Aotea Empire, Whanganui City College's hip hop crew have returned from a national competition with bronze medals after placing third out of all the competing NZ high school entrants.

The crew were suprised to gain second place in a regional dance contest in Feilding last month because it was the first time they had entered.

The placing meant they had to get to Dunedin for the national Hip Hop Unite competition held in Dunedin on September 16 and raised money to get there.

Deputy principal Val Rooderkerk said the community response was amazing and half the cost of getting the nine member crew to Dunedin was met by donations and fund raising.

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WCC head girl Baillie Edwards and dance teacher Pauline Hiroti choreographed the moves for the competition.