Noth­ing matches cheer team

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Morgan

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.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Break it down: Mys­tics cheer­lead­ers Lex Ta­pay, Rapz Maihi and Kamy Mam strike a pose.

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