The dancers begin their routine in silhouette, but their performance brings to light a heartbreaking issue.

At the 2015 VIBE XX Dance Competition, San Diego-based hip-hop dance crew Choreo Cookies blew the entire audience away. The dance group was awarded first place for this routine, and after watching it's clear to see why. Rather than deliver a hip-hop number focusing only on the latest and trendiest moves that permeate hip-hop dance sites, the crew spread awareness about an important issue by constructing a routine surrounding that theme.
This piece displays the harrowing physical and emotional turmoil orphans experience each day due to poverty, hunger and injustice. The striking performance begins with the words, "Every day 5,760 more children become orphans," superimposed on a screen, followed by the stirring message, "Children do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care." Those stark words set the stage for the emotionally charged performance, while elements of contemporary dance and theatricality carry that heightened sense of urgency throughout. The dancers' movements often resemble playing, but those periods of fun are punctuated by anguished outbursts. The costumes, song choice and choreography all reflect the challenges orphans face, but rather than wallow in this suffering, Cookies enables its audience to be proactive and help. In the YouTube video description for this routine, a link encourages people to donate directly to World Vision, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the poverty-stricken through health care, clean water, education, food and agriculture, child protection, economic development and disaster relief initiatives.

Of course, Cookies does more than simply spread awareness for this cause. According to a Facebook post on Jan. 26, 2015, the crew decided to donate its earnings from the VIBE Dance Competition to World Vision.

Aside from the performance we shared on stage last night, we want to further share the bigger purpose of our medley. We...

Posted by Choreo Cookies on Monday, January 26, 2015

The actions of Cookies inspired the other top-placing dance crews in the competition, GRV and The Company, to follow suit. Cookies commends its peers' actions in a subsequent Facebook post, stating it is "outstanding and amazing to witness how dance can really give back in a multitude of ways."

Cookies was founded in 2002, and according to its Facebook page, the troupe started out as a ragtag bunch of high-schoolers dancing in a garage. Since then, the group has grown and received worldwide acclaim for its strong choreography and clean style. Cookies currently comprises 33 members and is based in the San Diego County area. It offers group dance class workshops for youth and adults alike.

Watch this riveting performance in the video below, and let us know what you think in the comments section.