Nelson hip hop continues to show its domination as Gemma Laing prepares her team Synergy for the Hip Hop Unite World Championships in Amsterdam later this month.
Taking out two second places and three third places at the national championships in Wellington in June, means Synergy will be joining around 2000 dancers from over 20 countries to compete for the world title.
“This is a new team that have only been together since the start of this year so they have done amazingly well,” says coach and choreographer Gemma.
The team of seven dedicated girls aged between 12 and 17 years, will be competing in the junior crew section. Currently training every day, 15-year-old Libby Teece says it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“It’s really overwhelming and exciting,” says Libby, “but I love it.”
Gemma says there won’t be a lot of sight-seeing with the girls only having one spare day after they arrive before heading back into the studio for training. Joining four other teams from New Zealand, a highlight for Gemma is getting to do a haka.
“Representing your country and performing the haka alongside all of the other New Zealand teams is quite exciting,” she says.
For the full-time coach and former competitive jazz dancer, this will be the third team she’s taken to the world championships in five years.
“You can get there, but you just have to work a bit harder when you’re from a small town,” says Gemma.
As part of their training regimen the team have also chosen to go sugar-free, adopting a “water is the best choice” policy. McCashins customer liaison Emma McCashin says they have been proud sponsors of the Synergy hip hop crew for the past few years and bottle their own Palaeo glacial water, from a 350m bore at the brewery site.
“We were thrilled when they said they were going to be drinking and promoting water only. They are fantastic role models promoting such an important message,” says Emma.
Synergy has also started a Givealittle crowdfunding page to help them meet the last of their funding goals. To support them go to givealittle.co.nz/cause/helpsynergygettoworlds.