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Toughing it out . . . The Rasa School of Dance "Diamond Crew" give it their all during their performance at the recent Hip Hop Unite national competition in Wellington. PHOTO: ANDREW TURNER/AT PHOTO

Dunedin’s Rasa School of Dance is celebrating after two of its dance crews had strong showings at the recent Hip Hop Unite national competition in Wellington.

Competing against 26 tough crews in each of their sections, the cadet “Diamond Crew” (primary and intermediate school age) and the junior “Allies Crew” (secondary school age) both made their respective finals.

In the end, the Diamond Crew were placed sixth and the Allies Crew were placed seventh.

Rasa School of Dance principal Lisa Wilkinson was delighted by the crews’ success in their third appearance at the nationals.

“Our goal was to make the finals, which include the top 10 teams, so placing sixth and seventh was a huge achievement,” Ms Wilkinson said.

Rasa sent 16 young dancers in the two crews to the national competition, where the standard of dance was high, she said.

“Many of the teams we were competing against practise up to 20 hours a week – that is a huge commitment.

“Our crews have a more relaxed approach, and they have a lot of fun with it.”

The Rasa crews were coached by dance teacher and University of Otago student Meila Wilkins, who has been to the hip-hop world championships in the past.

“Meila is a great teacher and coach, which was a big help to the crews,” Ms Wilkinson said.

Attending the national competition was a major effort for the Rasa students, with crews required to make costumes, and fundraise for flights.

Rasa School of Dance crews are gearing up to compete at the NZCAF Otago-Southland Regional Competitions next month.

The hip-hop competition will be held at Dunedin Town Hall on August 18, and the aerobics competition will be held at the King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts Centre on August 19 and 20.

The national competitions will be held in Christchurch in September. Rasa has launched a Boosted campaign to help its students raise the funds to attend.