Culture News

The International Hip-Hop Championship Is Coming to Phoenix

Gilbert-based Outlawz, which defends its 2016 U.S. championship title at this year's event.
Gilbert-based Outlawz, which defends its 2016 U.S. championship title at this year's event. Hip Hop International
More than 4,000 dancers from 50 countries are converging on Phoenix in August for the World Hip Hop Dance Championship. In other words, it's time to brush up on your popping, breaking, and locking knowledge.

The world championship is part of a nine-day lineup of dance events, presented by Hip Hop International. The organization was started back in 2001 to promote hip-hop dance on a global scale.

Its founders, Howard and Karen Schwartz, also created and co-produced America's Best Dance Crew, the competitive reality TV show that ran for eight seasons on MTV.

The World Hip Hop Dance Championship happens at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 12, at Grand Canyon University Arena. But a whole lot of dancing goes down beforehand.

Two events are happening at Arizona Grand Resort & Spa.

Dancers from more than 150 dance groups are competing in USA Championship events from Friday, August 4, to Sunday, August 6. The smaller groups are called "crews,” and the larger ones “megacrews.”

The top three groups in junior, varsity, adult, and megacrew divisions will advance to the World Hip Hop Dance Championship.

An event called World Battles takes place between Monday, August 7, and Friday, August 11. That's when dancers compete one-on-one for b-boys, poppers, lockers, and all-stylers titles.

This year’s championship should prove especially exciting for Outlawz, a five-member dance crew based in Gilbert. They won last year’s U.S. championship, and also got the bronze medal in the adult division for the world championship.

The nine-day lineup also includes three urban dance workshops, and a marketplace with everything from makeovers to nightly dance parties.

The World Hip Hop Dance Championship and related events take place Friday, August 4, through Saturday, August 12. Tickets for individual events, as well as all-event passes, are available on the Hip Hop International website.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble