Young people from Eastbourne, Hastings, Bexhill and Brighton win World Street Dancing competition

The South Coast’s most successful street dance school, Streetfunk, have brought home a haul of medals and a World Championship title after four days of competing at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

Streetfunk’s mega crew K.O.D. consisting of 23 dynamic and passionate dancers, aged 10 to 23, beat off fierce competition from 11 world-class crews to take the title of U18 Intermediate UDO World Street Dance Champions.

The UDO World Street Dance Championships is the most prestigious Street Dance and Hip-Hop event on the annual dance calendar and this year hosted 3,800 dancers from 34 countries.

The journey to victory for K.O.D was not without its challenges. Following the qualifying rounds, K.O.D found themselves in a disappointing 5th place. The crew’s coaches JP Omari, Munya Muchati and Monique Matthews recognised the need for adjustments to the routine to ensure their place in the finals on the Sunday.

JP said: “We realised we had to make some critical changes. We were still drilling the routine right up to the minute they went back on stage for their final performance. Despite these last-minute adjustments, K.O.D’s dedication and hard work paid off and they delivered an outstanding performance. They wowed the judges who ultimately awarded them the title of U18 UDO World Street Dance Champions”.

Choreographer Munya Muchati 28, said: "These 23 talented individuals have made me so proud to be their coach. I rarely get emotional when it comes to competitions but the way they performed, having been ranked 5th in the qualifying rounds, showed a champions’ mindset. I was totally choked in their final performance as I could see how much they really wanted it. It was a performance full of passion, energy and the desire to win. As a coach, I believe winning is not only about doing what it takes, but it's about exceeding expectations. K.O.D really left it all on the floor and I'm grateful to be one of the coaches who works with this amazing group of young superstars."

One member of K.O. D, 13-year-old Cooper Filby, said: “I'm about to head into my 7th year of crews with JP and this has by far been my favourite. Crews is such a huge part of my life & Worlds this year was awesome. Winning yesterday was better than my birthday!"

For Lexie Hide, 16, JP’s stepdaughter, this was also an incredible moment. In 2015, Lexie competed in the UDO World Street Dance Championships in Glasgow with her crew the Killabeez and won the U10 category. That year was JP’s second World Championship title for Streetfunk. His first was exactly ten years ago in 2013 with his crew Stereoshok. With the success of K.O.D this weekend, both he and Lexie have a lot to celebrate.

K.O.D’s winning routine combined a variety of street dance styles including Hip Hop, Waacking, Locking, Popping and Breaking, (the latter will make its Olympic debut next year in Paris 2024). The crew has seven boys and 16 girls who travel from Hove, Hurstpierpoint, Uckfield, Seaford, Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hastings and Bognor Regis to train with their crew in Brighton. K.O.D’s distinctive black and yellow uniform features the Spartan battle helmet from the film ‘300’ on the front of their t-shirts. Their motto? ‘Always ready to battle!’

Monique Matthews, 28, who has been dancing with JP for 16 years and has coached her own individual winning crews for six years said, “These kids rehearse for hours and hours, week after week, year after year, perfecting their dance styles, understanding the music and dedicating all their free time to crew training. Some of these kids have been dancing and competing since they were 7 or 8 and it shows that hard work and dedication pays off. Munya and I were very lucky to train under the mentorship of JP and it has been incredibly rewarding to work with him to create a world championship crew.”

K.O.D have been together for two years, and are an amalgamation of three crews who came together after Covid. Kriticool, was coached by Monique, OriGen coached by Munya Muchati, both who train at Streetfunk’s dance studio in Brighton, and Demo Squad, who were part of an Eastbourne Street Dance school (StreetStyles 4 All) which was bought out by Streetfunk.

K.O.D already have seven prestigious wins under their belt including Hip Hop Unite South Coast Champions 2021, SOAR South East Street Dance Champions 2022 and UDO Southern Street Dance Champions 2023. Now they can add World Champions to their roster.

K.O.D. will be competing at the UK Street Dance Championships in Harrow on November 18 and the BDO World Street Dance Championships in Crawley in December in their new category of Under 18 Advanced.

Streetfunk’s solo and duo dancers were also awarded medals in their categories.

Nathan Koakan - Under 18 Intermediate - 2nd place solos.

Yunus Ayhan - Under 16 Intermediate - 5th place solos.

Cooper Filby - Under 14 Intermediate - 3rd place solos.

Ellie Arnese and Daisy Donaldson - Under 16 Novice - 4th place duos.

Cooper Filby and Forrest Crawford - Under 14 Intermediate - 2nd place duos.