Manurewa dancer Happy Feet won the ‘build your team’ section in the Dance Your Style World competition in Frankfurt last week, a first for New Zealand.
Hip-hop dancer John Vaifale, better known as Happy Feet, was a finalist in an international dance competition in Germany. He’s the first New Zealand dancer to enter the Red Bull Dance Your Style, a mixed-style dance competition where the audience votes for the winners among competitors from more than 30 countries.
“It’s like being alongside your heroes, ‘versing’ your heroes, was crazy. It was actually amazing, and then at the end of it to be the winners just topped it off, it was just the icing on the cake. But I think for me, personally, the win wasn’t just winning but it was also being among heroes that I look up to,” Vaifale says.
Vaifale won a place in the competition earlier this year. To him, that was a win in itself.
“To be there and tell people I’m the Aotearoa representative, I’m the one who is repping our small, little country in the corner. I had this sense of pride,” he says.
The 27-year-old, originally from Samoa, says the opportunities are endless in dance, joining crews, battling in the underground scene and so much more.
“When speaking to youth and rangatahi, I always like to align it with sports players. When you watch rugby players train, they train, they will go to the field and practice their kicks, they’ll run, and it’s the same for dancing. We just need to keep going,. If you have that kind of passion for it, keep going, take opportunities, do what you can, and make connections.”
Vailfale is now focusing on a hip-hop dance battle in Auckland’s Britomart next week on November 17, in what he says is giving back to his community.