We Are Heroes

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We Are Heroes
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Hip-hop
Years active 2009–Present
Labels MTV, America's Best Dance Crew
Website weareheroesonline.com/

Hiroka "Hiro" McRae
Mami Kanemitsu
Riquel "Riqdiculous" Olander

Past Members Nichelle Thrower
Alison "Ali" Iannucci

We Are Heroes is an all female popping dance crew best known for being the first all-female crew to win America's Best Dance Crew with their title in Season 4.[1] The winning prize amount was $100,000 in cash as well as ABDC's Golden B-Boy Trophy. Their styles of dance is popping, locking, tutting, and waacking, and also Nichelle and Ali are trained in gymnastics and can do flips.

The crew as a whole likes to represent diversity as the five members come from two entirely different sides of the globe. Both Hiroka "Hiro" and Mami are from Japan, Ali is from New York, Riquel is from Idaho, and Nichelle is from California.

America's Best Dance Crew[edit]


The girls came on the show as popping dancers and choreography that they coined "glam style". Lil Mama often referred to their style as a "Refreshing Harajuku" style.


  • Starting Week 3, during the Martial Arts Challenge, crew member Mami Kanemitsu suffered a torn ligament in her back. She was still able to perform for the rest of the season.
  • During rehearsals for Week 5's Dance Craze Challenge, crew member Nichelle Thrower fell while attempting a flip on the built-in trampoline on the ABDC stage. She was rushed to the emergency room, receiving six stitches. Her doctor instructed her not to perform while the injury recovered, but she performed nonetheless.[2]


Week Challenge Music Result
1: Crew's Choice Challenge Show America what We are Heroes is made of in a one-minute routine. Waters of Nazareth - Justice Safe
2: Beyoncé Challenge "The grind" section from the video Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) - Beyoncé
3: Martial Arts Challenge Karate Starstrukk - 3OH!3
4: Bollywood Challenge Giddha Arab Money - Busta Rhymes & Ron Browz Bottom 2
5: Dance Craze Challenge The Stanky Legg Stanky Legg - GS Boyz
6: VMA Challenge Incorporate hand-fans and the vogue in the routine Vogue - Madonna Safe
7: Decades of Dance and
Last Chance Challenge
Must incorporate some of the moves from past decades music videos to their 2-minute routine. 1960s: Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine - James Brown
1970s: Uprock - Rock Steady Crew
1980s: Cold Hearted - Paula Abdul
1990s: You Make Me Wanna - Usher
2000s: LoveGame - Lady Gaga
Bottom 2
Create a routine that will convince viewers to vote for them and make them ABDC. "Ichiban" Safe
8: The Live Finale Partners:
Artistry in Motion
Vogue Evolution
Girls on the Dance Floor - Far East Movement Champions
I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
Champion's performance I'm the Ish - DJ Class ft. Lil Jon
Season Five Special:
Champions for Charity
Super Cr3w
Quest Crew
All I Do Is Win by DJ Khaled Helped for Charity
Rock That Body by The Black Eyed Peas
Season Six Week 10: The Finale Show what new moves and choreography have learned after the show Girls (Who Run The World) by Beyoncé Guest Performers
Season Seven Week 10: Katy Perry Challenge Partners:
8 Flavahz
Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) by Katy Perry Ft. Missy Elliott Guest Dance Partners

Community work[edit]

We are Heroes and fellow finalists Afroboriké took a trip with Shane Sparks to Culture Shock LA. Culture Shock LA is a non-profit hip-hop dance troupe that works to educate dancers, students, and audiences about the rich history of hip-hop, as well as its cultural relevance and relation to other art forms. Founded in 1993, Culture Shock has grown from its home in San Diego to cities that reach all across the US and Canada. While there, the crews taught young students new dance moves. We Are Heroes taught popping while Afroborike taught salsa and how to perform lifts.[3]



