Largest ever Hip Hop Unite Dance Championship heads to Lower Hutt

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Published: 15 May 2024

It’s going to be a tip top weekend in Lower Hutt as the largest ever Hip Hop Unite National Dance Championships comes to town.

On 17-18 May, the Lower Hutt Event Centre will come alive with chest pops, arm swings, jabs and stomps as a record 1100 dancers – comprising of 85 teams, 40 duos and 50 solo dancers – try to win a Hip Hop national title. They may also get to represent Aotearoa at the Hip Hop Unite World Championships.

The dancers will be supported by an estimated 1000 friends and whānau, with about 70% of all visitors coming from outside the Wellington region. Many will stay for three nights, providing a boost for the local economy including accommodation providers, as they head into the slower winter months.

Mayor Campbell Barry is delighted to welcome the dance championships back to Lower Hutt for the fifth time.

“Dance and hip hop fans from around the city should head down to the Event Centre to check out the incredible performances. Holding the National Championships is a fantastic opportunity for us to show off our city.”

Hip Hop Unite Event Director Gemma Laing says Lower Hutt is an excellent location to hold the championships.

“We love that it’s in the centre of the country, as we have dancers from Northland to Dunedin attend. The Event Centre is spacious and there’s lots of room for the teams to get in some practice.”

Dancers will also have an eye on qualifying for the Hip Hop Unite World Championships in Portugal. Qualification isn't automatic. Instead, dancers are assessed by a judges panel to ensure they have a necessary level of competitiveness.

Historically there’s a strong New Zealand team. In 2023, 90 dancers attended and world championships with Wellington-based team NOVA winning the gold medal in the Cadet Megacrew category.

The public are welcome to attend the Hip Hop Unite National Dance Championships. Tickets are available through