T8F Staff


Alyssa Marie Roxas

Social Networking

Ashley Medcalfe

Operations (New Zealand)

“We are fools whether we dance or not...so we might as well dance!”

Having a background in jazz and tap, Ashley discovered hip-hop a bit later in life when she took it up at her local dance studio. When studio life started to slow down, she was pretty much forced into auditioning for T8F in January of 2008 by a friend already in the crew. Ashley agrees this is one of the best life choices she has made so far. She now lives for hip-hop dance and believes T8F is the reason for this.

Ashley has been involved in a number of events and gigs with T8F, including performances at NZ Fashion Week, Sydney's Choreographer's Carnival in 2010, and Coca Cola Christmas in the Park.

Ashley has taught school children in after-school dance programs, supporting Youthtown through promoting dance and physical activity. She's also taught at a local dance studio, working with hip-hop students to put through examinations, showcase in their annual productions, as well as teach solo and troupe competition work.

When she can, Ashley loves to party (she wouldn’t be T8F if she didn’t), eat lollies, jam to music and chill with friends. Her future hopes and dreams are to travel, see the world and dance, dance, dance. She wants to take classes from those who inspire her and gain as much as she can in order to fulfill her ultimate goal of traveling worldwide, dancing with artists.


Ellen Worthington

Social Networking

“Live Laugh Love”

Having begun ballet classes at the age of 5, Ellen grew passionate about dancing as she expanded her training into the disciplines of jazz, contemporary, Latin and tap. At the beginning of 2007, she stopped dancing altogether after receiving an offer to join the Senior Elite All-Girl and Co-Ed Cheerleading teams at Total Cheerleading NZ. After 3 regional, 3 national, and 2 international titles, Ellen auditioned for Dream08, and with no hip-hop experience found herself a place.

In January 2009, she auditioned for TRiPLe8FuNK and spent the next three months training and competing for FuNKaDeLiC at both regional and national levels.

Ellen also enjoys skiing in the winter and surfing in the summer.


- Deputy House Leader of Cowie House, Diocesan School for Girls (2009)
- Dance Captain, Diocesan School for Girls (2009)
- Excellence Award for Choreography, Smokefree Stage Challenge (2008)
- Cheerleader of the Year (2007)
- NCEA (Level 1 and Level 2), Achieved with Excellence (2007)


Emilija Drezga

Treasurer (Australia)

“Live. Love. Dance.”

Emilija is a highly trained performer and dancer in many different styles including ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and funk. New to her repertoire are styles such as Latin and hip hop, which she discovered in 2010.

Emilija’s passion and love for dancing began at the age of 4, and escalated to a new level when she discovered Michael Jackson. After seeing a lot of his performances and videos, she could not help but work harder and harder in order for her dancing to grow. She can’t wait to take her dancing overseas to different countries and learn all there is to know about the art of dance, and of course show the world what she’s made of.

In the coming years, Emilija hopes to one day found her own dance school/company offering a range of different styles. Triple8Funk is sure to assist her in her journey to achieve her goals.


- Diploma in Dance Teaching and Management
- Certificate in First Aid, Level 2


Jane Kim

“The greater the knowledge you attain, the greater the knowledge that there is more to learn.”

Jane fell into dancing as an outlet for life and hasn’t looked back! Into her fourth year of hip-hop dance, she is currently branching out to different styles of dance such as break-dancing, commercial jazz, and Latin. It is her belief that to be passionate in what you do, one must be passionate about learning.

Jane currently works as a support worker with people with intellectual disabilities. Her passion lies in helping people to attain the highest level of independence in accordance to their underlying capabilities. "There is nothing as satisfying as watching someone rejoice in their ability to perform a task they and others believed to be impossible."


- Bachelor of Arts (German Studies)
- Bachelor of Science (Psychology)
- Tertiary Studies in OHS, Health and Disability Work


Jason Lee

International Relations

"It's not rocket surgery."

Jason saw hot girls dancing in T8F's 2004 concert, "Romeo and Juliet". Next year he auditioned for T8F.


- Bachelor of Commerce and Law, University of Auckland (2008)
- 220 Dance Team, San Diego, USA (2009)



Joel Gallarde

Founder. Director. Choreographer

"In Dancing Excellence”

Joel started dancing late in his teens having joined The Company of Ateneo Dancers (CADS) in the Philippines and instantly developed a deep passion for it. He moved to New Zealand in 1999 and started a Hip Hop dance club in 2001 (just for the fun of it) while studying at The University of Auckland. Never did he expect it to grow as it has today. The small university dance club has turned into one of the most established street dance companies in Australasia and presenty has an active involvement in the global scene.

Through the years, Joel has travelled around the world and has taught dance workshops and judged competitions in places like South America, Asia, USA, Europe & all over Australia & New Zealand. He has made a name for himself as one of the influencers and innovators of the international urban dance scene. He believes that to achieve one's goals in dancing one needs discipline, and at the same time, the ability to have fun with it all!


- Bachelor of Arts (Film, TV, Media & Spanish), University of Auckland
- Blues Award, University of Auckland
- Diploma in Communication Studies
- Certificate in Maori Performing Arts
- Certificate in Business Management


Kym Ty

Artistic Director

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that's why it is called the present."

Kym came to the crew in late 2004. He had no hip-hop experience but was street trained in dance. When not with the crew, he is learning jazz, ballet and Latin ballroom which have benefited him through the years.

