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THE PEABODY ADVOCATE - Friday, August 4, 2017

PHUNK PHENOMENON | FROM PAGE 1 “It’s the Olympics of hip-hop dance,” she said, adding that they have participated in the competition in prior years. Emphasizing the positive aspects of hip-hop, Briggs-Connor said Phunk Phenomenon aims to dispel the negative stigma that is often associated with this style of street dancing. Briggs-Connor also said that she and Rick established HipHop for Hope after learning that their son, Jared, who was two at the time, had been diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Sanfilippo Syndrome. Briggs-Connor said not many people are aware of the disease and those who have heard of it assume that it is some form of Autism. “It’s worse than Autism,” she said. However, Hip-Hop for Hope continually strives to make an impact. “All the dancers are philanthropists,” said Briggs-Connor. “I decided to use what we had as a tool, we always make it a point to talk about the disease.” Briggs-Connor said anyone who walks into Phunk Phenomenon will find that it does not share many parallels with conventional dance studios. “It’s not as structured as the traditional dance studio,” she said, adding that her students are free to come to class wearing sneakers and sweatpants. “The type of dancing we do is realty energetic, it’s aggressive.”

PHUNKY FRESH: Two members of the Phunk Phenomenon dance crew are shown warming up before practice on Tuesday at the Peabody studio at 201R Andover Street.

In addition, Phunk Phenomenon is the home of Lil Phunk, the official Junior Dance Team for the Boston Celtics. Established in 2004, Lil Phunk has done performances for KISS 108, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Puma, Disney and Hasbro Toys. In addition, the Lilphunk Boyz were ranked number one in the world at the Hip-Hop International World Championships in 2009. In 2010, the Lilphunk Boyz were ranked first in the country while the Lilphunk Girlz were ranked third in the coun-

try at the Hip-Hop International Championships. For additional information, Phunk Phenomenon can be reached at Lilphunk2@aol.com. The studio will also be hosting a sign-up session on Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for anyone who would like to be a part of Hip-Hop for Hope. There will also be an online sign-up session on Aug. 10, which can be accessed at http://teamsanfilippo.org.

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THE PEABODY ADVOCATE - Friday, August 4, 2017