Words by Taylah Hanna
The Society Hip Hop Crew was founded in January 2013 by Una Genuino and Reah Lopez. Holding auditions and creating their first team of only 10 people, they trained and rehearsed 3 times a week at local dance studios.
The Society’s journey over the last 4 years has been filled with amazing experiences. They had 4 very different and very successful competition seasons, where they won competitions in Perth, travelled nationally to Sydney and placing 3rd; winning their first international title, then qualifying and winning the Australian Hip Hop International Championship - all in a year’s work!
The society also represented Western Australia at the World Hip Hop International Championships in Las Vegas in 2014 and San Diego in 2015.
Their biggest accomplishment to date is their most recent trip to Cancun, Mexico, to compete at an International competition - Dancer’s Paradise. A video submission qualified them to compete and perform along side of the world’s best crews, including Sole Fam (Australia), NXZ (New Zealand), Cakebox (South Korea) and Brotherhood (Canada).
In the lead up to Dancer’s Paradise, the crew trained 3-4 times a week over 6 weeks and held various fundraising events to ensure everyone in the team could go to Mexico.
“We held fundraising workshops, a fundraising show, 'gofundme' websites, and many other individual fundraising ideas. A lot of fitness, mental training, drills, late night training and rehearsals were all part of the lead up to our Mexico trip, as well as most dancers still in school, university, or working full time. It was a crazy journey and a very expensive trip, but it was worth every effort we put in individually and as a team,” said Una, director of The Society.
The Society created a set to ‘Castle on the Hill’ by Ed Sheeran.
Performing at Dancer’s Paradise was an unreal experience.
“It felt incredible to perform our piece in front of such an amazing panel of judges and a phenomenal group of dancers and audience members. A few of us even got emotional on stage during our own performance,”
“The set meant a great deal to the dancers and even more to the directors. The journey of life is something we wanted to represent in our set and we wanted to take our audience on a journey telling our own individual stories as well as doing it as a unit. It was a very emotional piece but a very rewarding one to have performed,” she added.
After their rewarding performance, The Society placed 3rd overall.
Una said being a young crew and only training together for 6 months, placing 3rd was totally unexpected, but it was the best feeling. This is The Society’s biggest international compeition to date.
“All we expected was to do well for ourselves, our family and our supporters, and no matter what the outcome, our main goal was to touch people and take them on the journey we were in during the performance,”
“It felt like we won the world!” she said.
This win has sparked an inspiration and motivating within the team, believing they can truly achieve anything they put their mind to with the right work and mindset. They wish to project and spread that feeling across not only the Perth dance community, but nationally and internationally too.
After the competition, Una had the opportunity to teach at world renowned studio, Snowglobe Perspective, in Los Angeles, which definitely put little, isolated Perth on the map on an international scale.
So, what’s next for The Society?
“We will be holding auditions in July for the 2017-18 competition season and will be working on a production to be produced and showcased later this year,”
Una said the team will be looking for new, skilled, or beginner dancers and non-dancers, who want to grow, learn and be part of something big!
“Thank you to all those who have supported us through our journey not just recently, but in the last 4 years that The Society has been running. We hope to meet more, dance with, and experience the community as much as we can in the years to come,” - Una’s message to the community.
Check out their performance of ‘Castle on the Hill’ by Ed Sheeran that won them 3rd place!