A New Zealand dance crew have won first place in the adult section of the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in the United States.
The seven-strong Auckland group, “The Bradas”, were in second place after the semi-finals but pipped a more experienced Filipino team, Romancon, to win gold in the finals.
The Bradas, who have been dancing together as a seven-man crew for nine months, were surprise winners, having been considered unknowns before their first performance at the championships.
They had asked that no-one post video clips on the internet of the set they would perform, denying their competitors knowledge of how good they were until their first outing in the preliminary round, after which they received a standing ovation and shot into second place.
The Bradas are aged 17 to 22 and two of them are schoolboys, attending Mt Albert Grammar. They dance with the Identity Company, based in Sandringham.
Company director Josh Cesan says, “These guys have just taken their set to a whole new level. They are all sick dancers and have had the most amazing focus and discipline to achieve their dream. We are so proud of them.”
The Bradas won the New Zealand National Championships in April and were members of the 29-strong Identity Company group that won silver at last year’s world championships in the “megacrew” division.
New Zealand’s other medal at this year’s World Champs came in the megacrew division: a silver for the Royal Family, of Penrose in Auckland.
The championships, held at Harrah’s Resort in San Diego, featured 3500 dancers from around 50 counties.