Hold­ing more than 50 inter­na­tion­al break­ing titles as soloists and a crew, child­hood best friends The Ruggeds have been mak­ing noise in the break­ing scene for over 15 years, trav­el­ling the world for per­form­ances and battles. Highly skilled, ath­let­ic and known for their pur­suit of new and unusu­al moves, they epi­tom­ise the spir­it and energy of break­ing.

You have fam­ily and you have friends. But what if your friends are your fam­ily? The Ruggeds have become their own kind of fam­ily, not held togeth­er by DNA, but by trust and shared exper­i­ences. In their upcom­ing pro­duc­tion Between Us you are invited into their home to find out what makes them tick. They unravel the ties that bind them togeth­er, between each oth­er, and between the audi­ence. With a mix of music, acro­bat­ics, phys­ic­al theatre, humour, and dance, you’ll be sub­merged in their world of ima­gin­a­tion.

Between Us is the second theatre pro­duc­tion of The Ruggeds. Their unique dynam­ism has seen them col­lab­or­ate with the likes of Rita Ora, Justin Bieber, Afro­jack and Mar­tin Gar­rix, and won them world-wide recog­ni­tion at numer­ous inter­na­tion­al battles and cham­pi­on­ships.

Between us’ will be mak­ing its UK debut in Septem­ber. What can we expect to see? 

Dur­ing Between Us, you’ll really get to know The Ruggeds. It’s like vis­it­ing our house and ran­dom situ­ations hap­pen. It flows very organ­ic­ally and it has our own sense of humour to it.

How import­ant are chosen fam­ily struc­tures in terms of the safety and devel­op­ment of hip hop com­munit­ies? 

I mean choos­ing in gen­er­al defines a path you are going to take. If you want to devel­op, you should make cer­tain decisions, aim for a goal, set a bar, just like the founders in hip hop. They just got good from doing their skill day in day out, and they shared it with the people that could appre­ci­ate. This is what thrives us to get bet­ter at it. We chose each oth­er for this reas­on.

What are your feel­ings towards breakin’ being recog­nised as a sport?

Break­ing is as much of a sport as it is to a dan­cing style. It’s prob­ably the most phys­ic­al style there is. Like, if you wanna win these com­pet­i­tions your stam­ina and body have to be in top shape. So yeah, people also should recog­nize it as a sport.

How do you think the 2024 Olympic Games will shape future audi­ence ideas around hip hop cul­ture?

I feel like it’s gonna give break­ing more oppor­tun­it­ies. In terms of spon­sor­ships, how the UK gov­ern­ment will sup­port the cul­ture. What will change and is chan­ging is that there will be less crews because it’s a solo com­pet­i­tion. So, people are more focused on them­selves, and I think it’s gonna change the way they move. You can already see it now. 15 years ago you could almost tell from which coun­try or crew someone was from by the way the break. Today people just see which moves win com­pet­i­tions and do the same. Sad but true.

What are your feel­ing about break­ing being placed in an insti­tu­tion­al con­text?

To me that should be all good as long as it’s fairly paid for. It’s still a crazy skill and a form of art.

What is your hope for the 2024 Olympics and bey­ond?

I just hope that it’s gonna open doors for the people that want to make a liv­ing out of com­pet­ing. And that it inspires a whole new gen­er­a­tion to start break­ing — just like it’s doing with skat­ing.

Breakin’ Con­ven­tion Presents show­cases break­ing world cham­pi­ons The Ruggeds from Wed­nes­day 15th — Sat­urday 18th Septem­ber at the Pea­cock Theatre with the UK première of Between Us. Buy tick­ets here.

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Valerie Ebuwa

Valer­ie “wing girl” Ebuwa is a freel­ance dance artist and yoga teach­er from East Lon­don. She is cur­rently dan­cing for 3 con­tem­por­ary dance com­pan­ies and is one of the found­ing mem­bers of Eclectics Dance and CEO of Hip Hop House.

About Valerie Ebuwa

Valerie "wing girl" Ebuwa is a freelance dance artist and yoga teacher from East London. She is currently dancing for 3 contemporary dance companies and is one of the founding members of Eclectics Dance and CEO of Hip Hop House.