Dance lessons at Chapkis Dance in Fairfield have paid off big for Jai and Randy Alojado.
The Vacaville brothers were part of separate teams that won first place in their divisions at the Hip Hop International Dance Competition, held May 15 in Burbank.
This translated to gold medals for the brothers, and they will represent the United States when they compete in the World Hip Hop Dance Championship in Phoenix this August.
Randy, a freshman at Vacaville High School, was thrilled with the achievements.
“It feels really good, but it also feels really crazy how we managed to beat many other teams in the state and the whole nation,” he said.
Randy said he had recently gotten out of playing football and was looking for something else to do. Both he and Jai, a sixth grader at Browns Valley Elementary School, are big fans of hip hop and loved the idea of dancing.
“I do listen to that music in my free time, and it’s just something I’m really passionate about to to,” Jai said.
“It’s like a win-win for both of us,” Randy said.
Jai and Randy’s mother ended up enrolling them at Chapkis Dance, a Fairfield studio founded by Greg Chapkis, a choreographer who has worked with internationally known artists such as Daddy Yankee, J. Balvin and Tyga. One of Chapkis’ dance teams is the Chapkidz, consisting of teens and young adults, who have performed on “America’s Got Talent” and competed in competitions throughout the globe.
Randy is a member of the Chapkidz, and Jai is a member of the Junior Chapkidz.
“It’s a very professional studio,” Randy said. “We are more of a competitive-type studio.”
The Alojados said it has been a thrill working with Greg Chapkis as well as his wife, Amber, who both run the Fairfield studio. Jai also had gratitude for choreographers Shalena Lyn and Justin Taylor at the Suisun City studio “for helping us clean and adding more stuff to our piece to make it more competitive.”
The Chapkidz and Junior Chapkidz were tapped to compete at the Hip Hop International Dance Competition, held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center.
It was the first competition for both Jai and Randy. The rehearsal, Randy said, would consist of learning the routine and modifying it.
“Over time, before the competition, we would just keep running the dance and cleaning it, adding stuff to make it even better,” he said.
The routine, Randy said, consisted of a lot of tricks, formations and movements to songs such as “Get Low” by Lil Jon and “All I Do is Win” by DJ Khaled.
The Chapkidz entered in the Junior Varsity MegaCrew division, while the Junior Chapkidz entered in the Junior division, with both placing first. Chapkis also entered two other dance teams — Chapkis Dance Family and Prophecy — who placed second in the MegaCrew and Varsity divisions respectively.
Randy said he and Jai were proud to win, especially for their first competition.
“It just felt so amazing and crazy to run up on that stage and receive a gold medal, knowing all the work that we put in had paid off,” he said.
Now the brothers are already hard at work practicing for the world championships, where they will be representing the U.S. and competing against more than 50 other nations.
“We feel super excited but also super nervous, knowing that we’re going against all 55 (participating) countries around the world,” Randy said.
Nonetheless, both brothers consider it an honor.
“My feeling is very incredible to take place in this event, to have the opportunity to represent the United States,” Jai said.
The world championship is Aug. 6 to 13 at the Arizona Grand Resort.