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Area Dance Crew Dubsteps Its Way to The Top Worldwide

Meet some of the Blank Canvas members (front, from left) Gabriel DeCastro, Chase Lihilihi, Evan Balmileroare, (back) Bronson Chinen, Ian Navasca, Marc Duey and Brittnie Aguilar. Photo courtesy of ER Marketing.

Pearl City-based dance crew Blank Canvas came together with a passion for dance only a year ago, and it already made waves worldwide in June at the 2012 Kia Dubstep Contest in Warsaw, Poland.

Composed of Blank Canvas members Brittnie Aguilar, Ian Navasca, Brandon Ron, Bronson Chinen, Matthew Sunajo, Chase Lihilihi, Evan Balmilero, Kenneth Appelbaum, Cris Redoble, Gabriel DeCastro and Marc Duey — the group was represented by Navasca and Ron, who took first place at the competition.

About 30,000 fans watched the final dance battle at the UEFA EURO 2012 National Stadium.

The group said it feels blessed for the opportunity to participate in such a large-scale contest.

“Winning the contest felt amazing,” said Navasca. “All glory to the man above for allowing us to perform our talents outside of the U.S.”

The duo felt great representing Hawaii and Blank Canvas in front of thousands of people.

To qualify, all entrants had to upload a Kia dub-step dance video to YouTube in May.

Sixteen teams, including Blank Canvas, were chosen as preliminary qualifiers from 500 entries based on creativity, performance skill and entertainment value.

These 16 teams were narrowed down to the top eight based on public online voting by Kia Facebook fans.

Blank Canvas put together a routine that included the diverse dance styles of each crew member.

“From there, our camera man JP Orpilla helped film our routine, and we launched our entry for the contest,” Navasca explained.

Not only did the crew get bragging rights as worldwide champions, but they also won a 2012 Kia Rio that they will share.

Blank Canvas was established when a group of friends came together to entertain and inspire others with a simple goal: to give back to the community and teach younger generations their passion.

“Our bodies are the brushes, the music is our paint, the dance floor is our canvas,” Navasca explained.