The Ruptors is a street dance crew formed in 2008 by students at Lipson Community College, a co-operative school in Plymouth, Devon, south west England, and run as a Young Co-operative as part of the Co-operative College’s Young Co-operatives scheme. The crew consists of eight students ranging from years 10-12. Since 2008 the Ruptors has grown and expanded and now teaches 20 younger student at the school. The Ruptors train three days a week using school facilities and, if possible, at weekends in local spaces.

Ruptor Amy Sluggett explains: “As a group we thrive off the co-operative values: self-help, self-responsibility, equality, equity, democracy and solidarity. Each year we organise and perform at a fundraising show entirely by ourselves in order to travel to the World Street Dance Championships. This focuses on the ‘self help’ aspect of things.

“In August this year we competed at the World Championships and placed 5th. We also draw together business plans, risk assessments and consent forms if we are taking ourselves and the younger students to various events. “As a co-operative group we also have a constitution which all members have signed and agreed to. This includes rules and roles which people should follow in order for the group to be a success. This is an example of ‘Democracy’. If possible, usually once a month, the group meets to discuss upcoming events and plans to succeed. At these meetings, every member has the chance to voice their opinion – an example of both equality and equity.

“As a group we have strong links with local primary schools, and have frequently been asked to perform and teach at their events. In 2010, the crew was asked to teach a series of workshops at Brook Green Centre for Learning, which allowed the group to develop several skills. We are currently choreographing Compton Primary School’s production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

“In August 2011, the crew led three workshops with 20 children affected by the Chernobyl disaster, which was an amazing experience for both us and the children. We also have been booked to perform at various local events, including Plymouth City Council’s annual ‘Healthy schools conference’ and ‘Jeremiah’s Journey fundraising event’. All money that we earn or raise goes into a bank account in our school, and our ‘treasurer’ meets frequently with the finance manager to discuss funds.”

The Ruptors have achieved the following titles: The Ruptors 5th Team Devon and Cornwall High School Hip Hop Championships 2010; The Ruptors 4th Team UDO British Street Dance Championships 2011; The Ruptors 3rd Team UDO Southwest Street Dance Championships 2011; Runners up in Plymouth Young people awards (crime reduction award); 2nd place in Plymouth’s Got Talent; The Ruptors 5th Team UDO World Street Dance Championships 2011.