  • All 5 members of We Are Heroes performed their "VMA challenge" performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on September 29, 2009.[4]
  • The ladies were guest performers at The Oprah Winfrey Show, The episode aired on Thursday, October 29, 2009.[5]
  • While crew-member Mami Kanemitsu was in Japan, the rest of We Are Heroes (Hiroka McRae, Ali Ianucci, Riquel Olander, and Nichelle Thrower) made their second appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The episode aired on November 5, 2009.[6]
  • On November 9, 2009, while crew-member Hiroka "Hiro" McRae was in Japan, the rest of the crew performed for Rihanna a medley of her songs on It's On with Alexa Chung.[7]
  • Member Nichelle Thrower reappeared for ABDC season five as the guest judge for the West Coast auditions.
  • Member Riquel Olander reappeared on ABDC season five to demonstrate the New Orleans Bounce.
  • All 5 members returned to ABDC on Thursday, April 15, 2010 for a "Champions For Charity" special. They had an individual performance to "Rock That Body" by The Black Eyed Peas, and a group performance to DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win" with the champions of Season 1: JabbaWockeeZ, Season 2: Super Cr3w, Season 3: Quest Crew, and Season 5: Poreotix.
  • Members appeared at Delicious Training on Universal CityWalk in LA on May 22, 2010.
  • Members performed at July 10, 2010 Kababayan fest at Knotts also with Poreotix.
  • All 5 members appeared on the commercial for the Michael Jackson: The Experience video game.
  • All 5 members appeared for the ABDC Season 6 Finale with the other 4 champions. They performed to "Run the World (Girls)" by Beyoncé.
  • Member Hiroka McRae auditioned for season 8 of So You Think You Can Dance. During the audition, she mentioned her family is safe from the earthquake in Japan. She made it through the audition, but didn't make it to the Top 20.
  • Member Nichelle Thrower appeared on a Reebok commercial featuring Swizz Beatz on Reebok Classic Presents: Reethym of Lite.

Music Videos[edit]

  • The ladies, minus a temporarily replaced Hiroka McRae, appeared briefly in R&B singer Omarion's music video for his single "I Get It In".[8]
  • All 5 members made a cameo appearance in a music video called Not The Only One by Skyline .[9]
  • All 5 members made an appearance in the music video of "Eenie Meenie" by Justin Bieber and Sean Kingston.


  • Founding member Hiroka McRae appeared on the music video of Teach Me How To Dougie by Cali Swag District.


  • Member Mami Kanemitsu and original We Are Heroes member Marie Poppins appeared on the music video of C'mon (Catch 'Em By Surprise) by Tiësto vs. Diplo ft. Busta Rhymes.[12]

Other Appearances[edit]

  • All 5 members appeared in Paris by Night Divas, a Vietnamese variety show, as guest dancers in the final song.
  • All 5 members are current performers at elecTRONica @ DISNEYLAND, CA. They have two shows every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for three weeks.[13]


  • The crew created a charity "Pray...Hope... for Japan" to help people who are suffering in Japan after the incident.[14]


  1. ^ "'We Are Heroes' Wins ABDC". The Celebrity Cafe. 2009-09-27. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  2. ^ "MTV Shows News - MTV". Remotecontrol.mtv.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  3. ^ "MTV Shows News - MTV". Remotecontrol.mtv.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  4. ^ "Blogging America's Best Dance Crew: We are Heroes on Ellen Show September 29". Bloggingbestdancecrew.blogspot.com. 2009-09-28. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  5. ^ "Blogging America's Best Dance Crew: Randy Jackson and We Are Heroes on Oprah". Bloggingbestdancecrew.blogspot.com. 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  6. ^ "say hello to my lil friend". Twitpic.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  9. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "Cali Swag District - Teach Me How To Dougie". YouTube. 2010-05-22. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  12. ^ "Tiësto vs. Diplo ft. Busta Rhymes - C'mon (Catch 'Em By Surprise)". YouTube. 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  13. ^ "We Are Heroes Perform". YouTube. 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2018-02-22. 
  14. ^ [3][dead link]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Quest Crew
America's Best Dance Crew Champions
We Are Heroes
Succeeded by