Philippines Legit Status overcomes obstacles to participate at Hip Hop International

July 18, 2012 Comments
Philippines Legit Status overcomes obstacles to participate at Hip Hop International
Legit Status hopes to place in the varsity and megacrew division at Hip Hop International

Legit Status from the Philippines competing in the Varsity Division at the Hip Hop International World Hip Hop Dance Championship. ©Sthanlee B. Mirador/PRPP.

By Peter Gonzaga

Los Angeles – It’s been a busy year for Philippines’ Legit Status as they get ready for the 2012 Hip Hop International event. This year they are not only competing in the varsity division but are also fielding a crew for the megacrew division. “This year was probably the craziest year for us! This is the first time we’ve decided to join the Megacrew division, in addition to Varsity, so just imagine 26 different personalities on the team instead of the usual eight. We’ve had almost every possible obstacle thrown at us along the way: from funerals, to personal issues, to injuries, to trying to balance schoolwork and training, to a teammate being hospitalized two weeks before the competition, to major changes in our competition pieces, to financial struggles trying to raise money to be able to send the whole team across the Pacific Ocean to Las Vegas.” says Gabby of Legit Status.

It’s not all competition for the crew. It’s about bettering themselves and bringing them closer as a crew. Legit Status members explain, “Hip Hop International means A LOT to us. As this is Legit Status’ fourth year in the competition, every year we try to be better than the last, putting in more hours of training, recruiting new members, and improving ourselves as a team. In the months leading up to the competition, our lives basically revolve around HHI, and we have so much fun preparing for it! Without HHI, we probably wouldn’t have gotten this close to our teammates. Legit Status has become our family.”

In previous years at Hip Hop International, most of the fielding crews from the Philippines were in the adult division. That was about to change in 2009 as Legit Status composed of students who were already under coach Vimi Rivera’s high school dance teams, plus a couple of select others from the hip hop community thought it was time to field a varsity crew at Hip Hop International.

Legit Status made its mark by placing 7th place overall in 2009 during their premiere appearance in the competition. Legit Status member Rammy Bitong says, “We’re getting closer and closer to those medal positions. In, 2009 we were 7th place overall, 2010 6th place and last year in 5th place.”

The crew says that there isn’t any particular form of hip hop dance they stick to. ” We do more of our own thing and incorporate what we’ve learned from other styles.” says Legit Status members.

Asked what has been the most difficult part on their road to the 2012 Hip Hop International competition, they all agree that there are personal issues that they have had to overcome.¬† Gabby explains, “This is the first time we’ve decided to join the Megacrew division, in addition to Varsity, so just imagine 26 different personalities on the team instead of the usual eight. We’ve had almost every possible obstacle thrown at us along the way: from funerals, to personal issues, to injuries, to trying to balance schoolwork and training, to a teammate being hospitalized two weeks before the commpetition, to major changes in our competition pieces, to financial struggles trying to raise money to be able to send the whole team across the Pacific Ocean to Las Vegas.”

Last year was exciting for the crew as they got to interview one of their favorite dancers D-Trix for media outlet Pacific Rim Video at Hip Hop International.

Hip Hop International is an experience that any dance crew should go through as it helps bring a crew closer together as they prepare for the competition. “Even before we get to Vegas, we’ve already learned so much from each other and the roadblocks we’ve been facing as a team. We’re so thankful we have this opportunity to grow as individuals, and hopefully it makes us stronger as dancers as well. We’d like to gain a totally fresh perspective of what dance means to everybody around the world. This is a completely new experience for most of us, so we’re extremely excited to see what HHI has in store for us this year!”

For more information on Legit Status, check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LegitStatus Follow them on twitter @LegitStatusPH

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