ReQuest Dance Crew – World Hip Hop Championship SemiFinal Round [Source: ReQuest Dance Crew]
New Zealand’s ReQuest Dance Crew, an all-female hip hop dance company featuring the choreography of Parris Goebel, is a great example of the spread of hip hop dance worldwide and the seeming omnipresence of dance crews connected to the Pacific region.
In 2009, ReQuest won the Varsity division of the World Hip Hop Dance Championships and, in 2010, they won the Adult Division. Yet a subsequent appearance on America’s Best Dance Crew drained their funds and now they’re scrambling to get the money together to compete this year. Unfortunately, New Zealand isn’t the best place to be a world champion hip hop crew:
“We’re in a place where we’re semi-respected in our own country but we’re huge in the States. The general public are pretty good, but it’s probably just a lack of knowledge of the size of the competition. It’s probably the same for the New Zealand men’s softball team – they go and win a world title but not many people really know who they are.”
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This is especially unfortunate, not just for their own careers, but for the fact that Maori students are particularly moved by ReQuest’s “Polyswag[g]” and “mix of Maori, Polynesian and Hip Hop moves”. Then again, pop media and corporate appeal is key and that seems to be easiest to leverage in countries like the US where numerous Filipino American crews, such as Jabbawockeez and Kaba Modern, are making things happen.
Best of luck in your struggle, ladies. All World Dance hopes your upcoming shows are profitable!
Official Site: ReQuest Dance Crew