy said the impact they have on the K-pop community and the support and love they receive is a motivating factor that helps them reach their goals.

”Our fans and our subscribers are a big reason why we keep going,” Flournoy said.

“And we’ve had instances where people have found strength in us dancing,” she added. “Maybe they’re not confident in themselves, but they look up to us and want to be at our level one day.” 

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