SASKATOON – On weekends, most teenage boys are at home or hanging out with friends. But not Kirk Ford and Cole Neumeier. They’re rehearsing hip hop for the biggest competition of their lives.
“It’s really exciting, the best part to me is when you ‘re on the stage and you hear the audience cheering when you’re dancing, it gives you a boost of energy,” said Neumeier
“I love the spectrum of hip hop I love how there’s many different styles about it,” added Ford.
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Ford and Neumeier both started dancing when they were four, but became competitive dancers at nine. Now as teens the two recently tried out for Team Canada Hip Hop in Edmonton.
“It was quite the experience, it was really nerve racking for a lot of people. Everyone was nervous for sure. You walk in there and you’re just like oh my god am I going to make it,” said Ford.
“I was nervous for the try outs,” said Neumeier, “it was a lot of pressure but I managed to smile through it.”
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After waiting several weeks to find out their fate, both received the good news. This October, Ford and Neumeier will be travelling to Austria to compete against ninety other countries in an international competition.
But the road to success hasn’t been easy. For Ford, 16, being a male dancer came with its own set of challenges.
“I didn’t know if I wanted to keep continuing doing this. So definitely I pushed through that. I want all the male dancers out there that would like to continue to know that they aren’t alone because there is bullying that happens.”
But Ford did persevere and now he and Cole, 17, have a new mountain to climb.
“The cost is fairly significant, I mean Graz, Austria is a long way,” says Cole’s mom and dance coach Kristy Neumeier-Sotnikow.
They’re working hard to fund the entire trip through donations. to take the financial pressure off their families.
“I really was proud of them not only as a dance teacher but also as a mother, you know of Cole, that he was willing to do that and to help contribute because it is a huge expense,” said Neumeier-Sotnikow.
Kirk and Cole have started Go Fund Me pages and hope to raise four-thousand dollars each in order to represent Team Canada in Austria this October.