Tahlia Watton’s star has been rising on Australia’s Hip Hop scene for some time. Now she’s about to go global.
Tahlia, who teaches Urban Dance at NAISDA, is also leading a 37-strong mega-crew named Wolfpack to the World Hip Hop Dance Championships.
Comprising students from studios in Newcastle, Wollongong and Western Sydney, Wolfpack was only formed last October. Six months later, it won the Australian title and will now strive for international supremacy against teams from India, Spain and the USA at the Arizona-based event in August.
“It’s like the Olympics of Hip Hop,” Tahlia said. “There’s no prize money or anything like that, but the recognition of winning is the big thing. Having your routines go viral on social media is a big thing when it comes to getting recognised.”
After a chance meeting with NAISDA’s Training Operations Coordinator, Pamela Williams Tahlia’s interest in NAISDA was “sparked.”
The pair crossed paths through the dance community on the Central Coast, where Tahlia was born and learned her craft. She started dancing at just three years of age and became serious after a performance at Disneyland in Los Angeles during her teens.
Tahlia was also inspired by her now late grandfather, George, who was Indigenous.
“I really wanted to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and that’s what I’ve really enjoyed most about working with NAISDA staff and Developing Artists – their respect and understanding of culture,” Tahlia said.
“Hip Hop is a type of culture in and of itself, and the Developing Artists get that. They’re passionate, motivated and bring a lot of energy.”
NAISDA would like to wish Tahlia and her crew, the Wolfpack, the best of luck as they vie for the world title in August.