Porirua man set for Hip hop ‘Olympics’
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.