Hip Hop-eration is using the art of dance in what could arguably be its most powerful calling — as a way of combatting dementia. Founded in 2012 by Billie Jordan, the Auckland-based dance crew has seven full-time members with an age range of 73 and 98, thus making it officially recognized by Guinness as the world’s oldest hip-hop group.
JORDAN: “It made it a complex teaching environment for me as their leader but it was just another challenge and made the successes of the group more meaningful.”
Several of the members have dementia, affecting their cognitive functions harder and harder with the passage of time. So training through choreography strengthens their memory capabilities. To see Hip Hop-eration perform, as they did at the 2013 World Hip-Hop Championships in Las Vegas or the multiple times at the New Zealand nationals, is beyond powerful.
JORDAN: “Having dementia is not a deal breaker. No matter what age, you always need a challenging goal.”
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