Warkworth dance teacher Sheniya White will compete at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship with mega crew ID CO in August.
Sheniya, 20, teaches at the Warkworth Performing Arts studio and has been hip hop dancing since she switched from ballet when she was five years old.
Her mega crew ID CO came first in their division at the Hip Hop National Championship last month, winning a spot at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship to be held in Arizona.
“I went to the world championship as an audience member last year so to be on stage this time will be quite a different experience,” Sheniya says.
“It’s a huge opportunity to dance there and I’m extremely excited to perform at the top level as I love the energy and team spirit on stage.”
This will be Sheniya’s first international dance competition, although she has danced at nationals five times with three different crews.
It is also the first time ID CO has won the nationals, which have traditionally been dominated by The Palace Dance Studio that came third in the mega crew division at the world championship last year.
Sheniya says her crew has lots of new members so their goal is to finish in the top three. This will mean increasing their training ahead of the competition despite already having an intensive programme prior to nationals.
“We learnt our nationals dance a few weeks before the event, which meant training seven days a week and up to 11 hours a day.
“A lot of people don’t realise how physically hard these dances are. It’s like sprinting for four minutes non-stop on stage.”
At the world championship there will be eight judges assessing each act on performance and skill. The performance judges look at formations, stage use and other factors that affect the visual appearance of the dance. Skills judges watch for technique and multiple styles.
“Our toughest opponents will be from the Philippines and Japan, who brought a lot to the table last year.”
In addition to dancing, Sheniya is also studying a Bachelor of Communications at the Auckland University of Technology.
“It’s a real challenge balancing dance with study and work, and I sometimes stay up until 3am to get everything done.
“I love being able to share my knowledge with students though and seeing it come together in their performances.”
Three of her duos claimed podium spots at the Fusion Dance Festival in Orewa last month.
The World Hip Hop Dance Championship will be held from August 6 to 12.