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Atlantic City kids bring home dance championship

A group of Atlantic City kids have danced their way to victory.
Hot Topic won the Junior Hip Hop Dance championship in Florida last week.
“My babies won,” an ecstatic Whitney Brown said of the group of 9- to 12-year-olds she coaches at the Atlantic City Police Athletic League.
While the group has been around for a few years, it was their first adventure to the invitation-only competition in Orlando.
“It’s a big deal for these kids,” Brown said. “This makes Atlantic City look good.”
But it was an uphill battle to even get there.
After competing at a regional competition in Princeton, the 15-member team was invited to Orlando. Then, they had to raise enough money to make the trip.
“Thank God for Facebook,” Brown said.
Within five days, they raised about $5,000, about half of what they needed for the trip.
In Florida, the kids got to visit some of the famous sites, and then came away with the win.
It was the first time with the group for 11-year-old Ya’Morah Wright, her mother said.
“(Ya’Morah) had an amazing time dancing,” Kenya Andrews said. “She was so excited about getting a chance to meet new people and dancing in one of the biggest dance championships ever.”
“This is a great thing for Atlantic City,” Brown said of her hometown.
So is the group itself, which is why she volunteers her time to them.
“These kids need someone to push them,” she said. “They need someone to keep them busy and off the streets.”
The group isn’t just about dancing.
Brown also brings in people to teach them life skills and takes them on college tours.
Due to limited funds, only 15 kids can be on the team.
So in order to make it they have to audition and have good grades.
Now they even have their first boy on the team, 11-year-old Keshad Reynolds.
“He is amazing,” Brown said.
Because he’s the only boy, he has to work a bit harder since he often draws the attention, she said.
“He always says, ‘All eyes are on me,’” Brown said.
Now, all eyes are on the whole group, now reigning champions.
Hot Topics members are Wahirah Hill,  Ty’keema Brown, Amatullah Abdullah, Madison Grate, Asiya Stowe, NaSiya Martin, Zayonnah Dorn, Ayana Frierson, Aapria Newsome, Peyton Chappell, Chasity Bryant, Brooklyn Daniels Parish, ZahMyirah Oglesby, Wright and Reynolds.

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