Fil-Canadian hip-hop crews dance their way to championships

by Cecile Docto, ABS-CBN News

Filipino-Canadian teenagers are on their way to Arizona to compete in Hip Hop International’s 2017 World Dance Hip Hop championship in August.

Filipino-Canadians Claire Zalamea and Romy Sanchez are part of an elite group of junior hip-hop dancers from the Street Kings Academy of Dance.

The Queen B’z is composed of seven dancers ages nine to 13 years old.

Last June, they bested eight of the top crews across Canada to win first place in the junior category in the Canadian hip hop championship in Ottawa.

“When they announced our name, we are so surprised. We were running up on stage, screaming, yelling and feeling really happy,” said crew member Romy Sanchez.

Assistant coach Gabriel Sanchez describes the kids as phenomenal, saying it took a lot of hard work to get where they are now.

“It gets very draining in energy like you got tired and with the constant hour of practice, they’re practicing about five hours a day,” said Gabriel Sanchez.

13-year-old Claire Zalamea has been dancing since she was seven, while 9 year old Sanchez started two years ago.

“I love the feeling that I get when I perform. I feel very confident,” said Zalamea.

Queen B’z recognizes team work and constructive criticism as an integral part of their success as a group.

“When we take criticism, we try not to get offended because it’s not a personal insult. Someone is criticizing you because they care and they know that you can get better.”

“Dance is a friendly environment. We enjoy doing it,” said Sanchez. “They give us compliments and help each other to grow up to a new level.”

They also know their parents will always be there to support them.

The group is sending an audition tape for next year’s world of dance, hoping to be accepted on the show.

Queen B’z will compete against top hip hop junior crews from fifty other countries including the Philippines during the 2017 World Championship.

They have created a GoFundMe page to help them with the cost of the competition.

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