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Cheer on crews (and lose your voice) at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships

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Cultured choreography: Sorority of New Zealand, performing in last year’s World Hip Hop Dance Championships.
Mona Shield Payne

A crew of Japanese girls vamps, flips and slides across the stage like something out of the baddest music video you’ve ever seen. A dancer becomes a human jump rope as another body flies over his swinging frame. A man in black moonwalks eight feet in the air on outstretched hands as the crowd loses its damn mind. You could call the World Hip Hop Dance Championships a dance contest, but that wouldn’t begin to do it justice.

This annual celebration of music, culture and the incredible things a body can do given a bit of choreography and a sick beat returns to Las Vegas August 7 to 11, bringing with it crews from as far away as Singapore and South Africa to battle for respect and a place atop the finals podium. The moves are crazy and the competition is fierce, but beneath the swagger and attitude is one big party where everyone wants to be amazed by something wholly original and undeniably badass. Whether you end up screaming for a backflipping 7-year-old or a crew of Filipino adults who move like a single organism, chances are you’ll leave hoarse—and totally amazed.

World Hip Hop Dance Championships Preliminaries: August 7-9, dates & times vary, Red Rock Resort, 797-7777. Finals: August 11, 7 p.m., $25-$60, Orleans Arena, 284-7777.

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