Iden­tity found

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS LEE

DANCE crew Iden­tity is fi­nally ready to take to the world stage as New Zealand’s best hip-hop troupe af­ter star­ing at first place from the side­lines for so long.

The eight-strong group was crowned na­tional adult cham­pi­ons at the New Zealand Na­tional Hip-Hop Cham­pi­onships on April 27 and will now head to Las Ve­gas to com­pete at the World Hip-Hop Cham­pi­onships in Au­gust.

‘‘We’ve fi­nally got to the point where we’ve worked hard enough,’’ crew leader Josh Ce­san says.

‘‘It just came down to the dis­ci­pline this time and per­fect­ing our style.’’

His brother and fel­low mem­ber Richie Ce­san says it’s been a com­plete turn­around for the crew, which formed two years ago.

‘‘We know we’re good dancers. It’s kind of cock­i­ness but it’s not – we know we’re good. You’ve got to have con­fi­dence if you’re go­ing to be com­pet­ing,’’ he says.

‘‘But every other time at na­tion­als we mucked around at prac­tice too much. This time we fi­nally de­cided to get our­selves into gear and ac­tu­ally do it as hard as we could.’’

It is the first time broth­ers Josh, Richie and Andrew Ce­san have com­peted to­gether but the lat­ter two are no strangers to the world cham­pi­onships, hav­ing com­peted twice with their own crew TMC in 2006 and 2008.

This year dancers from 47 coun­tries will com­pete for the ti­tle of world cham­pi­ons.

They know it won’t be an easy ride to Las Ve­gas but this group long-haul.

‘‘We’ve de­cided let’s go harder, let’s re­ally train for it and we fi­nally ac­tu­ally de­serve a place,’’ Pt Che­va­lier res­i­dent Andrew says.

‘‘We are train­ing like cham­pi­ons so I think we’re all feel­ing pretty good about the com­pe­ti­tion.’’

All top three teams from the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion qual­ify to com­pete at the world cham­pi­onships.

And New Zealand crews are far from the un­der­dogs on the world stage.

Home­grown hip-hop troupes tra­di­tion­ally clean up at the awards.

‘‘You never know what to

is in

it for the ex­pect. It’s not just the world we’ve got to worry about, it’s New Zealand be­cause at the end of the day New Zealand is the top in the world,’’ Josh says.

A win in Las Ve­gas would give the crew some much­needed in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure but mak­ing it to the com­pe­ti­tion comes with a hefty price tag – they need $35,000.

The group is teach­ing ex­tra dance ses­sions at The Dance Stu­dio in Bal­moral be­tween univer­sity and work com­mit­ments to help raise funds.

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to watch the Iden­tity dance crew per­form.

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