Pinoys shine in World Hip-Hop Dance Championships
FLIPPIN’, poppin’ and lockin’, three Filipino dance troupes set the stage ablaze and finished among the top in the finals of what was dubbed “The Olympics of Hip-Hop.”
Delivering high-octane and intricately-choreographed routines, the Philippine delegation brought the house down and placed in three of the four categories of the recent World Hip-Hop Dance Championships at the San Diego State University’s Viejas Arena in California.
The Saint Benilde Romancon Dance Company and Legit Status finished second in the adult division and varsity division, respectively.
A-Team, the defending champion in the mega crew division, was third this time around.
Although they did not bag the top prizes, the dancers were proud of the way they performed in the international contest, which reportedly gathered some 3,000 dancers from over 50 countries.
“They were happy; they worked very hard for months,” Eloisa Matias, mother of Legit Status member Race, told the Inquirer. “They aimed for gold and came very close to getting it. They were thankful and felt blessed.”
The varsity division is for groups of 5 to 8 dancers, aged 13 to 18, while adult is for troupes of 5 to 8, aged 18 and above. Mega crew, on the other hand, had teams of 15 to 40 performers of any age.
After their team was called, Legit Status members Matias, Daniel Singson, Diego Villarosa, Mikki Cortes, Bela Cruz and Patrick Miranda ran to the podium waving the Philippine flag.
They got 8.16 points out of 10. Top varsity winner Kana-Boon! of Japan had 8.22 points. JB Star, also from Japan, was third with 7.82.
On its official Twitter account, Legit Status—whose full crew also competed in mega crew, finishing fifth—congratulated fellow Filipino competitors. “What an honor it was to have shared the stage with such talent!” it said.
Romancon members Josh Vidamo, Miko Carreon, CJ Terol, Paul Liggayu, Eddrich Vicente, Timothy Paul Robles, Jeremiah de Guzman, Stefan Raymundo and understudy Cedrick Donato hugged each other on the podium after placing second in adult.
They received 8.28 points, only 0.05 points below the winner’s, The Bradas from New Zealand. In third place was India’s Kings United with 8.11 points.
A-Team, the mega crew winner in 2014, received 8.34 points while first placer The Royal Family from New Zealand had 8.49. Lock “N” Lol Crew, the first South Korean dance troupe to join the competition, had 8.68 points.
For A-Team cofounder and codirector Michael Arda, finishing third “never felt so good,” especially since they were part of what he believed was the toughest, most stacked competition lineup in his dancing career.
“We can be proud of all… the accomplishments made. But, at the end of the day, it will always be about the journey and not the destination. I must say, this one is truly a journey to be thankful for,” he posted on his personal Instagram account.
“Shout out to every single soul that supported and prayed for us—you made us feel invincible,” added Arda.
Congratulating his “kids,” he said, “You know how much I love you, I’m just so proud of each one of you for coming out strong and facing the giants head-on. We all know that these moments will make us better individuals… Truly an amazing moment seeing you guys grow—I already won.”
Other Filipino ensembles that made it to the finals were the La Salle Dance Company-Street (fourth place, mega crew) and Rockstars (eighth place, adult).
Force to reckon with
Eloisa Matias said the Philippines’ achievements in the competition showed that the country was now a force to reckon with in hip-hop dancing.
“They danced on the world stage and are now considered among the world’s best. It’s an honor for them to have that recognition,” she said, adding that the camaraderie among the teams was commendable.
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