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Academy of Brothers (AOB), a street dance crew of sixteen young Australians from Brisbane City, is the first Australian dance team to advance straight into the finals of the 2012 World Hip Hop Dance Championship in Las Vegas, USA.
AOB marched into the finals after finishing 8th out of 31 dance teams in the preliminary rounds yesterday. Fifteen mega-crews will now compete for the Mega-Crew division title today, Friday August 3. (Thursday 9AM AEST).
Charlie Fotelai, team manager of AOB, was over the moon.
“I could not believe it, we are so ecstatic. I knew that our boys are strong and wanted to prove that they deserved their selection in the Australian squad. We are so proud of their achievement.”
The last time an Australian dance crew made the World Championship finals was in 2007, when Melbourne dance team KSTAR finished fourth overall in the junior division.
The 100-strong Australian national contingent, headed by HHI Australian country director and team captain Marco Selorio, is composed of twelve dance teams that qualified from all over Australia, including Clockwork, Method Crew, Academy of Brothers, Runway, Empire, Blush, Stiletto (Brisbane, QLD); QJam Entertainment (Toowoomba, QLD); Royal Knights (Sydney, NSW); Project Beats (Canberra, ACT) and Urban Force, A2D (Melbourne, VIC).
Selorio believes that Australia’s underdog tag and fighting spirit has given the teams plenty of ammunition.
“We were never considered to be a strong hip hop dance nation, but today is a new day for Australia. AOB has put our country back on the map and our national squad will be right behind them.”
Australia has competed in various group divisions over the last two days, including the junior, varsity, adult, mega-crew divisions. Tomorrow, the last remaining Australian teams will battle it out at in the break, popping, locking and All-styles World Battles divisions.
Australia has gone up against the best street dancers from forty three countries. Defending champions New Zealand, Japan, USA, Canada and the Philippines are expected to dominate the six-day long meet. // Australian HH media release.