Illawarra crew step up onto global stage

Passionate performers: From top, instructors Don Napalan and Brooke Tulloch, and Illagroovers Liam O'Brien, 14, Hadley Davidson, 14, Macy Baez, 13, Dominic De Pasquale, 13, Gemma O'Brien, Ryley Cross, 14, and Ibby Ozkara, 12. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Passionate performers: From top, instructors Don Napalan and Brooke Tulloch, and Illagroovers Liam O'Brien, 14, Hadley Davidson, 14, Macy Baez, 13, Dominic De Pasquale, 13, Gemma O'Brien, Ryley Cross, 14, and Ibby Ozkara, 12. Picture: ROBERT PEET

The Illagroovers, a hip hop crew from Wollongong, are off to Las Vegas to compete in the World Hip Hop Dance Championships this August.

The seven-member crew earned their position in the international competition after taking out the best varsity crew at the Australian Hip Hop Championship held in Sydney on May 3.

The crew are Liam O'Brien, Hadley Davidson, Macy Baez, Dominic De Pasquale, Gemma O'Brien, Ryley Cross and Ibby Ozkara.

The crew have been together for four years and are trained by Brooke Tulloch at her North Wollongong dance studio Street Beatz Hip Hop.

The winning two-minute routine, choreographed by Ms Tulloch, featured break dancing and hip hop.

"After so much hard work, I'm really proud to be the teacher of these guys," she said.

The world championships, held from August 4-10, attract the best dance crews from around the globe.

More than 280 dance crews from more than 40 countries will participate.

Ms Tulloch said the Illagroovers trained together twice a week but the individual members usually attended the studio up to four times a week to train in their various dance styles.

The crew has three months to learn and perfect a new two-minute routine being choreographed by Ms Tulloch especially for the world championships.

"Hip hop dancers need to be fit, have a good ear for music, have good co-ordination and have a passion for it - that is the most important thing," she said.

Ms Tulloch has been teaching hip hop for nearly 10 years and has danced all her life.

"In terms of choreography, this is the biggest achievement I've had with any of my crews," she said.

She said the studio was hoping to raise funds to meet the cost of the trip.

Fund-raising events already planned include an under 18s dance party at the Ivory, Wollongong, on Friday June 20, and a Viva Las Groovers Night Out at The Fraternity Club, Fairy Meadow, on Friday, July 11.

More information on the crew's community fund-raising events is available on their Facebook page, titled Illagroovers - Representing AUS in Vegas.

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