Taranaki Hip Hop wins big in Dunedin

To me dance is an important aspect of my life as it is one of those few opportunities to take off the mask, express my true self, and showcase our dance talents as a team
Lyric, one of the crew

Founder Tansi Williams says -

We won at the NZ Schools National Finals over the weekend, and retained our title which is fantastic news. We were the current champions having won in 2022. The finals this year were held in Dunedin on the 2nd of September. Our local high schools did not have enough dancers or resources to be competitive individually, but by entering as the Taranaki Hip Hop Community it allowed multiple students from multiple schools from the region the ability to compete as a regional team at the NZ Schools competition. It was a real team effort.

Taranaki Hip Hop Community started this 2020 by creating the Taranaki Interschool Megacrew. The purposes of the society is to unite the Taranaki community through hip hop dance, music and culture and to make street dance accessible to all youth. We have brought twenty-five high schoolers together, representing up to nine kura from around the Maunga. Over the last three years we’ve competed in the NZ Schools Hip Hop competition. We won 1st Place at 2020 Nationals, 2nd place 2021 Nationals, and were the current title holders from 2022 and now have won in '23.

Looking forward into 2024, we are working towards bringing our own Street Dance Competition to Taranaki. Not only will it have crew divisions for Kids, Teens, and Adults, but also a solo division giving more youth and adults the opportunity to perform. We want to create an event so that all whānau can support, and that brings the community together. We are looking at creating a little Hip Hop village with fashion and graffiti art on display along with food trucks. This will all take place under the banner of Hip Hop International, meaning that the dancers will compete in their region and can then qualify for Nationals in Auckland, and then go onto the Worlds which is being held in Phoenix, Arizona.

NZCT awarded the Taranaki Hip Hop Community a grant of $3,960 for van hire and accommodation for the schools hiphop Nationals in Dunedin.

We applied for this funding to help the parents with the costs associated with the crew's accommodation and hire vans to get them around while we were in Dunedin. The dancers have saved enough money to cover their airfares and have fundraised to cover uniforms and out-of-town choreographers, and paid their own way to the regional comp in Wellington in July.

Unfortunately, all major Street Dance Competitions are held in the big urban centres, making it very costly for our Tamariki to go. The Regionals took place in Wellington and the Nationals were in Dunedin this year. This generous grant from NZCT covered our accommodation and van hire costs, which is a huge saving meaning it cost less for whānau.