Battling it out on world stage

L to R-Nick Liyu, Bradley Turrall, Hannah Booker, Santana Siaea, Brandon Carter-Chan, Chloe Haewera, Jeremy Dreyer, Cameron Carter-Chan. L to R front- Jessica Wang, Cuda Wong, and Claudia Little. Times Photo Wayne Martin. 

They smashed out the moves with precision and went on to win the Battleground New Zealand Hip Hop competition in Hamilton recently.

The two hip hop dance crews Velocity and V-Kinz from Carter-Chan Dance Centre are thrilled to have gone through the tough national selections rounds to make it to World Supremacy Battlegrounds finals in Sydney in October.

Both crews are trained by choreographers Brandon and Cameron Carter-Chan. Brandon is a national tap champion and Cameron is the current national hip hop champion.

Brandon says they couldn’t believe it when their names were announced as national winners.

“We were blown away when Velocity, our junior crew, won the New Zealand title for the Young Guns division for 12-15-years-olds.

“They also won their division at the Project Hip Hop competition in Tauranga the weekend prior to the event. That put a lot of pressure on the senior crew V-Kingz since we are the teachers,” he laughs.

V-Kingz scored second place in the open division for adults.
“This is a very prestigious dance competition and we were up against some very experienced crews with large fan following.

“We were quite nervous since there was huge cheering for the more established crew Prestige who have been around forever. They are really good and like the grandfather of hip hop.”

Brandon admits it is an honour to be only second to Prestige dance crew. We will now compete with top crews from different countries on the world stage,” he says.

“It is toughest when there is lack of cheer in the beginning and then you gradually gain respect of the audience as you prove yourself.

“The panel of judges later mentioned we had got something different to the choreography, which is always a risk you take,” say Brandon who is studying architecture at the University of Auckland.

Brigid Carter-Chan, principal of the teaching faculty at the dance centre says that Kiwis have raised the bar very high on the world stage more so with crews like Palace, Identity and Prestige.

“The level of dancing we are asking our young people to do at an international level is very, very high,” she says.

“They have to step up and understand the musicality of every accent and beat as they hit every move with precision.

“There has to be a huge amount of commitment from both students and parents to last the long distance. This is the first for us and now they are going to focus all their energies on fundraising for our crews to participate on the world stage.”