Living lower class in the Philippines taught him valuable lessons that he now uses in dance, such as improvising, making use of what you got and making the best out of everything. His styles are driven from the combination of his street upbringing, rhythm in other dance styles and passion through the sound.

His time in Triple8Funk has been a good progression from when he started as new dancer, to choreographer and now Artistic Director. He still has a lot to learn but also has a lot to offer. He takes and shares advice and critiques with others, and that's where he stands tall as he is true to his passion in the performing arts and his own interpretation of dance.


- T8F Most Valuable Dancer (2010, 2011)
- Coca Cola Christmas in the Park (Performer)(2010)


Lauren Dunningham

Internal Affairs

“Change your thoughts, change your world.”

Laurent was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and raised in Taupo. She moved back to Auckland where she pursued her passion for dance and music. It has always been her dream to be an artist or performer within the hip hop industry. During 2005 Lauren joined triple8funk, and through dance has had opportunities such as judging national and international hip hop events as well as travelling around Australia, Tokyo, NYC, Chicago, L.A., Las Vegas and N.Z.

Laurent, also known as B-girl L, is never shy of a conversation, always wanting to share and help any in need, and over time has genuinely become the T8F camp mom, also known as the peace maker.

Lauren is also rap and def jam poetry writer, and is a member CPJ (Centre for Poetics and Justice).


- Advanced Certificate in Dance and Drama, Excel School of Performing Arts
- Hip-Hop International, Blaze Dance Group (2008)
- Camp Amerikids (Camp Counsellor), New York City, NY (2010, 2011)


Mark Hyunh

Multi-Media Officer

Nicholas Ong

Manager / International Relations

"The dance floor is my canvas, and I the painter."

Nick started b-boying in 1999 and started his own crew along with Simon J Lee called Fly Rice. In 2001, they combined with another crew, LoKo-Motion, and were known as Loko Rice for a short time before reverting back to Loko-Motion. In that very same year while studying at the University of Auckland, Nick met Joel at the Auckland Uni Rec Centre. And like they say, everything else is history!

Currently based in Singapore, Nick is running Recognize! Dance Studio's marketing and dance programme. He is also currently setting up his own events company and continuing T8F's legacy in Asia.

Dancing and b-boying aside, Nick loves to cook and go fishing.


- Bachelor of Commerce, University of Auckland (2004)


Rina Chae

International Relations

Sacha Stejko


"When you are young, you should go to all the places you feel uncomfortable and prove yourself, because one day you're going to have to prove yourself."

Sacha started dancing when she joined Triple8Funk in 2006. She toured with them to America and Japan, and says that the crew is more than just a dance company - "the company pushes you to be the best you can be as a dancer and as a person."

The Russian-born, blonde, bombshell's other passion is photography. At the age of 16 she was offered a scholarship to Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design. She studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Photography before spending a few months in Europe. There she worked with Ex-Director of Cirque du Soleil and the world's most accomplished clown, Slava Polunin. Her images were published in their next book which was released world-wide. Sacha also won the Sony Fashion Week Photography competition in 2008. Her works have been published in Black magazine, Pulp magazine, The Photographer's Mail and Guide 2009, the official magazine for Air New Zealand Fashion Week.

Sacha is such a cool, charming, goofy, sexy, intelligent, fun, bubbly and bootyfull person, but can kick ass when needed. You might even say she's a bit fierce like....SACHA FIERCE...


- Best Talent, Urbis 24 hr Theatre Challenge (2004)
- George Pierce Scholarship to Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design (2006)
- Emerging Artist of the Year, National Children's Art House (2007)
- Winner of Sony Fashion Week's Photography Competition (2008)
- Diploma of Fine Arts (Photography)(2008)


Simon J Lee

Chief Technical Officer

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

Simon started dancing in 1999 as a bboy. He got into bboying after deciding to try learning off the internet when a friend had attempted to do the same and gave up. It started with the 6-step and has continued to grow to become a life-long passion.

During his studies at the University of Auckland, his training intensified after meeting some of the local bboys who inhabited the university dance studio. Some of these bboys, along with Simon, would eventually form the bboy crew, Loko Motion.

Simon also met a fellow named Joel at the University of Auckland. Joel was starting up a hip-hop dance club (as in a group of individuals with a common interest, not an establishment where one can drink and dance) at the time. Before too long, Joel’s Company of University Dancers (CUDZ) and Loko Motion would be collaborating on performances and shows together.

Since then, Simon has always been involved with T8F, from its humble beginnings as CUDZ to the internationally known dance crew that it is today.


- Bachelor of Science (Computer Science), University of Auckland


Twyla Mac

Graphic Designer

“Words are the pen of the heart, music is the pen of the soul ... and dancing? Well that’s just life!”

Twyla has always loved dancing – she thinks it comes from her Filipino half! At 11 she began formal modern jazz lessons at Stepz School of Dance in Kaitaia. A few years later, a weekend in Hamilton followed by workshops with Urban Beat and Dziah ignited a new passion – the love of hip-hop dance!

In 2008 she was a part of Wildfire Dance Theatre – a Canadian based touring dance group that aims to raise awareness of the social issues that face today’s society through the arts.

Having studied a Bachelor of Science at the University of Auckland with the aim of going into Marine Research, Twyla is most at home in the outdoors: surfing, riding dirt bikes, driving boats, diving – especially if it gets the adrenalin racing!


- Proxime Accessit to the Dux, Kaitaia College (2007)
- Northland Scholastics Surfing Competition, 1st Place (2007)
- She Surfs Open Womens, 5th Place (2007)