Billie Jordan survived a major earthquake in New Zealand but was so traumatized from seeing people die in front of her, she fled to tiny Waiheke Island where she bonded instantly with the senior citizens: death was on their minds, just as it was on hers. She figured if everyone was going to die, why not go out dancing? In today’s episode Billie talks about forming the Hip Op-eration Dance Academy—tailored for people ages 72-96—defying ageist stereotypes, the response to her project and how she and her troupe have been reborn through dance. She also shares her grueling yet at times hilarious experience of caring for, training and managing her senior dancers on the road to performing at the World Hip Hop Championship in Las Vegas—a journey captured in the documentary film, “Hip Hop-eration.” Tune in for this extraordinary tale of going from darkness into light and living life to the fullest. Note: since this episode originally aired, Billie has moved back to the mainland and now lives in Auckland.
Facebook page: Hip Op-eration on FB
Watch the Hip Op-eration dancers at TEDxAuckland 2015: World’s Oldest Dance Troupe
“Hip Hop-eration”: The Documentary Film
Sounds: Kapa O Pango Haka, New Zealand v. Australia Rugby World Cup 2011; Hip Hop Reggae New Music by Soldier Boy (Opotiki, NZ).