Vegas calling junior dancers

By Sonya Bateson

The bright lights of Las Vegas are waiting for Tauranga's own junior national street dance champions, Hysteria.

The junior dance crew from Urban Dance took out first place in the national competition over the weekend and with it have gained entry to the world hip hop champions held in Las Vegas this August.

The crew is made up of six girls and one boy aged between 10 and 13.

Urban Dance director Sarah Martin said for many of the children, it would be their first time out of the country and they were excited about performing in the United States.

She said the dancers had been determined to win.

"The kids are just beasts in the studio. They've got second so many times and last year they said they were sick of being the bridesmaids. The four original members of the crew said to the three new ones that this is our year, we want gold. They're such cool kids to work with, they really wanted it."

The dancers will be practicing hard over the coming months and will be attending a boot camp over the July school holidays.

Ms Martin said the team members were known for their fierce feminine style and judges had highlighted waacking and voguing (80s style arm movements and posing) as their signature moves.

Ms Martin said 46 countries would be competing in the championship, with strong contenders coming from United States, Japan and Canada.

New Zealand was considered one of the strong nations, with an Auckland crew taking last year's top spot.

Ms Martin believed Hysteria had a strong chance of taking home a medal.

"We've been likened to the Auckland crew as their strongest competition. I'll be surprised if they don't take away a medal."

The competition will be held over two weeks at Red Rock Resort. There are three rounds, preliminaries, semifinals and finals which will be held at the Orleans Arena.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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