A group of dancers from Lavender Hill have danced their way to their way to the prestigious 17th annual World Hip-Hop Dance Championship in Phoenix, Arizona in the USA from Sunday 5 to Saturday 11 August.The event, hosted by Hip-Hop International, will see the 30-strong crew, predominantly from Lavender Hill High School, compete in the mega crew category.Liesle Hendricks has been running the school’s hip-hop dance programme for the last eight years and decided that she wanted to test her group of students, which started with five children but has now grown to accommodate 200 children from all around the greater Lavender Hill area daily.“The kids want to get away from home and get a way out of the environment and this is one of the only places they can go,” says Hendricks.In order to book their spot in Phoenix, the crew of 30 dancers took part in a regional qualifying event in Camps Bay last year, which allowed them to compete in Johannesburg for a chance to represent South Africa at the international event later this year.“So we entered the competition and qualified to compete in Johannesburg where we came second, qualifying to representing South Africa in August. They will be competing in the mega crew category at the international Hip-Hop Dance Festival,” says Hendricks.However, the children need R36 000 each to travel and stay in America for the duration of the competitionAttiah Boyce’s child has been part of the dance programme for the past five years and she is very proud of their achievements.“They have accomplished a lot during this time. We have added more children since the Hip-Hop International qualification,” says Boyce.She says that everyone involved has come together to host various fundraising opportunities to lighten the financial burden each crew member is faced with. “We have had takkie days at Lavender Hill High School where children pay R5 to wear their takkies with their school wear. We also generate funds through the school’s tuck shop for two days in the week. Prince George Primary is also doing a casual day and a takkie day for their children in an effort to help us,” she adds.Their deadline for generating the full R36 000 for each dancer is Tuesday 31 July, with the payments to be paid in increments of R10 000 from the end of May, after already paying R6500 by the end of April.The crew will step up preparations next month when they take part in Project021’s annual hip-hop dance-off on Saturday 2 June. The event is also another opportunity for the crew to raise more funds. “We have to sell 200 tickets. We have sold 50 so far, so we need to sell another 150,” says Boyce.She adds that obtaining passports or unabridged birth certificates for the crew’s visa applications are at the forefront of the parents’ minds. “We just want to get our kids to America to make us proud, make Lavender Hill proud.”V For more information, contact Liesle Hendricks on 062 122 1557 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.