Anna is a reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Bay of Plenty dance crew to battle in Vegas

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A Bay of Plenty dance crew will be competing with the likes of Mozambique and the United States in Las Vegas at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship.

De Visu, a group of 10 dancers aged 13 to 18 from Tauranga, Whakatane and Kawerau, was one of three dance crews from New Zealand to qualify for the international championship, starting next week.

Crew leader Chelsea Bachellier, said it was an amazing experience and the group was blessed to be representing New Zealand.

"Our crew is unique and like a family, we all have different styles and personalities and we use that to create unique performances and strong relationships."

She said before a performance the group listened to its music mix to stay focused, calm and relaxed.

"We always have a crew talk before we go on stage to motivate each other and get excited."

Puru August said the crew's passion was dance, and were looking forward to the competition.

"We can't wait to show the world what we have to offer and what we have worked so hard for."

Creative director of Urban Dance Sarah Martin said the crew was leaving for Las Vegas on Friday.

"The opportunity to go is crazy exciting," she said.

The crew trained for six hours a day, five days a week, with every day of school holidays dedicated to training.

"This is the Olympics of dance. 120 groups and 48 countries," she said.

"I don't think people understand the hours or technicality of it.

"I guess when you compare it to gymnastics, street dancing has the same technical requirement. A lot of the work we try to tick boxes in the skills area, but the kids also need to bring it in terms of performance."

Ms Martin said their toughest competition would be the Philippines and Japan.

The crew was put together in January, with them having become very tight, according to Ms Martin.

"They're hilarious to train with, the kids have such great energy."

She said she did get nervous for the crew, but success for her was about the opportunities taken, rather than the results.

"I know they've done the hard world, I'm incredibly proud and I know we're going to be successful."

- Bay of Plenty Times

For more information about the Hip Hip World Championship, go to: http://www.hiphopinternational.com/world-hip-hop-dance-championship/

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