July 13, 2024

Two teams of young hip hop dancers from Baguio City will represent Philippines in the World Hip Hop Dance Championship in Arizona, U.S.A.

The Baguio Archers Dance Troupe and Baguio Koolitz Dance Crew, composed of students from the Baguio Central School and Roxas Elementary School, bagged the gold and silver medals, respectively being the lone contenders in the junior division of the 2023 Philippine Hip Hop Dance Championship held at the Manila Metropolitan Theater on May 27 and organized by the Hip Hop International Philippines.

Baguio Archers and Koolitz, both all-girl teams, were among the 85 dance crews and troupes all over the country whose performances were evaluated by international judges from Romania, Thailand, and United Kingdom, Japan. U.S., and Philippines.

The Arizona championship will be held from July 30 to Aug. 6.

The winning teams, certified to represent the country as “Team Philippines”, are trained and coached by Louie Vilches Calimlim, Wreigh Jann Tamayo, and Andrew Tom Cruz of the Baguio J Krayons, which rose to fame for bringing on national stage the beauty of Cordillera’s culture when it joined the “Pilipinas Got Talent” in 2018 and finished as a semi-finalist.

Tamayo’s group has also launched the “Art for an Art: Road to Arizona” exhibit where they mount their original paintings and artworks for sale to fund the delegations’ expenses from the time they joined the elimination rounds in the country up to the upcoming competition in Arizona.

Tamayo said each painting bought will greatly help the teams and would allow Baguio’s young hip hop dancers to showcase their talents and the Cordillera culture in the international stage.

Those interested to buy their artworks or support Baguio Archers and Baguio Koolitz may visit Art for an Art’s studio at Ngarud Food Hub, Holy Family Dormitory building near gate 4 of St. Louis University along Bonifacio St. or reach Tamayo on his Facebook account.

Hip Hop International Philippines is the official Philippine affiliate of Hip Hop International. Founded in 2002 and based in Los Angeles, it aims to unite the world of hip hop through dance.

Known as the “Olympics” of Hip Hop and Street Dance, Hip Hop International Philippines not only aims to uplift the art of dance in the country but to also serve as a stepping stone for dancers who strive to turn their passion into a profession. – Hanna C. Lacsamana