Dance teacher and mom, Alannah Curtis, is thrilled to have won the Hip Hop International qualifying round with her 7-year-old daughter, Honey Curtis. Photo / Michael Cunningham
A Northland hip-hop dance team has qualified to compete in America’s World Dance Battle for the first time in 12 years.
However, the dream is still $100,000 and dance teacher Alannah Curtis is happy to finish second in the qualifications for the Hip-Hop International (HHI) Dance Competition New Zealand.
The Demonstr8 Da FLOW or DDF crew of 11 dancers also includes the youngest dancer to compete in the Adults Mega Crew division – 7-year-old Honey Curtis.
Honey was thrilled to qualify for the international dance competition and said she loves dancing because “you can do a lot of cool things and when you win you get rewards”.
Honey has her diary filled with dance routines each day – from kids hip-hop, intermediate dance and line dancing to practice with the advanced band.
Although her formal dance training began at age 5, her mother Alannah Curtis said she had been in the studio since birth.
“She’s been dancing pretty much her whole life.”
About 50 crews across the country have participated in the HHI, and the winning teams have the opportunity to go to America in Arizona for the World Hip Hop Dance Competition.
Curtis said the team was devastated by news of the win, but reality quickly set in and they hit rock bottom when they realized how much the trip was going to cost and how little time they would have. had.
“We were against adults and the majority of our crew were 14 and under. All the parents were thrilled and everyone was buzzing with excitement.
“However, we all needed around $6,000 to $8,000 each to be able to go to worlds and that was pretty out of reach for the families here to make it happen in just a month.
“Without sponsors, it was just very difficult.”
It had been a dream for Curtis and being able to make it happen with his daughter was absolutely fantastic, she said.
“For the majority of the kids, it was their first dance competition.”
The crew had intensive rehearsals and sometimes practiced up to 12 hours a day, to make it more doable for parents.
“Normally we have a dance studio for rent, but this time we had a room, which meant the cost was higher. And so that families could afford it, we tried to set the prices at fixed days.”
Curtis said Northland had a lot of dancers and good talent, but finding the right parental support was difficult.
“Competitions are expensive and with that comes another kind of support for parents. Covid-19 has made things more difficult.
“It’s a big commitment.”
The DDF team made an annual school tour through Northland each year to help students recognize their talents.
“With dance, students learn coordination, team building, how to speak in front of an audience, make-up, hairstyle and costume, fitness, nutrition, etc., because it’s all part of it. .
“We want to let students know that no matter where they come from, they can be anything they want to be with hard work and determination.
“You just have to go there and it takes a lot of dedication.
“A lot of kids don’t like sports and dancing is just another outlet.”