REVIEW | RED BULL BC ONE UK CYPHER 2019…AND THE WINNERS ARE…

BCRed Bull BC One has grown to become the biggest on one break­in’ com­pet­i­tion in the world, thus the title is much sort after. Hold­ing world finals in dif­fer­ent coun­tries each year it reflects the glob­al appeal of this art­form and the com­pet­i­tion is fierce, bboys and bgirls must battle through their coun­try qual­i­fi­ers for a place in the finals. This UK cypher was in invite only. The most skilled 16 B-Boys and 8 B-Girls picked to battle it out one on one for the top spaces at Vil­lage under­ground in Shored­itch. Solo B-Boy and B-Girl Cham­pi­ons of the UK cypher will go on to rep­res­ent the UK at this year’s Red Bull BC One World Finals held in Mum­bai, India.

As a nice little extra, dur­ing the day Red Bull in col­lab­or­a­tion with the UK B-Boy Cham­pi­on­ships organ­ized a free work­shop with the infam­ous Red Bull BC One All Stars — Roxrite and Neguin. It was a once in a life­time oppor­tun­ity for B-Boys and B-Girls who wanted to learn from these pro­li­fic dan­cers and it didn’t mat­ter how long they had been dan­cing for, you could learn a lot from these B-Boys.

The main event was held at Vil­lage Under­ground in Shored­itch — out­side the ven­ue was adorned with art and mur­als. As I joined the queue I was asked if I had a spare tick­et as there were sev­er­al people who couldn’t get into this sold out event. Tick­ets were also avail­able for free with a pro­mo code for those attend­ing the UK B-Boy Cham­pi­on­ships the fol­low­ing day. This week­end was all about break­in’ in Lon­don and this night kicked it off in a spe­cial way.

Secur­ity shouted down the line, ‘no liquids allowed, there are free drinks inside’ in true Red Bull fash­ion drinks were avail­able for free at this over 18’s event, it was going to be a party. Enter­ing into a quirky under­ground ven­ue com­prised of a ware­house and ship­ping con­tain­ers I loved its intim­acy. Ambi­ently lit it was filled with famil­i­ar faces mostly dan­cers from the scene. The lim­it­a­tion on the num­ber of guests was an advant­age so every­one could be closer to the main stage and the action.CRAZY

Filmed for the Red Bull live stream con­trib­ut­ing to their 36 hours live stream, it felt like it was a part of some­thing much big­ger. Hos­ted by none oth­er than Crazy Legs from the Rock Steady Crew, he brought his usu­al cha­ris­ma and wit to the stage. Each dan­cer was called on stage to be intro­duced before the battles began, which helped put names to faces or rather moves, it was a moment to appre­ci­ate who had been invited to com­pete. The 16 B-Boys: Mari­us, Enos, Sheku, Shoggs, Kid Kelvin, Daz, Izaak, Vic­tor J, Infante, Eggy, Razzleroc, Echo, Sun­ni, Jack­son and Gribz. The 8 B-Girls: Raw­gina, Jenn, Fid­get, Short­bread, Munir­at, Zana, Vanes­sa and Angel. The judging pan­el con­sisted of Red Bull BC  One All Stars – Neguin and Roxrite with the pre­vi­ous win­ner of BC One Cypher UK – Spin (Soul Mav­er­icks). DJ Khan Fu from Manchester was spin­ning music for the night, restric­ted to what he could play due to copy­right laws as the event was being live streamed but he still con­tin­ued to keep the selec­tion hype for the battles.

Sun­ni won his first battle again­st Jack­son but had to unfor­tu­nately pull out of the com­pet­i­tion due to health issues. Before he stepped out, Crazy Legs brought him out to the stage to give him a shout out for his con­sist­ency. Each dan­cer pushed the lim­its of phys­ic­al and men­tal endur­ance to give all they could, but there could only be one win­ner in each cat­egory.

Red Bull BC One UK Cypher Solo B-Girl Win­ner — Vanes­sa

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The final B-Girl battle was between Vanes­sa and Raw Gina. Both came out really hard with both style and tech­nic­al moves. Neither lacked energy. As a woman it was inspir­ing to see so many B-Girls on this plat­form. The win was taken by Vanes­sa who thanked the people who prac­ticed with her and helped her reach this level. Crazy Legs remin­isced on see­ing dope B-Girls as he grew up with one in par­tic­u­lar Head­spin Janet from the Bronx. He told Vanes­sa she now has the oppor­tun­ity to take it to the next level and con­tin­ue the leg­acy of dope B-Girls and inspire oth­er women. Vanes­sa then took this time to con­grat­u­late and thank all the oth­er B-girls in the com­pet­i­tion battle who man­aged to reach this level. I caught Vanes­sa after the battle to ask her a few ques­tions.

Cy: Vanes­sa, huge con­grat­u­la­tions on tak­ing the win! What does all of this mean for you?

Vanes­sa: Thank you. It means a lot to me, espe­cially because this was a major battle again­st myself and my own mind. It’s a lot of pres­sure and expect­a­tions we put on ourselves. Let­ting myself down is my wor­st fear. So by win­ning this is proof that I can do whatever I believe and put my mind into”.

Cy: Break­in’ is very much men­tally demand­ing as it phys­ic­al and takes a lot of train­ing. How often did you train for this?

Vanes­sa: I prac­tice really hard for this, my work been con­sist­ent, is not some­thing we just do one day, its every day! I always say we need to prac­tice twice as hard to get half as much. So I’m really happy for this win.

Cy: You should be very proud. What’s next?

Vanes­sa: Well hope­fully this win will give me more oppor­tun­it­ies to travel the world and help me share my story and know­ledge about this cul­ture and dance.

Red Bull BC One UK Cypher Solo B-Boy Win­ner —  Jack­son

WINNER

The Final B-Boy battle was between Jack­son and Izaak who both went all out with what seemed like bound­less energy and style. Jack­son took the win thank­ing his crew Bat­talions and giv­ing Bad Taste Crew a shout out without whom he said this would not have been pos­sible.

Cy: Con­grat­u­la­tions on the win Jack­son! I know you must be buzz­ing right now what does this win mean for you?

Jack­son: This win means the world to me! Just to get to com­pete on a Red Bull BC One stage was amaz­ing!!! So to be able to have a chance to com­pete on the stage at the finals is crazy!!

Cy: It’s most def­in­itely a massive achieve­ment. How do you think this will influ­ence your jour­ney in break­in’?

Jack­son: It’s made me just want to break more than I ever had and def­in­itely been the biggest motiv­at­or for me. I think in terms of help­ing my jour­ney in break­in, it’s just going to make me get bet­ter, train harder and exper­i­ence new oppor­tun­it­ies which I think is def­in­itely the main thing.

Cy: That’s great to hear, I look for­ward to see­ing more of you in future. How do you think this win will open up new doors for you?

Jack­son: I’ve had so many people mes­sage me who I don’t know and it’s amaz­ing to get sup­port like that! It was super over­whelm­ing! So yeah I think it’s going to open so many oppor­tun­it­ies for in my jour­ney, I feel like I’m just get­ting star­ted now haha.

A great night filled with high level break­in, both Vanes­sa and Jack­son will be going to Mum­bai to rep­res­ent the UK at a world level.

Wish­ing them the best of luck!

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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Break­in’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the con­cept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this art­form.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide
Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.