Mad Beat Hip Hop dance crew Descendants, Demi Salton and Cloe Kemp, front, and from left, Emma Common, Shauna Hailes-Paku, Hannah Swift, Catherine Evaga and Courtney Butchart rehearse for the Shakedown competition this Saturday. Photo: Simon Bloomberg.

National hip hop ‘shakedown’ in town

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Nine crews from Richmond hip hop dance studio Mad Beat will need to be in sync for this year’s Shakedown competition, to be held in the Waimea College Hall this Saturday.

Shakedown was initially organised to provide dancers from Nelson with a chance to compete with crews from around the South Island. But this year it will become a national event with 44 crews and 17 solo dancers from throughout the country competing, and event director Gemma Laing says that will lift the standard to a new high.

“The caliber of this year’s entries is, by far, the highest we have seen and we are looking forward to a entertaining, energetic display of hip hop dance,” Gemma says. “Many of the competitors are nationally-recognised crews that competed at the national champs in Auckland earlier in the year.”

One of Mad Beat’s crews, Descendants, will be making their debut at Shakedown and coach Ashley Belk says they have had a hectic few weeks preparing for the event.

Descendants has girls from Waimea College, Garin College and Nelson College for Girls.

Gemma says one of the highlights of Shakedown will be the Mega Crew section, which involves crews of 15 to 25 dancers onstage at once.

Tickets cost $10 for school-aged children and $15 for adults, with a family of four costing $40. There will be limited door sales from 6pm.