901 Now: Memphis hip hop team balancing both school and dance

Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 7:03 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As summer camps are winding down for the start of school, some other camps are cranking things up.

“It’s crunch time all year,” Tiger Cubs assistant coach Tamia Sims said. “We are working all year.”

The Tiger Cubs competitive dance season is just around the corner, which requires these girls from age 7 to 17 to travel from state to state, vying for a title.

“My oldest team, they made history in LA for the HAI Hip Hop,” head coach Lenora Boyd said. “That was one of my biggest things, them winning out because really, I was like, ‘let’s get to top five.’ And with my little girls there was 2,000 teams in Vegas and only 70 teams made it to the battle, and we made it to the battle, and we won our hip hop nationals.”

Competing in nationals isn’t the only exciting part. Coach Boyd leads the hip hop team with a combination of tough love and life lessons about hard work and accountability.

“I tried out; I didn’t make it but I made it this year,” one Tiger Cub said. “I kept practicing and sending videos and I finally made it.”

Not only does Boyd teach the girls that the sport is earned not given, but she also has another motto:

“This is my number one thing with parents, when I have a meeting with parents, if they cannot juggle, they cannot dance,” Boyd said.

The team rehearses two days during the week and on Saturdays, but with the start of school right around the corner, learning to manage the load is crucial.

“If they need help with math, reading, science, all of that, we are there,” Sims said. “Bring your work to practice. We can do this at this time.”

Boyd’s ultimate goal is for the dancers to build confidence beyond the school doors, while learning to balance their schoolwork and their passion.

“It’s bigger than dance,” Boyd said. “Because I prepare them for the real world. Even if they are not dancing, they are going to be prepared for that world.”

The all-star team has a total of 22 dancers, Coach Boyd said in their 12th year they are looking forward to another successful season.

To learn more about the team, visit their Facebook by clicking here.

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