Hip-hop­ping to the states

Hip-hop danc­ing has taken Tregear’s Paul Blake fur­ther than his first love, rugby league, ever could — all the way to the US for the world cham­pi­onships.

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Jenny Gal­braith

A TREGEAR teenager was set on a ca­reer in rugby league when he dis­cov­ered his real pas­sion was more on the stage than the field.

Paul Blake, 16, fell in love with hip-hop danc­ing and af­ter only a year of bust­ing moves he is rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia at the World HipHop Dance Cham­pi­onships in the US this week.

His dance group The Pio- neers was se­lected to per­form at the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter ac­ing state and na­tional rounds this year.

“Rugby league was my dream my whole life un­til I re­alised my real pas­sion was dance, and I’ve come so far,” Paul said.

“Hip-hop came nat­u­rally to me, and af­ter watch­ing a lot of fa­mous hip-hop artists it kind of inspired me to be­come a hip-hop dancer.”

The free­dom of move­ment he felt when danc­ing helped him ex­press his emo­tions, Paul said.

“If I’m ever an­gry or sad I take it all out with dance,” he said.

“It re­ally helps a lot in­stead of tak­ing it out ver­bally.”

The cham­pi­onships, on this week in San Diego in Cal­i­for­nia, at­tract thou­sands of dancers from around the world.

Af­ter mak­ing it to the cham­pi­onships Paul had to fundraise to pay his way to San Diego.

His fam­ily and friends banded to­gether to bake cakes and muffins and sold them at the Western Syd­ney Com­mu­nity Mar­kets at Mt Druitt PCYC.

“I’m grate­ful to them for be­ing so sup­port­ive of me through­out the whole jour­ney I’m try­ing to do,” Paul said.

His mother Char­lotte said the fam­ily was over­whelmed with the sup­port they re­ceived from the com­mu­nity, re­sult­ing in them rais­ing enough to cover his trip in one day.

“It was re­ally amaz­ing. We were shocked be­cause there were a lot of cake stalls there. We put a sign up that said it was to do with fundrais­ing, and ev­ery­one was do­nat­ing. They didn’t even ask for their change back,” she said.

Pic­ture: MATT SUL­LI­VAN

Paul Blake, of Tregear, is com­pet­ing in the hip-hop world cham­pi­onships.

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