Muscat – Nine dancers from Oman will represent the country at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship – Varsity Division – in Phoenix in the southwestern US state of Arizona from August 6 to 13.
Five girls and four boys from Oman will compete in one of the most celebrated and toughest dance competitions in the world, also called the ‘Olympics of Dance.’ The team is called ‘The Arab Teens’ and consists of Rishab Gupta, Shrika Shaji, Divit Kashyap, Sneha Buddhia, Rezwin Geordi, Leando Rayner, Anaida Shokrekhoda, Vaidehi Rastogi; and Renissa Walder and Nia Bailwad.
Over 4,000 of the world’s best dancers are expected to participate in World Hip Hop Dance Championship 2022. Crews from 50-plus countries will compete for the world title and international bragging rights, while hip hop icons, artistes and celebrities will make appearances and perform. The event is organised annually by Hip Hop International (HHI) headquartered in Los Angeles, US, which was founded in 2002.
Elaborating on the competition, Tejas Udani Gupta, team leader of Arab Teens said, “We are representing Oman in the Varsity or teenage category, and are very excited to be the only team from the Gulf to be at this prestigious event for a two minute slot.”
But great challenges lay ahead, she added. “We will face some of the best teams in the world. There will be two prelims, following which we can enter the semifinal and final.
The team of 15, including managers, coaches and dress designers, will leave for the US on August 1. The team has been practising for almost ten hours daily for a month now, staying together at the dance studio, sharing meals and training intensively.
“We cannot lose our coordination and focus and that is why we are rehearsing every single moment. Even during transit on our way to Phoenix, we plan to rehearse in the airport. Our time is limited and we will face the strongest teams.”
Tejas informed that the parents of the nine dancers are very supportive; they understand the importance of training and hence have extended their full cooperation.
“I have been in Oman for the last four decades and have seen hip hop become very popular. The time has come to put Oman on the hip hop map. This country has given me so much and I must do my best to give back,” Tejas added.
Team Oman’s performance at the competition will be choreographed by Prasanth Shinde, while Shiv Gupta and Nadeem al Balushi are directors of the group.