Nothing matches cheer team
A little more funk has been added to the Mystics netball home games with the addition of a male cheer squad.
The Mystics Hip Hoppers, who dance up a storm during breaks, are part of TRiPLe8FuNk dance company based at Auckland University.
Although only six cheerleaders take part on the night, the company draws on its large roster of dancers to keep the act fresh.
Breakdancer Lex Tapay has noticed a big difference between freestyle dancing and dancing in front of a crowd.
“On the court it’s more rehearsed and you’re there to perform,” he says. “Street dancing is less rehearsed and you move with the music.”
But he loves the reaction from the crowd when the squad performs. “We dance to impress and get the crowd going. They go all crazy.”
And Lex doesn’t feel any stigma attached to being dubbed a male cheerleader.
“It makes sense, being a guy at a netball game when the crowd are all females.”
Choreographer Joel Gallarde says coming up with the routines is a collaborative process. “I put it together, but everybody helps out. It’s a team effort.”
He says fitness is key, with members training between four and eight hours a week.
For more information visit www.northernmystics.co.nz or www.triple8funk.com.
Break it down: Mystics cheerleaders Lex Tapay, Rapz Maihi and Kamy Mam strike a pose.