Porirua man set for Hip hop ‘Olympics’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

The world is all set to fo­cus in on Rio, but thou­sands of ath­letes are also head­ing to Las Ve­gas for an­other olympic event.

Porirua man Shae King, 19, will be rep­re­sent­ing Welling­ton and New Zealand at the Hip Hop World Cham­pi­onships in August.

‘‘It re­ally is the Olympics of dance, two teams from Auck­land and one crew from Welling­ton are go­ing.’’

The groups will per­form a four minute dance set and com­pete against 3500 dancers from 50 coun­tries in the five-day com­pe­ti­tion.

Be­ing a male dancer in New Zealand hasn’t al­ways been easy and bul­ly­ing forced King to change col­lege in year 10.

‘‘It’s amaz­ing to be able to com­pete in a com­pe­ti­tion like this af­ter all the years of get­ting stick and dis­crim­i­na­tion.

‘‘I’ve been to hell and back to get here, but it was worth it.’’

It will be the se­cond time King, who be­gan danc­ing at 6 years old, has en­tered af­ter trav­el­ling to San Diego last year.

‘‘I’m qui­etly con­fi­dent about our chances, we’ve been train­ing in­cred­i­bly hard and our coach is the most ex­pe­ri­enced there is.’’

Lead­ing up to the com­pe­ti­tion the Welling­ton dance crew are train­ing for six hours ev­ery night, start­ing at 6pm and also dur­ing the day in the week­ends.

‘‘I don’t have time to get into any trou­ble. My so­cial life tends to be in the ten minute breaks we get to have dur­ing train­ing.

‘All my friends are dancers so they get it.’’

King says a 16 hour overnight train­ing ses­sion was only part of what’s ex­pected from the pro­fes­sional dancers.

‘‘We watch what we eat ...but choco­late milk af­ter train­ing is rec­om­mended to re­place lost en­ergy and help you re­pair.’’

King first en­coun­tered hip hop when he ac­com­pa­nied his lit­tle sister to a les­son, tried it and fell in love with the style.

‘‘There’s not a week where I don’t dance. It’s just part of me and who I am, I could give up ev­ery­thing I have, but I would never give up dance.

‘‘My coach talks about [find­ing] the thing that makes you happy and for me it’s danc­ing, if I’m danc­ing I’m happy.’’

King said that with all the coun­tries rep­re­sented at the cham­pi­onships the com­mon lan­guage would be danc­ing.

‘‘It’s the eas­i­est form of ex­pres­sion to use, you could write a song or paint a pic­ture, but dance is the eas­i­est way to com­mu­ni­cate.

‘‘As soon as some­one starts danc­ing you know what they’re say­ing.’’

Porirua man Shae King is rep­re­sent­ing Welling­ton at the Hip Hop World Cham­pi­onships in August.

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