Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau
Thursday, June 21, 2012 | 4:30 p.m.
On America’s Best Dance Crew furiously coordinated young men and women push themselves to create hip-hop choreography that dives off the TV screen and gets viewers dancing week after week after week. But what if the crews weren’t just competing against American dancers? What if more than 2,000 dancers from 40 countries were all vying for the top prize? And what if each crew had just five days to prove to an international panel of judges that they were the best on the planet?
Well, if all that happened, you’d have the World Hip Hop Dance Championships, returning to Las Vegas August 1-5. The annual competition—presented by Hip Hop International, which also produces ABDC on MTV—returns to Las Vegas this summer with preliminary rounds at Red Rock Resort and the August 5 finals, where surviving crews compete one last time for the top of the podium, at the Orleans Arena.
This year’s lineup is already slated to include crews from Brazil, France, Israel, South Africa and Singapore, as well as teams from perennial powerhouses Japan, New Zealand and the U.S., including Elektrolytes, who just won ABDC. Also representing the U.S. will be masked show winners and Monte Carlo resident performers the Jabbawockeez, who will receive this year’s Living Legends of Hip Hop award.
"We are honored to accept this award,” says Jabba dancer Joe “Punkee” Larot. “And we will continue to do our best to help bring dance entertainment to the forefront."
This year’s award marks the first time it will go to a dance crew, rather than an individual performer. Past honorees have included MC Hammer and Toni Basil. All the Jabbawockeez members will be on hand August 5 to accept the award and perform for the crowd of international dancers and fans.
For locals who want to watch the battles go down, tickets to the finals are 20 percent off (regularly priced $25-$59) now until June 24 at orleansarena.com with the code “DANCE”.