Ukrainian hip-hop choreographer leads champions of a new 'dance generation' despite the war at home

Jevon Phillips, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

In the empty Burbank ballroom as workers stacked chairs and cleaned up after the event, Chapkis could hear the continued happy shouts outside.

"With two first places and two second places, I'm extremely proud," he said.

He has young crews, but with the world championships looming and even the Olympics around the corner in 2024 — breakdancing now is an official sport — Chapkis was looking forward.

"It would be amazing if they put hip-hop dance in the Olympics," Chapkis said. "First off, they're athletes. They train really hard to hit the stage like this, just as much as gymnasts or bicycle riders, even though it's an art."

The teams' wins will lead to more practice and travel and being even more in demand. It's hard work that may lighten some of the pressure of the current situation at home, but Chapkis is hopeful for the future of his students and his profession.

"Dance maybe wasn't as cool when we were young, but it's different now. It's a dance generation."


The gold medal winners of the HHI USA Dance Championship include Jr. Chapkidz of Fairfield (Junior division), Lil Supremes of San Diego (Varsity), Alpha League of San Diego (Adult), the Killas Projekt of Las Vegas (Minicrew), Chapkidz of Fairfield (JV Megacrew) and Supremacy Dance Fam of San Diego (Megacrew).


For a full list of winners, go to hiphopinternational.com.


©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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