Pakuranga College student Tate Miller took the dancing world by storm at a hip hop championship in Arizona, collecting two silver medals with his dance crews.
Tate recently returned from the World Hip Hop Championships in the United States (Times, August 15) where he took second with Identity Dance Company crews Swagganauts and Yung ID.
Swagganauts competed in the varsity category, comprising high school-age participants, while Yung ID contested the junior/varsity mega crew section for up to 40 intermediate and high school-age dancers.
Identity is recognised as one of the best hip hop dance companies in New Zealand, and Tate had high hopes when he auditioned earlier this year.
“I went in and learned the dances, then auditioned in front of a panel,” Tate says. “It was a nerve-wracking wait, so I was stoked to be selected for the two varsity teams, especially Swagganauts, which only has nine members.”
From there on it was a constant juggle between school and hip hop for Tate, who is also heavily involved in the dance programme at Pakuranga College
“It was a bit of work learning the routines and then practicing for Hip Hop International New Zealand, the local competition,” Tate says. “That was a different experience because it was all done online. We set up a camera and filmed the routine; the judges didn’t see it in person.”
After claiming placings with both Swagganauts and Yung ID, Tate was on his way to worlds.
“Worlds took place in mid-August, so for most of the July school holidays we were putting in intensive hours training. Often we rehearsed from 10am – 9pm at night. It was a lot, but winning two silvers, it was worth it.”
Despite all his success in dance Tate is hoping to pursue chemistry at university next year.
“I’d like to work as a research pharmacist. Dance has been an amazing opportunity for me, but the competition is fierce. It will always be a hobby though.
“I’m getting into choreographing for younger hip hop dancers now; I’m definitely not stepping away completely.”