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Hip hop dancers receive Community grant for Melbourne trip

September 15th, 2010
By David Armstrong

Two Motueka-based members of the Nelson/Tasman medal-winning Origin Hip Hop Crew, Ashley Belk and Meila Wilkins, have been granted $500 on behalf of Origin by the Motueka Community Board to help the crew compete in the Australasian Hip Hop Championships to be held in Melbourne in October.

The girls have been working hard to raise funds to compete in the Power-up Australasian Cup, through sausage sizzles, garage sales, holding hip hop workshops, movie nights and concerts, while still traveling several tiles a week to Richmond to practise. Unfortunately some promised funding for uniforms from an earlier Auckland competition fell through recently and they were still a little short to provide for expenses to travel to Australia.

The community board agreed to the request on the condition that Ashley and Meila agree to organise and run a free public dance workshop for Motueka youth to be held before the end of the year. Otherwise, they felt that giving funds to individuals in what seems primarily a private capacity would not be within the terms of the board's discretionary funding policies. However, the board were appreciative of the amount of youth mentoring the girls were doing already.

Ashley said that the efforts of the Origin Crew had two community benefits - helping to improve the fitness of Tasman youth and raising the profile of Tasman and Motueka to a far larger audience. "We are good and our dream is to make Motueka, Nelson and New Zealand proud of us," she said.

"Dancing is everything to me and being part of Origin is the most important thing in my life. We are a very hard working and dedicated crew. As a result of our commitment to hip hop dance we are reaping the rewards, and have built ourselves a reputation as being the 'team to watch' wherever we compete."

In the latest championship events, Origin was top placed amongst South Island crews and third within New Zealand. They gained second place at an Australasian event last year. They were part of the main stage entertainment at the Royal Easter Show in Auckland in April where they performed four times a day to 1500-plus people a show.


The Origin crew


Ashley Belk



Comment by Gemma, who manages the crew:
[Posted 17 September 2010]
Thank you very much to the Motueka Community Board for getting behind Meila, Ashley & ORIGIN. Your support is greatly appreciated. The team is looking forward to holding a workshop and performance in Motueka when we get back from Australia.



Editor's note:
[Posted 15 October 2010]
The Origin Crew went on to win the title in Melbourne. Well done girls!




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