World’s Oldest Hip Hoppers Competing at NZ Hip Hop Champs
The World’s Oldest Hip Hop Dance Group: The Hip Op-eration Crew will be competing head-to-head against the top Hip Hop Mega Dance Crews from around the country on Friday 2nd May 2014.
The hip hop mega crew consists of 25 senior citizens aged 67 to 95 years old from Waiheke Island. They are registered to enter the Mega Crew division of the New Zealand National Hip Hop Championships in May where Mega Crews from all over New Zealand will be competing for the title of Top New Zealand Hip Hop Mega Crew.
“We are really excited but also a bit nervous; as many of our competitors are the best hip hop dancers in the world. We don’t expect to win, but will certainly do our best to show the respect we have for the younger hip hop dancers – many of whom are 70 to 80 years younger than us,” says 80 year old Hip Op-eration Crew member Brenda Long (aka BB Rizzell).
The Hip Op-eration Crew did two tribute performances at the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas in August 2013 to crowds of thousands and stole the show.
“People thought we were quite an oddity – coming from a small island in New Zealand and being so much older than everyone else. We attracted media attention from TV networks all over the world and a lot of people cried and screamed when we performed. It was really overwhelming but also the best moments of our lives.
“We’ve got a new four minute dance routine my homies and I have been rehearsing for months in our community hall. The easiest hip hop moves for us are locking and popping, as our limbs are so old they do that naturally! However, break dancing is off the agenda as it could literally kill us,” says Long.
The Hip Op-eration Crew members include four people who use mobility aids, five members in their 90s, many people who are deaf, and one member who is legally blind. The average age is 78 and there are six men and 19 women in the Crew.
The Hip Op-eration Crew aims to reduce the stigma of aging through entertainment. A ‘behind the scenes’ feature documentary film about The Hip Op-eration Crew will be released in cinemas across New Zealand later in the year before having an international cinematic release.
The Hip Op-eration Crew have featured on BBC World, the front page of the Wall Street Journal, Australia’s premiereSunday Night programme, Fox News, NZ’s Got Talent and other television networks, radio stations, magazines and newspapers all over the world.
Each member of the crew (called a homie within the crew) has a hip hop name such as Quick Silver (95), Kara Bang Bang (94), Shake it up Sheila (81), Dollar 91(91), Terri 2 Cents (93), Tiny Tot (81), Snoop J (79), DD Bugz (67), BB Rizzell (80).