M-PROS dancers, from Tobago, are proud of their debut performance on Wednesday at the 2019 World Hip Hop Championships in Phoenix, Arizona. Although not advancing to the final round, the five-member group believes they represented TT well and are eager to push on and achieve more success.
Speaking with Newsday, team leader Vennorick Cupid was adamant if one of their dancers's knee hadn't popped out during the performance, their scores would have been higher.
He believes the injury happened because of the tension of being on such a stage for the first time.
He said, “Performing on that stage, we were nervous as hell; Orel knee came out because we were dancing with power and much intensity. We admit we haven’t had enough time on a world stage, we accustomed to a small stage at home but the world stage was a different feel and atmosphere.”
Cupid described their 90 seconds in the global spotlight as their greatest achievement.
“It was amazing; it definitely was one of the best days of our lives. It was breathtaking and eye-opening. The exposure we got, we cannot get it anywhere else because we learnt so much, like how to apply your passion in different areas of genres.”
Cupid, Orel Cooper, Destin George, John Chapman and Monique Cooper competed in the mini-crew category. The championships brought together over 4,000 of the world's best dancers from 50 countries, from August 5-10.
Going forward, Cupid said the group now realises the “only way to beat people on the world stage is to train people on the world stage."
He said they will be returning home with the experience to prepare for next year’s championships.
They will begin training a few days after returning to Tobago on Tuesday.
Cupid said the local group “wants to be responsible for starting a massive dance movement in Tobago."
He extended an invitation to all interested dancers throughout TT to join their team for next year’s competition, where they expect to do much better.
“I didn’t say we didn’t do well, I’m just saying, what we thought we knew and what the competition showed us was what we needed to see. We needed to feel the energy, the intensity. We got that feeling from backstage to on the stage. We thought our training was hardcore, but it was nothing in comparison to USA, New Zealand and others. It was amazing to see they had directors and trainers – we just had us.”
He said they will also work on bringing the Tobago House of Assembly onboard to host a number of dance workshops across the island.