SUISUN CITY — Local residents have the opportunity to see national hip-hop dance champions twice Saturday in Vacaville.
Chapkis Dance recently took first in the three divisions they entered at the Hip Hop International in Las Vegas.
It’s the first time in the competition’s 12-year history a single dance studio swept the categories, according to Greg Chapkis of Chapkis Dance.
More than 140 dance crews represented the United States.
It also marked the first time in almost a decade that an American crew made it to the world championships. All three Chapkis divisions competed, with the junior division, ages 7 to 12, placing sixth; the varsity group, ages 13 to 18, taking seventh; and the MegaCrew, a combined team, placing fourth.
“It’s crazy,” Chapkis said of the competition and results. His wife, Amber Chapkis, compared it to the Olympics.
Almost 40 countries were represented in the world competition.
Greg Chapkis couldn’t be more proud of his dancers.
“They are really super-dedicated kids,” he said. “They knew what they were going for. They took it more serious.”
Last year, two of the three Chapkis teams finished fourth.
“We were so close to (making it to the) world last year,” said Amber Chapkis, who founded the studio with her husband. “They had a little taste of it last year.”
The dancers rehearsed all summer before forming a caravan to Las Vegas, where they spent 10 days. There were three levels of competition to go through to get into the world competition.
The international teams had already been through those levels before getting to Las Vegas, Greg Chapkis said. Those teams were well rested before entering the finals.
Last weekend, the dancers were at the World of Dance in Vallejo, bringing home two more first places and a third.
The wins have bolstered the dancers’ confidence, Greg Chapkis said.
“We can do anything if we persevere,” he said. “We just keep pressing to be the best.”
Many of the dancers have grown up with Chapkis. He worked with his mother, Natasha Clarke, for several years before opening Chapkis Dance three years ago.
The dancers will perform some of the same moves they showcased in Las Vegas at the Saturday shows.
“The show is for fun,” said Amber Chapkis. “It’s like our grand finale.”
The dancers get a short break, then it’s time to start preparing for the annual Halloween show.
Chapkis has about 200 students at the Suisun City studio.
There are two other Chapkis Dance studios in the world. Gregory Chapkis Sr. has one in Ukraine. He is Greg Chapkis’ father.
Lillia Chapkis, Greg Chapkis’ half-sister, has a Chapkis Dance in Italy.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.