KAWERAU’S Joseph McClutchie has once again danced his way to the top to represent New Zealand at the 2016 World Hip-Hop Dance Championship in the United States.
Described as the world’s most celebrated dance event, the international championship is being held at Las Vegas in August, with more than 40 countries competing.
McClutchie, 24, a former Kawerau College student and Kawerau Youth Council member now lives in Christchurch and dances with Moorhouse Dance Studio. He and was part of the winning Swarm dance crew.
His crew placed first in the adult division at the Street Dance New Zealand (SDNZ) national competition in Auckland last weekend, securing their ticket to Vegas.
Four days after SDNZ, McClutchie said the win was “still sinking in big time”.
The crew of five competed against 11 other dance teams in the adult division.
“It’s a lot harder with a five man crew; most of the crews are groups of eight so we have to put out the energy an eight-man crew puts out. Competing with that is next level,” McClutchie said.
Of the 11 crews entered, seven were selected to compete in a final competition with three chosen to represent New Zealand.
Swarm is the first South Island team to take first place in the history of SDNZ.
“We really pushed hard,” McClutchie said.
McClutchie has competed in hip hop at a national level twice and both times he qualified for the international competition.
Last year he danced with Polaroids dance crew from Zion Studios and took out the silver medal in the adult division of the 2015 Hip-Hop United World Championships in Martinique.
He said in preparation for this year’s competition he and his crew would “focus on being focused, always”.
This week the focus was on “topping up the bank account” and next week the focus would be organising a practice schedule around his work hours.
“Competing at an international level is overwhelming with the talent around you but it’s about focusing and not letting anything grab a hold of you,” McClutchie said.
Two Wellington crews came second and third, an all-female dance crew, VIP, and Boys Squad.
Both crews will also be heading to Las Vegas.
A New Zealand crew, The Bradas, won the world competition adult division last year, automatically securing them another chance in 2016.
Source: Whakatane Beacon