Kiwi dance crew The Bradas open up on overcoming bullying to become world champs

World champion break dancers, The Bradas dance crew members Riley Bourne, Nathan Kara and Connor Muller. Photo / Nick Reed
World champion break dancers, The Bradas dance crew members Riley Bourne, Nathan Kara and Connor Muller. Photo / Nick Reed

They've won gold at the World Hip-Hop Championships for two years running, but Kiwi dance crew The Bradas haven't had an easy road to success.

The crew - made up of Carlos Skipper, 22; Nathan Kara, 21; Connor Muller, 20; Riley Bourne, 19; Gabriel Sutton, 18; and Jackson Tuarae, 18 - revealed to the Woman's Day that they were, and still are, bullied for dancing.

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Connor, who danced jazz and tap before moving to hip-hop, says he was called names, and Bourne was "mocked" until he learned to do backflips and that made people leave him alone.

Tuarae was made fun of by the other guys on his rugby team: "If I was late for practice because I'd come from a dance class, they'd say, 'Oh, he's too busy dancing with the fairies,'" he told Woman's Day.

And even now, one of Kara's relatives still asks him how "the fairy ballet dancing" is going.

They all say it's been tough going but they've grown thick skin and learned to ignore it, because their love of dancing comes first.

The crew has won two years running in the adult division of the World Hip Hop Champs where Parris Goebel's Royal Family and other dance crews regularly compete.

They've also just landed a sponsorship deal with Russell Athletic and many of them are pursuing teaching dance.

Speaking of their accomplishments, the boys say what they do is less about the destination and more about the journey.

Tuarae says: "The lessons we've learned, like overcoming self-doubt and working together, have more value to us than the prize we won."

"To pass on those lessons to anyone with a passion would be great."

- NZ Herald

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