Tuesday, 28 December 2010

2010 In Not So Brief

That was a busy one!

2010 has been another great year for me.
I did a LOT of djing and a fair amount of judging.
Covered many of the usuals but I've also observed a few things that are new.
I can't cover every event but some have stuck in my head...

At the beginning of the year Juste Debout added toprock as one of the categories at this major dance event.
I had the privilege of djing this milestone.
The winner, and deservedly so, was Y Not.
In my opinion he has been very instrumental in bringing toprock back into focus.

World BBoy Classic was dope.
The dutch seem to come up with these dope concepts all day!!
I was one of the judges and the competition was fierce.
Winners were Thesis and Keebz.
I was honoured to see Lamine KILLING it all day.
Showing everyone that older dancers can still compete at this high level.
(Along with Ness, Poe and others who also still rep).

Focus opened a dance school in Finland.
Called Saiffa, it's a step in the right direction for producing the next generation.
Flomo are one of the only true school crews in the world. They have stuck to their style throughout the years.
Not following trends, but making them.
They also have 2 of my favourite bgirls of all time. Taya and AT.
Hatsolo is also one of my favourite bboys. Raw character that only few dancers have these days.

'Nuff said.
This is THE mammoth event of the year.
Too many things to cover.
Judged the UK qualifiers with Lamine and Kwikstep.
Unanimous calls every battle except maybe one.
Heard so much BS after.
Don't make shit up cos ure ignorant.

UK Champs!!
For the first time in 8 years a UK crew made it through the first round!
This may not mean anything to any of you, but for us it is a 'making history' achievement.
Not only that but it is the crew I gave birth to and train/ed.
Soul Mavericks.
I am so proud.
We still have a long way to go but things are definitely changing.
Overall winners were Vagabonds, making a great return, and Flying Buddha in the solos.

Battle of the Year moved venue, and country, to Montpelier, France.
12,000 people at a bboy event!! Insane!
Had a great time.
Dj'ed for the solo competition, which Thesis won.
Jinjo won the crews.

Redbull BC One was the last big event of the year.
Looks like Redbull are here to stay.
Absolutely crazy on a production level.
It was on the level of a TV program.
Interesting battles with a few surprises.
Neguin was crowned winner. Killed it all day.

I finished off the year by being voted best BBoy DJ of 2010 on BBoyWorld.
Thank you to all those that voted for me and recognise my hard work.

Monday, 13 September 2010

A World Premiere

I have just returned from France.
There was a dance event in Valenciennes, near Lille, called Dance Evolution. Organised by Hot Clan crew it was a competition that consisted of 2v2 Hip Hop, 2v2 Popping and 5v5 Breaking.
Hosts were Youval and Maleek.
DJ's, myself and DLeek.

The day of the event consisted of qualifiers for Hip Hop and Popping. Breaking was by invite only and 8 crews were chosen(Norway, Spain, Poland, Slovakia and the rest from France).
I entered the popping with Sacha from Lille. I've known her for a while and we always play around battling each other for fun.
She didn't have a partner and wanted to enter and I suggested we do it together as a joke. She said yes!!
We signed up and the battle was on.

I have never entered a popping battle before.
Even though I have been popping on and off(mostly off) since 1982 this was new territory for me.
Jamming in a cypher or having an exchange with someone for a few rounds is a completely different prospect.
Add to that the fact I haven't had much time to practice recently because of all the travelling.
On top of that, we were in France. The average level in France is very high in all dance styles. So many heavy hitters come out of that country. It's no joke.
Then I found out that for the qualifier we had to battle. It wasn't showcase style.
There were about 20 popping pairs of which 8 would be chosen, so I figured it would be a very short performance then I'd get back to DJing. You would not believe the shock on my face when they read out our names!!!
Anyway. Long story short, we qualified and then battled our way to the semis where we lost to Pepito and Lemzo. I think people were very surprised a)that I entered and b)that I did so well.
I'm happy.

Popping battles are way different to breaking.
In a breaking battle there is hardly any time to think. You have a much better idea of what you're gonna do. Freestyling is minimised(in general).
In popping it feels like you're out there for aaaaages. There's loads of time to think. To decipher the song. Choose which style(s) you're gonna display. Look in the opponents face. Be distracted. Then u get back to your side and completely forget what you did! This could all be down to lack of experience but I loved it. I do know one thing though. I didn't get to show half of the things I can do. More surprises to come.

Anywhooo, Team Schmetta won the breaking; C-pef Krew won the Hip Hop; Djidawi and Faouzi won the popping(very close final).

A big THANK YOU to Babette, Rachid and Sagy.
Organisationwise, everything was on point for me.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Inside The Circle

Hello reader.
And welcome.

You've probably reached this blog through a new portal called bboyinsiders.com
It's a fresh idea by BBoy Amjad, of 7$ and Circle Kingz/Princz.
Basically, it's a way to keep abreast of what's happening in the bboy world firsthand from some of the key players in the game.
I think it's a great idea. Many of us have been on this scene for a looooooooooong time and have amassed quite a bit of knowledge. In Hip Hop, we use the term 'Each One, Teach One' and this is an interesting application of the concept.
I am honoured to be included in the list.
I travel a hell of a lot to events around the globe and am quite opinionated.
I hope you'll get a few laughs from some of my blogs.
I'll comment/blog on other dances and dance events as well because I don't just DJ at bboy jams.

Anyway, nice meeting u. Stay a while.


Wednesday, 13 January 2010

New Year. New Day.

OK, OK. I admit it. 2009 was a washout for my updates. I have so many half written blogs it's crazy. Covering 30 or so events from last year and my reflections on observations.
It's harder than I thought. Things just get busy and u get sidetracked.
I'll try to 'Make It Happen' this year.
At least a lil more than last.

It was a great year though. Things have changed so much in the last few years. The amount of events and dancers. The quality of both. The emergence of 'dance' competitions on television and the stench of exploitation. Busy times!!
I start with a quick jaunt to Switzerland this weekend then Finland the following.

*As an aside, I started training a popping group recently. These guys are gonna be amazing. I'm hoping they put the UK back on the map as Soul Mavericks did with breaking. It's gonna be hard but they are definitely up to the challenge.
I need a name. The working title at the moment is 'Monsters Inc.', cos that's what they are.