The world’s oldest hip hop dance crew hails from the Waiheke Island in New Zealand, and they are gearing up to prove that age is no barrier when it comes to dancing, by taking part in the World Hip Hop Dance Championships to be held in Las Vegas in August.
The “Hip Op-eration Crew,” which consists of 37 senior citizens aged between 66 and 96 years, has already appeared on reality show “New Zealand's Got Talent,” where they got a standing ovation during their audition.
The crew has also been officially invited to do a tribute performance at the global hip hop dance festival to be held at Orleans Hotel and Casino on Aug. 11.
"I'm up for the challenge," 96-year-old crew member Violet Hollis told the Wall Street Journal."I wouldn't miss it for anything."
The crew, which includes members who are deaf, blind and some who use walking aids, has mastered dance moves such as locking, popping and voguing to beats of popular artists such as Missy Elliot, Nicki Minaj and Eminem.
The crew told the Journal that they feel a connect with the history of hip hop. "We feel very much in tune with those people who were very poor and nobody seemed to care about," Maynie Thompson, 94, told the Journal.
"We want to show young people that old people can do things like that, too. When you get old, you don't have to sit at home and knit socks. You can get out onto the floor and dance."
Billie Jordan, the crew’s manager told the Journal that hip hop is no cakewalk for the elderly, and many members keep dropping off. While some complain about difficult dance moves, the 17-hour long flight to Las Vegas has dissuaded several others.
But there are others such as Hollis who are determined to make the trip, despite the consequences. "We discussed what would happen if she died over there. I said I couldn't afford an American funeral, so she said she was willing to come back in a Tupperware box," Brian Hollis, her 70-year-old son, who along with his wife is also part of the group, told the Journal.