ReQuest on top of world

17:00, Aug 19 2010
WORLD APPLAUSE: Hip hop dance crew ReQuest are this year’s World Hip Hop champions. From left: Malaena Eagle, Shalom Leilua, Bonnie Talamaivao, Reimy Jones, Parris Goebel, Courtney Hale, Bianca Ikinofo and Samantha Cahill.

THE world is hip hop crew ReQuest's stage after a win at the 2010 World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas this month.

The group of eight dancers beat 43 other international crews in the adult category for the champions title, taking home US$5000 in prize money.

ReQuest's win follows a successful run as gold medallists in the varsity category of the 2009 world championships and the prestigious World Supremacy Battlegrounds competition in Australia.

More than 200 crews from 28 different countries qualified to compete in the annual event.

It is only the second time ReQuest has competed in the world champs, but it has come first both times.

Dancer and choreographer Parris Goebel says to enter the adult category for the first time at such a young age and win is indescribable.


"It's huge. We're still trying to soak it all in. People were looking at us like we were superstars, but we're just eight Kiwi girls."

The eight talented 18 to 20-year-olds are based at The Palace Dance Studio in Penrose and have been dancing together for about three years.

"We won all three rounds so we had an idea that they loved us. I think what set us aside is that we were all girls dancing like we were girls," Parris says.

"It was feminine but strong and we were very confident on stage.

"We made sure we believed in ourselves.

"When we moved up to the adult category we didn't know what to expect so we were thinking `let's give it our all'."

Parris comes up with her "fresh" dance moves by envisaging the routine in her mind after first being inspired by the music.

"I have to imagine all eight dancers moving around in my head but I find the songs first rather than the concepts," she says.

"The girls inspire me too. It's not a chore to make them look good because of the way they dance and groove. I try to complement that."

Despite their own nine-hour training sessions every day in the lead-up to the competition, the dancers acknowledge the hard work and effort of their manager Brett Goebel.

Of the eight New Zealand teams who competed in Las Vegas, Mr Goebel helped co-ordinate three from The Palace Dance Studio, including the 2010 varsity bronze medallists crew, Sorority.

The dancers are now discussing future options which include mini shows, as well as a world tour.

"There's been heaps of overseas interest for teaching and performing," Parris says.

"And we're going to try to take out the worlds again. No, we're not going to try, we're going to do it."

Central Leader