A Wollongong-based dance crew showcased Australia’s hip hop talent in August, earning a silver medal for the second year running at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships.
The Sweet Feet Dance Crew battled for the hip hop title over six days in Arizona, competing against other professional dance groups from over 50 countries.
Sweet Feet Dance Crew choreographer and co-owner of Street Beatz studio, Don Napalan, said he was proud of the team and hopes it will inspire the next generation of young hip hop dancers.
“I feel blessed that I can help give them the opportunity to achieve something like this. We have all dreamed of it and to be able to do it two times, not many people get to do that,” Mr Napalan said.
“You don’t have to be in the big cities to achieve something like this. You just have to have the passion and the drive… I would hope it inspires more people to do it and appreciate it.”
Mr Napalan’s student, Molly Chapman, has been dancing since she was two. She was part of Mr Napalan’s dance crew who competed in Arizona. She said the group trained hard for the competition and although they didn’t win, she was thrilled to have been a part of it.
“It was just the experience in general and no matter the placing just the influence our performance had on people, it’s just indescribable and it makes me really happy,” Ms Chapman said.
The crew missed out on first place by 0.01 of a point in the final. As a competitive parent, Ms Chapman’s mother, Elizabeth Chapman, said she was initially devastated for the group. But she said the crew’s reaction to their placement taught her a valuable lesson.
“When they got on stage just the cheers they got and all the social connections they made with people… it felt like they’d already won before they even went for finals and that was really humbling for me to learn that it’s not just all about the medal, there’s so much more to it,” Mrs Chapman said.
“They are just such a strongly connected community that lift each other.”
The crew has several domestic and international dance competitions in the coming months.
They hope to secure first place at next year’s World Hip Hop Dance Championships.
Molly is hoping to get to the Olympics. Achieving this dream takes sacrifice but the hip hop community and her family’s support keeps Molly motivated.
Video: Sweet Feet – Australia | Adult Division Silver Medalist | 2023 World Hip Hop Dance Championship