The Mega Crew hip hop dance troupe consists of 22 senior citizens aged 68 to 95 years old. The average age is 80 and 13 members are in their 80's and 90's. All Crew members are neighbours and live on Waiheke Island; a small island off the East coast of New Zealand in the South Pacific.
The motto of The Hip Op-eration Crew is RHY = Respect and Honour Youth.
The group uses Hip Hop dance as a vehicle to not only form stronger connections with young people but to also promote attitudinal change in our society towards both aged persons and youth.
The dream of The Hip Op-eration Crew is to one day travel to the Bronx in New York where Hip Hop originated. Once there, they want to do surprise Flash Mob hip hop performances in the High Schools to show the kids how their urban ancestors have changed the lives of the most unlikely group of people on the other side of the world. They want to show that, when you do something positive, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant at the time, you can change people's lives for the better all over the globe. Never underestimate what you can contribute to this world! It's a big dream, but it is possible.
The group performed at the World Hip-Hop Championship in Las Vegas, USA (2013), competed in the New Zealand National Hip Hop Championships twice (2013 & 2014) and performed in the Taipei Arena, Taiwan to an audience of 16,000 (2014).
They have featured in the news media all over the world from the front page of the Wall Street Journal to the BBC News in Europe to Chinese, American, Japanese, Taiwanese and Australian prime-time television.
They have become an internet sensation and are also the subject of an international 95 minute feature documentary film called Hip Hoperation. The film crew followed the group from their first inception as a Hip Hop dance group to their performance at the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas eight months later.
The film has received Best Documentary, Best Director and Best Cinematographer awards at the NZ Film Awards (2014) and was the 4th most popular film (out of 300 other films) at the prestigious International Film Festival in Amsterdam in 2014 and won the Audience Choice Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in Feb 2015 . The film is now being released in cinemas all over the globe from Israel to Czchoslovakia to Sweden to Marthas Vineyard in the USA.
You can purchase the DVD of the film Hip Hoperation on this website at by clicking here. Every purchase of the DVD through this website generates a donation to our charity.
The Hip Op-eration Crew members include four people who use mobility aids, 13 members in their 80s and 90s, many people who are deaf, and one member who is legally blind. The average age is 80 years old and there are five men and 17 women in the Crew.
They are managed by 45 year old Billie Jordan who is their founder, choreographer, dance teacher, manager, publicist, marketeer, social media and website manager, charity chairperson, events manager, carer and friend. All her time is voluntary (which she fits around a normal paid job).
The group was founded by Billie Jordan in 2012. They started off as a Flash Mob in August 2012 doing surprise dance performances around Auckland, New Zealand. They were called 'The World's Oldest Flash Mob'. The video of their debut performance on 9th August 2012 has over 740,000 hits on YouTube. Then in January 2013 Manager Billie Jordan set the group up as an official Hip Hop dance group called ‘The Hip Op-eration Crew’.
Even though the age of the Crew members limits their dancing capabilities, they are all inspired by the founders of Hip Hop from the Bronx who believed it’s not about limitations, it’s about possibilities. Regardless of their age and physical ability, they are not letting those limitations get in the way of learning Hip Hop.
Ageism is a real issue in western society. A lot of people automatically presume just because you're a senior citizen you must be old fashioned, feeble, no longer able to contribute to society, can't learn new things, aren't engaged in technology, and don't like doing any activity that is supposedly outside of their comfort zone. Part of The Hip Op-eration Crew’s aim is to also address those misperceptions and prejudices whilst forming a stronger connection with youth.
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