Chilliwack is a hotbed of Hip Hop dance

A clothing drive fundraiser is running for the whole month of September, in partnership with Big Brothers and Big Sisters

Ten dancers from Chilliwack are heading to Europe as part of Team Canada for Hip Hop. Back L-R Delaney Hawkes

Ten dancers from Chilliwack are heading to Europe as part of Team Canada for Hip Hop. Back L-R Delaney Hawkes

Ten young hip hop dancers from Chilliwack are heading to Italy next month to compete against the best in the world.

Delaney Hawkes of Chilliwack is excited to have earned a second chance to represent Team Canada as a senior dancer for 2015 — after making it to Germany for the worlds last year.

“I’m so grateful. My goal is to stay completely focused,” she says.

What does it take to win?

“It takes drive, determination and practice,” the 19-year-old says. “You have to want it. We’ve talked about this many times as a team. You just need to have tunnel vision about winning.”

They’ve made a point of studying the formations of last year’s winners to get a leg up on the competition.

“You have to have strong formations, with no one out of their spacing, and strong arms. Everything is just really clean.”

The team members are in intensive training and fundraising mode as they prepare for their departure on Oct. 19 to Rimini, Italy.

“Being on a team and doing something you love is insane,” Hawkes tells The Progress.

“Also being with people who are just as inspired as you, and who want to work hard, is the best feeling.”

Penny Hamel’s son is also going on the trip, so she is organizing a clothing drive fundraiser for the whole month of September, after teaming up with Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

They’re collecting clothing, shoes, linens, and handbags, with the goal of filling up garbage bags up to about 15 lbs each. Anyone with something to donate is asked to call 604-819-5996.

It all gets donated to Big Brothers after that, for which they’ll earn about $2.50 per bag for the trip. Also an account #75 has been opened at the Sardis bottle depot to offset expenses. Bottles, and bags of clothing can be picked up, if needed.

“Between the two fundraisers, and others, we’ll get them there,” said Hamel.

Her son, Tyler Hamel, made the hip hop team and will be flying to Italy in October.

“He’s super excited. It’s an awesome opportunity, and a great team.”

They’re practising pretty much every weekend now, and it will revert to every couple of weeks soon.

Since hip hop dance is not recognized as a sport on the national level, they have to fundraise to pay for the trip to Europe.

The national team, with 22 senior dancers out of about 60, include some who have been to the worlds before. That gives them a better handle on things this time around.

“We know our mistakes from last time. There is way more focus.”

“But hip hop has definitely has come a long way. Now there’s a whole global competition for it.”

Dancers heading to Italy as members of Team Canada:  Delaney Hawkes, Jack Fleming, Madeleine Burke, Tyler Hamel, Emma Donnelly, Emma Jackson-Gola, Camryn Jackson-Gola, Elena D’archangelo, Tatum Murphy, and Ella Reedman.