The World of Phunk: Briggs-Connor to Direct Her First Hip-Hop Musical

Everett dance complex Phunk Phenomenon’s Urban Dance Theater group is taking the leap so to speak on Saturday, Feb. 29, when it presents, ‘Phunk World,’ hip-hop musical, that will hit the stage at Boston’s renowned Strand Theatre.

Comprised of spoken word/poetry along with hip-hop dancing, ‘Phunk Word’ was written to creatively showcase – through hip-hop – a positive outlook on today’s world.

Phunk Phenomenon is led by Reia Briggs-Connor, a former New England Patriots cheerleader who has transformed her studio in to the “mecca of hip hop.”  Connor described the upcoming performance of Phunk World as “a family-friendly musical.”

“We’ll showcase about 70 dancers, from ages 7 all the way through to adults,” said Briggs-Connor. “We’ll have spoken word, a little bit of rap, live music, live DJ – and it’s a positive outlook on hip-hop.”

Briggs-Connor, whose husband is Everett Police Officer Rick Connor, has built a national powerhouse at her Everett and Peabody dance studios. Her teams have won several national championships and competed for world titles. The L’il Phunk junior dance troupe delighted thousands of Celtics’ fans with its well-choreographed performances during home games at the TD Garden.

While dance has been Briggs-Connor’s forte, she stands ready to add musical director to her lengthy list of artistic endeavors and accomplishments.

“This has been a bucket-list item of mine, a lifelong dream to try to bring hip-hop to Broadway, and this is the first step in that direction,” said Briggs-Connor.

The former Miss Chelsea pageant winner has enlisted several choreographers from Phunk Phenomenon to collaborate on her vision for the fast-paced, 90-minute show that has 11 different dance numbers. A question-and-answer session will follow the show.

If anyone can succeed as a creator of a hip-hop musical, it is Briggs-Connor, who has consistently exceeded expectations with her creativity, innovativeness, and work ethic. The Phunk Phenomenon Complex has attracted aspiring hip-hop dancers from throughout Boston and the North Shore who want to perfect their craft under Briggs-Connor’s tutelage and dream big.

The show will be a family affair for Rick and Reia as their multi-talented son, Aaron Connor, will perform as a member of the L’il Phunk Dance Crew.

Briggs-Connor said she chose the Strand “for its history, as well as I performed there while in high school and had to prove myself. So I consider it the venue that gave me my start and I think it’s important to bring back our show to where Phunk Phenomenon first put its name on the map.”

The former Miss Chelsea pageant winner has been overseeing rehearsals at the Everett studio in anticipation of what should be a major event on the Boston music/dance scene and a likely sold-out show.

“I’m very excited and nervous at the same time,” said Briggs-Connor. “It’s a high-energy show that will inspire youths and adults.”

Tickets are available for ‘Phunk World’ through EventBrite.

(Information from a press release from Phunk Phenomenon was used in the compilation of this story).

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