Standing out at the World Hip Hop champs

Hi my name is Matthew Lawrence Pule’anga. I am 16 years of age and I've been to the World Hip Hop International (HHI) Dance Championships in Las Vegas. I danced under the Royal Family with the amazingly talented Parris Goebel and her amazing dancers. I only joined the Palace this year coming from Prestige dance crew last year with Mr Salaivao and Krash dance crew the following years.

This year was a whole different experience for me because it was my fourth year competing at this world international competition and dancing with new surroundings. I also didn’t have two of my brothers there with me, whom I have been dancing with my whole life. This pushed me to go on that stage and share my God given talent to the world and leave my heart on that stage.

We got to Las Vegas one week before the competition. We trained like there was no tomorrow because ‘passion never sleeps’ and we wanted to win.

We competed in the Mega Crew division, which consists of 15-40 dancers of any age. This year we went with 40 dancers aged 13-19.

Growing up I only danced with people way older than me, so this year was good for me to be dancing with people in my generation.

Moving on to the competition...

We did prelims and we placed third out of 50+ crews, qualifying us into semis. After performing at semis I was anxiously waiting for the results to be called out to see if we made it through to the finals.

In the past years I’ve gone I haven’t passed semis. As we got called fifth out of seven crews that qualified to the finals, I was stoked and happy we made it and I couldn’t wait to perform on that finals stage.

It was at a bigger arena with thousands of people watching. We went back to the studio and did changes to our set. As we prepared to go on that finals stage, we were getting ourselves warmed up and pumped with confidence to share our hard work and show the love for dance.

Walking on that stage was breath taking! Setting up before the music started and seeing my team ready to go, in my head I was saying to myself “you have nothing to lose”. Once that music played it was all on!

After performing we got a standing ovation and I knew I had given it my all and that’s all that mattered. 

Time for the results...

As they are getting ready to call out top three in our division, I remember Parris saying to everyone, “no matter the result just know you won in your hearts”.

“And in 3rd place all the way from New Zealand ... Royal Family Varsity!"

My heart started racing … it was the best feeling in the world because it meant so much to me getting a medal representing not only New Zealand but also my whole family, friend, my hood and especially the one who made this world, the Lord Jesus Christ.

One tip in reaching your dream or goal is to push through the hard times, don’t let it drag you down and never give up.’ Thank you.



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