By Kieran Meredith
‘Polyswag’, a New Zealand-born style of hip hop originating from the shores of Auckland, is responsible for the recent successes of New Zealand dance crews at the Hip Hop International championships in Las Vegas.
'Polyswag' is said to be summoned by ancestral powers to convey the rawness of heritage through strength, confidence, and attitude, leaving a charismatic synergy on stage.
It originates from the dance crew, ReQuest, made up of Polynesian girls who added their own cultural swag to the hip hop industry last year when they won gold in the adults division at Hip Hop Internationals 2010.
With that, New Zealand hip hop is well on its way to world domination with five New Zealand crews bringing home three gold medals and two silvers, from the competition in the US. Many of the winning dances were choreographed by ReQuest dancer, Parris Goebel.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the annual competition with 67 crews performing from 34 countries, all vying for spots in the finals of the Junior, Varsity and Adult categories and the new ‘Mega-crew’ category created to mark the anniversary.
Also winning gold medals were Junior crew, Bubblegum and Varsity crew Sorority.
Shakaiah Perez, a member of Sorority since January 2010, was struck with tears standing on the podium, looking down at his mother below, who was also in tears.
“It was such an amazing experience to be able to stand on the podium and receive the hard-worked-for gold medal, after four years of attempting to achieve the optimum.
“As soon as I saw the gold medals and realised I was on stage I burst into tears especially seeing my mum at the bottom of the stage crying proudly.
“I love to dance because it takes me to another place where it feels as if I have all the confidence in the world to be who I am and express the way I am feeling in a positive way and hopefully inspire others to fall in love with dance the way I have.”
Sorority competed at Hip Hop International in 2010, winning bronze, but were delighted this year to clinch gold. Prior to qualifying for Hip Hop International, Sorority finished first place at the Street Dance New Zealand National Competition.
Sorority’s performance at Hip Hop International showed discipline, fierceness and versatility. Showcasing New Zealand’s poly-swag, Sorority were thoroughly deserved of their first place ranking.
The next step for Sorority and The Royal Family is to prepare for Collaboration 2011 which was won by their dance studio last year.
The crews originate from The Palace Dance Studio in Auckland and are all trained under choreographer Parris Goebel, of ReQuest.
Hip Hop International 2010 Champions, ReQuest Dance Crew came second this year, taking home silver and Lil Saints also won silver in their Junior division.
Bring on the 2011 Hip Hop Internationals. We may be small, but like Beyoncé we ought to RUN THE WORLD on the Hip Hop stage.
Kieran Meredith is working with UNICEF as part of the 3Youth project, an upcoming section of the 3 News website focusing on social issues and written by young people.
source: newshub archive