Thursday, 21 July 2011

Kev's Quick Guide... battling.

I know it's been said before but I'll just re-iterate it here because I see that many people still don't understand it. If ure at an event to battle there are a few very important things to keep in mind if u wanna get thru the qualifiers, both as showcase or as straight battles like World BBoy Classic.

The first, and most important, is to look like ure there to battle!!
Like really!!
Treat the judges or the audience as ur opponents and battle for ur life.
It's doesn't mean u need to be rowdy and all up in people's faces, but u need some fire.
I see so many people with their heads down and zero intensity. It's not gonna work. Ure not in the training hall. U need to show an almost desperate need to qualify.
Or u won't.

Secondly, we wanna see u know what ure doing. Even if ure at a basic level. Lie to us. Present ur movements with conviction. The simplest step done with the correct power can appear impressive. If u can't do a move, don't attempt it unless ure just using the opportunity for practice. Can't hit it 90% of the time? Leave it out!!

Thirdly, I'm watching u from before u even hit the floor. Ur body language tells me what time it is. Be in gear. Don't stand there gawping. Look like ur gonna punish someone, like u can't wait for them to finish so u can show them who the boss is. And even after uve finished, r u gonna shuffle back to the line or return like u killed everyone on the room? I know what I wanna see. 
Ur time starts the moment u step up to the line and doesn't end til the judges call a result. Seriously, people give so much information away in their body language. Were they happy with their run, did they do enough, did they mess up, r they confident, do they feel defeated etc.

Finally, I need to talk about form. For me it's very important. It really makes a big difference especially in a close call. I can tell straight away if someone understands their basics. If they have the condition to perform the things they r trying. Flares that scrape the floor; moves that are not under control and take u into the crowd; bad footwork shapes; no clarity in movements; rushed throwdowns with no finesse; no snap. There are so many giveaways. 
So even if u did a good run, the final decision may be based on how cleanly it was presented and how clear it was visually.
And if I'm judging, it's MY decision. Not ur fans and friends. They r not looking for what I'm looking for.
Here endeth the lesson.


U Must Learn!!!!

Think u know about these dances?
U been here a few years, done nothing, been nowhere and u think u have it all figured out?
Had a few workshops and took some pictures with ur favourite dancer and now ure an expert?
'Poe said this', 'Brian said that', 'Greg said...', 'Pete told me...'.
Without context these statements can mean anything. I have these lame discussions with noobs all the time. They actually think their opinion carries weight. It's a sad affair.
Can u imagine this attitude in any other field? U'd be laughed at. But for some reason, our dance is a free for all where even the most inept beginner feels that they have some deep insight into something they barely understand.
It's even worse when it comes to comments on judging. Then they really show their ignorance. Their opinion that so and so was robbed cos somehow they know more than Pete or Storm or Link or whoever.
Judging is subjective and people don't necessarily like what u like. Or what uve been told to like!
If u don't understand, JUST ASK! I know all these guys and they are all more than willing to fix ur lack of understanding. But don't look for one line sound bites. Try to understand what they are trying to convey.
Try to increase ur knowledgebase so u can know what ure talking about.
I've been here 30 years and I'm still learning. It never stops.
So don't think u have it all figured out when u just got here.


Thursday, 14 July 2011

3 Times Dope

Soul Mavericks. 3x UK national champions.
This was a definite milestone in recent times for breaking in the UK.
For the third time in a row my crew won the UK Regional Conflict finals which qualifies them to represent the country at the World Finals in October. 
It was a tense day for me. I had 2 Maverick crews, a new female crew I'm teaching, Soul Superior, and my grand students Breaking Hearts, in the comp.
There was a lot of expectation for us to win and of course a lot of people would love to see us fail. 
All 4 crews performed superbly. It's not about winning or losing, of course we want to win, but more about getting out there and representing. Being fresh. Presenting ur skills. Showing ure part of this community and not just a tourist.
Both female crews did very well. Even as beginners, they performed in a way that made me proud. Heads up, dancing, battling, representing to the max. If they stick with it u'll be seeing a lot more of them soon.

Soul Mavericks had a sticky start facing what was probably the other strongest crew of the line up in the first round. It was a crew of Bulgarians and Dizzy from MDC!! They were international level and no joke.
Luckily, they were beaten 2 votes to 1.

Apart from that, both Mavericks crews brought fire with Mavericks X making the semi's and losing to La Familia who were beaten in the final by Soul Mavericks. An interesting fact that I think many UK crews should pay heed to, is that Mavericks will still be going to IBE to qualify and to put final touches on the preparation for October. Basically IBE acts as a qualifier for Champs where 3 crews will advance to the World Finals.

Spin gets MVP for getting to the finals in solo and team battles and repping hard as a ninja all day. 
For me he is still the UK solo champion.