For hip-hop dancer Justin Antonio of Canton, being from Michigan brings a real sense of identity to his act.
Antonio, 23, dances in the close-knit, Detroit-area crew Stereo Junkies and was filming a solo dance video Friday in downtown Plymouth.
"We just try to bring the dance community together in Detroit," Antonio said. "It's a very, very small community, but what our purpose is is to just exploit Detroit, and exploit all the good dancers out here because there's a lot of talent in Detroit that's just not seen."
'We're trying to put Detroit on the map'
Antonio said he tries to incorporate local connections into his act whenever possible, whether it's wearing attire with Michigan logos or filming videos in front of recognizable local backdrops, such as the Mayflower Centre in downtown Plymouth, where he filmed his video Friday.
"I kind of want to shoot in places people will know, you know?" he said. "People will be like, 'Oh, that's that staircase in downtown Plymouth; I know that place.'"
Even the hat he wears in the video, he said, is from Motivation, a shop in Ann Arbor.
"I kind of want to wear local brands," he said. "I'm all about Michigan and putting the Mitten State out there."
Antonio also commissioned Detroit-based videographer Joe Black to film his videos.
"We've known each other through dance and just through the community," Antonio said.
Black and Antonio said they value the partnership.
"It's a very, very talented community that we have here and we're just trying to put Detroit on the map," Antonio said.
Dancing a family affair
For Antonio, dancing runs in the family. He collaborates with his brother, Joey Antonio, whose crew, A.S.I.I.D., was featured on the second season of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew, a dancing competition hosted by American Idol judge Randy Jackson.
The video filmed Friday will be posted on the brothers' YouTube channel, 2FRESHJs, later this month.
Justin said Joey excels at hip-hop dancing in spite of fairly unusual circumstances.
"He's hearing impaired," Justin said of his brother. "But he overcomes it by just doing what he loves, doing it with his passion and actually just through vibrations."