Kiwi dancers are go­ing for gold

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ALASTAIR LYNN

Good things come in threes for one Kiwi dance com­pany.

Iden­tity Com­pany is send­ing three crews to rep­re­sent New Zealand at the 2015 Hip-Hop World Cham­pi­onships in San Diego.

The dance com­pany has had a strong pres­ence at the com­pe­ti­tion in re­cent years, but this time they’ve stepped it up a notch.

‘‘This year’s been a real big break­through as we’ve man­aged to get the whole com­pany through,’’ di­rec­tor Joshua Ce­san says.

‘‘We’ve been do­ing this for many years and we’ve man­aged to do quite well.

‘‘It’s a huge thing for our com­pany.’’

Do­ing quite well in­cludes be­ing the reign­ing NZ Street Dance cham­pi­ons and bring­ing home two sil­ver medals from the last two world cham­pi­onships.

The com­pany’s mega crew has been turn­ing heads and tear­ing up stages for the past two years and now it’s time for other crews to step up.

The Swag­ga­nauts (ju­nior crew), Masque (var­sity crew) and The Bradas (adults) will all be join­ing the world’s great­est hip-hop dancers on Au­gust 1. The crews qual­i­fied through the New Zealand cham­pi­onships in April.

‘‘At na­tion­als it’s re­ally cool,’’ Masque leader Celia Hext says.

‘‘I’m just ex­cited to see what the dif­fer­ence is go­ing to be at worlds and how much big­ger and bet­ter it is.’’

More than 3500 dancers from 50 coun­tries are ex­pected to at­tend the event.

‘‘We’ve al­ways dreamed of win­ning and get­ting that gold,’’ The Bradas leader Ri­ley Bourne says.

‘‘It’s out first real op­por­tu­nity to do that to­gether.’’

With one month left be­fore com­pe­ti­tion starts, all three crews are train­ing hard.

The Bradas are danc­ing up to six days a week and with school hol­i­days com­ing up the re­main­ing crews will be step­ping up their ef­fort.

Eight mil­lion peo­ple around the world watched the event last year.

‘‘One of the hard things is try­ing to get your ner­vous­ness and your body ready,’’ Ce­san says.

‘‘Amp­ing up to it and the fact there’s so many peo­ple can give you some ad­van­tages.

‘‘It’s big but you have to go in with a calm at­ti­tude,’’ he says.

In the mean­time Iden­tity Com­pany is fo­cus­ing on fundrais­ing to get their crews to San Diego.

Con­certs are be­ing held on July 4 and 5 at Auck­land Gram­mar School.

Photo: ALASTAIR LYNN

Iden­tity Com­pany crew lead­ers, from left: Ri­ley Bourne, Celia Hext, Wil­liam Tuarae and Joshua Ce­san are ready to take their crews to the World Hip-Hop Cham­pi­onships.

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