Just got done with one of the biggest Freestyle Session events ever in Japan with over 274 crews. It’s been an incredible year doing Freestyle Session all over the world, all while juggling a DJ career in my hometown of San Diego and a clothing line (Armory Survival Gear). Got the chance to meet up with the good folks at Silverback Bboy Events and a several other movers and shakers in the U.S. bboy scene to come up with a very creative program for the next few years with the UDEF and the Pro Breaking Tour. Just rolled out the site and Facebook pages to a great response. A few things to point out to folks about what we plan on doing.
The plan is to create a professionalized structure for competitive breaking under a non-profit entity (UDEF), controlled through a volunteer board of bboys, promoters and independents. Many sports with successful prize money tours or series are also structured and governed under non-profits, also with volunteer boards. UDEF has connected with the boards and executives from some top non-profit sports associations for advice, and will continue to do so as we roll out the Tour.
· Near-term Goal: Organize, package and present prize money bboy competitions to the corporate and TV worlds under a professional tour format in a well-coordinated manner, one that is specifically designed to attract major corporate sponsors and TV coverage, while maintaining full authenticity to bboying and its intensely-competitive battle format. Whether it happens or not remains to be seen, but we will try our hardest to present this dance to the masses the most effective way possible, whether it be through TV or online networks, such as YouTube or others.
· Long-term Goal: Draw investment capital and charitable contributions into the bboy scene, creating income-earning and job opportunities for the entire community, breakers, promoters, teachers, event support staff, plus educational opportunities and artistic/athletic outlets for youth. The non-profit UDEF intends to create a professionalized structure through the prize money Tour, which will open the doors to independent endorsement deals for bboys, separate from their prize money winnings on the Tour, plus opportunities for teachers, coaches and event organizers and staffs involved in bboying to benefit through increased jobs. We as individuals and a group have worked on this already in the many years in the scene, but we plan on moving more in depth with it, by packaging events in a prize money tour format and targeting major sources of corporate sponsorship, following the model of many successful sports tours, like professional tennis or golf.
I am very excited to bring the Pro Breaking Tour to the forefront alongside of Silverback Bboy Events and our other colleagues under the UDEF umbrella starting here in the U.S., all while keeping the Freestyle Session format intact globally, as well as domestically. In addition to the UDEF-organized Pro Breaking Tour, there is also an international movement being put into place by leading international event organizers. We expect everything we will be doing through UDEF and the Pro Breaking Tour will connect into this international movement over the longer-term.
BIG announcement January 1st, 2014. Where today there are many individual events thrown by people going in all sorts of directions, the leading international bboy event organizers are finding a new way to connect it all together. The international format will allow all of us to do what we do as individual event organizers, but move the global scene in a direction that is exciting for dancers, while beneficial for the fans and event organizers alike.
2014 will be one of the most exciting year for bboys and bgirls in a long while, so stay tuned. If for any reason you have questions about any of the things in the works, any of the folks involved are always on deck to answer questions to the best of our knowledge, myself included. The UDEF website has contact options both for Tour Supporters and Tour Competitors (www.UDEFtour.org).
From my view, the formation of the non-profit UDEF and the Pro Breaking Tour is going to bring positive energy to the scene. We are not here to change what is already going on, we are hoping to elevate to new levels. Don’t forget to sign up (free through 2014) and start practicing! Thanks for everyone’s time and see you all in 2014.