The creators behind Randy Jackson’s America’s Best Dance Crew return to Las Vegas on July 26 for the ninth annual World Hip-Hop Dance Championship at Red Rock Casino.
B-boys, b-girls, freestylers, poppers and lockers, and crews from 35 nations will compete for $20,000, starting with preliminary battles and freestyle competitions at Red Rock Casino and finishing with finals Aug. 1 at the Orleans Arena (hiphipinternational.com, 800-669-5867).
This is the third consecutive year the event has been held in Las Vegas. Contestants come from as far away as Australia, Singapore, Finland and Nigeria, and organizers are expecting about 5,000 spectators.
U.S. champions and America’s Best Dance Crew season-five winners, Poreotix, are returning this year to defend their title. They’ll have a lot of competition. “One of the great things about this event is you never know where the next world champion will come from,” organizer Howard Schwartz says.
Hip-hop dance is incredibly popular at the moment, but when Schwartz first tried to bring the competition to town, he received a cool response.
“We met with a major Strip hotel that said the hip-hop dance culture was not their customer [base], and was not the type of entertainment that would find an audience here,” he says.
Today America’s Best Dance Crew champions the Jabawockeez perform for sell-out crowds at MGM Grand. Meanwhile, Las Vegas has birthed its own hip-hop ensemble—Super Cr3w—which won the TV show’s third season of and has embarked upon a world tour.
Schwartz is happy that his event has helped inspire a cultural phenomenon, saying, “We are proud to blaze a trail for hip-hop dance in Las Vegas and to see its positive impact on the entertainment culture here.”