TWO hip hop crews from Hartlepool are one stop away from becoming world champions.
But the global hopes of Ruff Diamond and their junior crew Lil Diamondz are hanging in the balance and it is all down to money.
They need to raise £15,000 in seven weeks – otherwise they will not get to take part in the glittering world championships in the USA.
Both crews came second in their sections of UK Hip Hop Championships at Thorpe Park, in Surrey, last weekend.
Those silver performances mean they both qualify for the world finals at the Red Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, USA, from Wednesday, July 27, to Monday, August 1.
But it just will not happen unless the £15,000 target is matched.
Zac Healey runs the hip hop academy, Urban Rockz, where both crews are based in Hartlepool.
He said: “We are ecstatic that we have got two crews from the town to the world finals and it would be fantastic if both could represent their country.
“But the big problem is the time we have got to raise the money to get to Las Vegas.
“We think it will cost £1,000 per person. There are seven members of Ruff Diamond and eight members of Lil Diamondz. If we can’t raise the money, we don’t go.”
The Ruff Diamond crew is made up of 13 to 17-year-olds and they were runners-up in last year’s UK event and performed well at last year’s world championships.
But Zac believes they could take the global stage by storm this time.
He said: “Last year, they went to the worlds as much for the experience, but this time they are really thinking they could do something special.”
The junior version of Ruff Diamond, known as Lil Diamondz, is made up entirely of dancers aged under 13 and they would be performing at Las Vegas for the first time.
Anyone wanting to support the two crews should contact 07921223540.