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Las Vegas dance crew The Prodigy advances to world semifinals today



Andre Agassi with Las Vegas dance crew The Prodigy.

Robin Leach's Vegas DeLuxe

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The Prodigy

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Randy Jackson arrives for the Billboard Music Awards Show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Sunday, May 22, 2011.

Hip-hop dance crew The Prodigy has already become the highest-placing Las Vegas group in the 10-year history of the World Hip Hop Dance Championships after becoming the new USA champions Tuesday, as Vegas DeLuxe reported, during the competition at Red Rock Resort.

Yesterday, The Prodigy moved one step closer to world fame when it placed seventh in the world preliminaries, which guaranteed the team a spot in today’s semifinals at Red Rock. The Prodigy is scheduled to perform between noon and 1 p.m. The Top Six advance to Sunday’s finals at Orleans Arena.

Thanks to Hip Hop International for this link to watch The Prodigy’s incredible performance (it takes a while to upload). The crew, ages 7 to 11, was interviewed at Red Rock this week in this video posted on YouTube. ( Las Vegas resident and tennis legend Andre Agassi was on hand to show his support -- his daughter is friends with one of The Prodigy's dancer.)

Hip Hop International’s USA Hip Hop Dance Championship and the World Hip Hop Dance Championship are two of the most coveted events in the genre. “Part Olympics and part United Nations,” I was told by my friend Laurence Cohen from Hip Hop International. “It’s the fourth consecutive year that the championships are being held in Vegas since starting 10 years ago. More than 2,000 dancers from 35 countries are competing, making it the world’s largest street dance competition.”

Randy Jackson’s America’s Best Dance Crew executive producer Randy Jackson, the same Randy Jackson who is a judge on American Idol and a super-successful producer, will be presented with the Living Legend Hip Hop Award on Sunday when the defending world champions from Japan and New Zealand return to Orleans Arena in a bid to hold onto their titles and earn gold medals and $25,000 apiece in cash and prizes. Las Vegas hair-care giant John Paul DeJoria of Paul Mitchell Systems sponsors the events.

After today’s semifinals, tomorrow becomes World Battle Day, with the incredible skills of U.S. and world’s Best B-Boys, poppers, lockers and freestylers put to the test at Red Rock in a series of “Can You Top This” battles to be judged by choreographer Toni Basil, who directed Bette Midler’s successful run of shows at Caesars Palace and is known for her hit “Mickey.” Toni is a previous Living Legend recipient.

Check back to my Twitter page @robin_leach this afternoon to see if The Prodigy moves onto Sunday’s finals. We’ll also have a photo report later right here at Vegas DeLuxe.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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