Paradise Valley teen to compete in USA Hip Hop Championship

Paradise Valley teen Mia Dwyer-Kim and her dance crew Elektro Elite have spent their summer vacation preparing to compete against nearly 4,000 performers from around the globe in the hopes of becoming World Hip Hop Dance Champions.

But the 15-year-old Dwyer-Kim has had to prepare for the championship in a way most competitors will never have to face, because she’s re-learning how to breathe, according to a press release.

She recently spent a week in the hospital learning breathing techniques to help her body get the oxygen it needs while she’s dancing.

Mia Dwyer-Kim will compete in the USA Hip Hop Championship. (submitted photo)

Miss Dwyer-Kim has a condition called exercise induced laryngeal obstruction that causes her vocal chords to narrow to one-quarter of their normal opening size when she exercises. The condition, which is commonly mistaken for asthma, makes it difficult for her to breathe during rehearsals and performances.

Despite the diagnosis and her struggles during rehearsals before she knew what was happening, Miss Dwyer-Kim never even considered quitting the dance crew she is so passionate about, the press release stated.

“I love being part of the Elektro Elites,” said Miss Dwyer-Kim in the press release. “I could never leave that behind.”

Before the Elektro Elites can participate in the World Championship, they must qualify by earning one of the three top spots at the 16th Annual USA Hip Hop Dance Championship Saturday, Aug. 5 though Sunday, Aug. 6 at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix.

The top three finishers in the junior, varsity, adult and MegaCrew Divisions at the USA Championship will move on to the World Hip Hop Dance Championship Monday, Aug. 7 through Saturday, Aug. 12 in Phoenix.

This is the first time in the events’ 16-year history that the USA and World Championships will take place in Arizona, the press release. The USA and World Hip Hop Dance Championships are the flagship dance competition events developed and organized by Hip Hop International.

Howard and Karen Schwartz, founders of Hip Hop International, are known worldwide as the innovators of hip hop dance crew competitions and creators of the Emmy Award-winning television series “America’s Best Dance Crew.”

Established in 2001, Hip Hop International began a revolution that propelled street dance from the background to the forefront of mainstream media and popular culture.

“The week of World Championship events is the gold standard for hip hop dance around the world, and the stakes could not be higher,” said Mr. Schwartz in the press release.

“When we created this championship, we called upon the originators of street dances and the world’s most innovative choreographers and enlisted them to develop and standardize an exacting set of rules for use globally. Today, these guidelines are the benchmark for the best of the best at Hip Hop International sanctioned events worldwide.”

Many competitors discovered by Hip Hop International have launched careers working with the likes of Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Rhianna, the press release stated.

The World Hip Hop Dance Championship Finals will take place on Saturday, Aug. 12 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix.

All USA Championship events (Aug. 5-6), World Preliminary Championship events and World Battles (Aug. 7-11) will take place at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

All events are family-friendly and open to the public.

Tickets start at $20. Complete event schedules, ticket information, championship videos and more information can be found at

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