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Senior hip-hop crew gains national attention

April 11, 2014

Participating in regular physical activity is a surefire way to maintain a healthy lifestyle for seniors, but older adults don't have to spend their days at the gym to get the proper amount of exercise. Some people prefer using video games to assist with their activities while others prefer following YouTube tutorials, but one group of New Zealanders has found a less-than conventional way to get their sweat on: hip-hop dance.

Thanks in part to their unique appeal, The Hip Op-eration crew has become one of the country's finest hip-hop dancing troupes, participating in several competitions, winning championships and even trying out for the TV program "New Zealand's Got Talent." 

The Hip Op-eration Crew gains impressive following
Decked out in black ensembles, neon pink and green socks, and with silver chains hung around their necks, the 25-member senior dance crew engages its fans through a series of hip-hop inspired dances. The seniors were recently featured in The Wall Street Journal, which followed the crew as they prepared to compete in the World Hip Hop Dance Championships. Billie Jordan, the manager of The Hip Op-eration Crew, told the source that the seniors initially began the group in order to show people from around the world that age is little more than a number, and had no effect on how people could engage in physical activities. However, as time wore on, the members became more dedicated to the craft.

"It's about showing respect to young hip hoppers in the world hip-hop community and to try and better connect senior citizens with young people," Jordan said. 

According to the crew's Facebook page, which has more than 3,000 fans, seniors range in age from 67 to 95 years old. One video of the group, uploaded by the ASB Stage Challenge, features a small snippet of the seniors engaging in pop, locking and dropping, and has more than 56,000 views on the site.

Group to compete in the New Zealand National Hip Hop Championships
The Hip Op-eration Crew has been invited to a number of national and worldwide competitions, the most recent of which will be the New Zealand National Hip Hop Championships, which take place at the beginning of May. In addition to its impressive resume, the crew has been featured in a number of media outlets, including BBC News and local television stations. During its 2013 tour, the group was followed by documentary filmmakers, who will release a film chronicling the participants midway through 2014.