By M. Scott Morris
TUPELO – Three friends believe they’re at the beginning of something big.
Preston Hooper and Carlos Campbell were both 7 years old when they started dancing. Cameron Jones was 9 when he started.
“Me and Carlos met in fourth grade,” said Hooper, a 15-year-old Tupelo resident. “I met Cameron in the sixth.”
Last year, Campbell, 15, of Sherman, decided it was time to put a dance crew together. He first contacted Hooper, and sent a text message to Jones, a 14-year-old Tupelo resident.
“We always loved to dance,” Hooper said.
“It was a dream,” Campbell said.
They perform under the name Speed Limit. Campbell said the name popped into his head one day.
“It fits,” he said. “We all do our different things at different paces.”
Their overall dance style is animation, and that includes break dancing, popping, the robot, crumping and hip-hop.
Sometimes their movements are wavy and flexible, and other times they’re jerky and abrupt. It’s easy to see Michael Jackson’s influence, especially the moon walk. Madonna’s “Vogue” days are represented, but the trio call it “tutting,” as in King Tut.
There’s also some mime thrown in, as the guys use invisible ropes to “pull” their bodies along.
They dance to dubstep and hip-hop music, whatever can get the crowd going, but Jones is open to other types of music.
“I could dance to Beethoven and put my tuxedo on,” he said.
They sent an audition video to “Kid Talk with Shania Brown,” and were invited to appear on the TV show in January.
“That’s where they met Karma,” said Jones’ father and the group’s chauffeur/manager, Jermaine Jones. “Karma are from Memphis and they do anti-bullying shows all over the place.”
“We’ve been opening for them,” Hooper said.
Speed Limit has performed in Greenville, Jackson, Tenn., Huntsville, Ala., and other spots. The guys have picked up some fans, mostly female, who visit their Facebook.com page at 3SpeedLimit.
They’ve been approached about performing in music videos, and there’s the possibility of going on tour with Jacob Latimore in the summer, but nothing is firm.
“I’m trying to set up something for Tupelo,” Jermaine Jones said. “It would be great to have them perform around here.”
The trio take it one show at a time. They practice two to three times a week to perfect their 15-minute routine. They also work on new choreography for the day they return to a place where they’ve already performed.
“We want to get big enough where we’re famous,” Hooper said.
“Where we’re known,” Campbell said.
“Where we get paid,” Hooper said, and the others nodded.
“We want to dance on tour with Beyoncé or someone like that,” Jones said.
For now, they’re happy dancing at venues around the Southeast, where they can hone their skills and slowly build Speed Limit’s following.
“You’ve got to start small,” Hooper said, “then you go big.”