Best hip hoppers in the world
Forget the Rugby World Cup, the world champions of hip hop are right in our backyard.
Crews from Northland Hip Hop Dance have won gold and silver medals at the 2011 World Hip Hop Champs held recently in Australia.
Mixed junior team Future Crew came first in the cadet division while all-girls teenage team Kani Krew came second in the junior division behind a polished Russian crew.
Coach Annalise Wood says the results are "fantastic" and makes all the hard work worthwhile.
"It was a good two months of solid training. Two weeks out from the actual competition we had school holidays and they were training every day or every second day. A lot of training goes into a routine for the worlds, all for just two minutes."
This year is the second time Kani Krew qualified for the worlds. Last year in the Netherlands they came fifth in the junior division.
Annalise says the two Whangarei crews are well respected, helping put New Zealand on the map.
"They're young leaders and this is teaching them life skills like if you work hard you get rewards," she says.
"New Zealand has certainly put our mark on the world when it comes to really talented dancers. It's amazing when you go to these world champs, people know where New Zealand is and you feel proud to be from there."
Annalise and husband Hayden have been coaching crews for competitions for about the past five years, forming Northland Hip Hop Dance as an incorporated society in 2007.
Annalise has also been directing Hardcore Dance Company for 12 years, running classes for everyone from preschoolers to adults.
Auditions will be held in December for next year's Future Crew, Kani Krew and Encore, an all-boys group aged 13 to 17.
Annalise says rather than experience, she is looking for kids who have a real passion for dance and music.
"There's definitely a lot of talent up here, it's just about having the parental support and having the guts to come and try it," she says.
The World Hip Hop Championships are run by the Federation of International Sports, Aerobics and Fitness.
- Whangarei Leader
Are our classrooms becoming overcrowded?