Down with the Kid

When I started breaking, it was simply because it looked cool. I saw Breakin’ on TV and the occasional Beat St. and I’m like “whatever that is, I want to do it.”  There is a little kid who jumps out of a trash can and does headspins in the intro of Breakin’ – I’ll give him credit for my start.

kiddavid

Growing up in the dance studio watching my mother teach or choreographing in the living room – dancing was a normal everyday reality. My father, also an artist, surrounded me with everything I needed to become an artist myself. Giant wood floor, drum set, guitar, bass, bongo, congas, piano.. these were my toys, this was my arcade. No TV, no video games … I had the outside to reach my dreams of soccer stardom and when I went inside it was art, dance and music.

As I got more into Bboying,  I realized this was something I could see the world with, something I could use to be creative and free. It wasn’t a soccer team where I was merely an ingredient to the success of the team, with bboying I had complete control. Complete control of who Kid David would become.

kd

Addiction to dance and creation took me to where I am today. I am proud of my journey and have learned much about the world and myself through breaking. Not sure anything else could have taken me on such an amazing path. Every day I learn something new about my mind, body or soul through this dance.

The Pro Breaking Tour is what we have needed. It will unify and package competitive breaking and make it marketable. With this new platform, I hope we can generate a working tour that gives promoters, dancers and communities the opportunity to live and grow. Everyone needs to step it up. No more bad grammar. No more keeping it real. It’s time to step our professional game up. Answer calls in a timely fashion. Communication is everything. Set goals, reach them, and then set new ones. You are talented, but do you know what it is to work hard? Don’t be lazy.

btwn

I plan to put more fingers on my fist this year. Push my magazine and network Be Twn the Brks, which will launch its YouTube channel and clothing line. Working on a reality epic web series called “The Break Boys” which launches in March.  Starring in Step up 5, which premiers July 25th. Have been focused more on my acting career, which will hopefully help when my knees give out. I also continue to choreograph, dance and create as much as possible. Not to mention surfing every morning. Oh shit, there’s waves! Gotta go …

 

peace!

 

Kid David

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUOcwCmtv1E

Website: www.kiddavid.com

IG: @_kiddavid_

twitter: kiddavidrr

Facebook: facebook.com/theofficialkiddavid

YouTube Channel: youtube.com/kiddavid

IG: @thebreakboys

IG: @betwnthebrks

Be Twn the Brks: www.betwnthebrks.bigcartel.com

Shadow Styles 2

The Shadow Styles 2 event presented by Silverback BBoy Events took place on February 22nd,2014, at the Diverse Arts Center in Honolulu, Hawaii and included an open bracket 1-v-1 bboy competition as well as a 1-v-1 All Styles competition.  The 1-v-1 winner was Kid Karma of 808 Breakers over Blaze B of BRK. The event was co-organized by Lino Delgado of Floor Lords Crew and was a part of the $250,000 Pro Breaking Tour’s Challenger Series.

Recap Video by Nasty Ray

Judge highlight videos and battles

Buddha blesses UDEF

UDEF is good for our soul!!!! (On many levels)

buddha

What’s good everyone! Greetings from Canada.  It’s Buddha, one of the founders of the Canadian Floor Masters and executive director of BluePrintForLife.ca. We celebrated our 30th anniversary this past year and, for those of you who don’t know, we are part of the Floor Masters familial, having our name passed to us from the New York City Breakers back in the 80’s. Shout out to my crew and Floor Masters worldwide.

My journey through life so far may resonate with some of you and I hope that the words and video below may inspire you to think about what is next for you as a bboy or bgirl in the larger sense of your life and the world.  Having the non-profit UDEF also thinking about creative ways to give back and change our communities is of great interest to me and I am proud that bboys and bgirls old and young are thinking in this direction.

I’ve been dancing since age 15 and, with me turning 55 this coming summer, that makes 40 years in the scene. In the mid-70’s, I used roller skating and dancing to funk music as a way to heal myself from a lot of crap in my life and, like many old school bboys, when I saw Flash Dance, I needed to grab some of that swag. Here’s my Ted talk with some of my journey.

Buddha’s Ted Talk

Buddha dancing over the years

In 1983, I started the Canadian Floor Masters together with Kid Quick. Hard to know who was the dopest Canadian crew in the early 80’s, as many of us never had a chance to battle, but we were certainly one of the most visible having opened for James Brown, IceT, GrandMaster Flash, Public Enemy, George Clinton, Russia’s Kirov Ballet and La La La Human steps.  Sounds like bragging, but you can imagine the sense of family and crew we built doing such shows and road trips together. We were there for each other through all of life’s hardships.

Original Canadian floor Masters – mid-1980’s

I’ve got a saying that we have been using for a while now: “They come for the hip hop, They stay for the Healing.”  Or, as this seems to apply to many of us: “We came for the bboying, We stayed for our own Healing.”

buddha and bam sm

I want to congratulate all of those involved in the UDEF initiative as I see it as making moves in the right direction, with a philanthropic focus on the bboy and bgirl community – I am a big advocate of building communities and figuring out creative ways to inspire others and give back; particularly giving back through an art form as beautiful as hip hop, which helped many of us manage our anger and get some of our demons behind us.

And, if it was such an important thing in our own lives, shouldn’t we spread this love and passion? Shouldn’t we move “Each One Teach One” away from the pile of easy slogans that draws peeps to hip hop because they so desperately want to be a part of something, into something richer in meaning?  I get this, but at some point in our lives we need to realize that it’s bigger than our personal ego. Once that starts to heal, let’s move things to the next level.

I am particularly interested in how we can use hip hop to engage youth with passion at the front end, but transition to deeper mental health healing that will help cats throughout their lives over the longer term.

There are a ton of self-confidence building classes already out there, and this is good, but in my opinion it is time we dissect the magic of our culture and move it forward with more sophisticated outreach. I’ve been around for a long time and I earned my Master’s degree in social work back in 1985 — trust me, the big systems of the world aren’t working so well for us. Justice, healthcare and education all need to be reworked for a modern age and yes, in my opinion, hip hop can play a huge role to lead in all of this.

Back in 1985, I did my graduate thesis on hip hop as a nine hour video documentary (VHS editing with the rainbow glitches between cuts). This thesis focused not just on what we were living and breathing in all of the elements, but more importantly on what all meant in terms of  doing real work to empower people in the hoods that are so often forgotten by society.

This grew into my involvement as one of the organizers of “Freestyle 85” in England, where we wrestled control of hip hop from promoters and gave it back where it belonged – to the artists — with the process of accomplishing this being the social work and empowerment in young people’s lives. To this date, the Freestyle 85 event is recognized as having been pivotal in Europe’s hip hop evolution, and many of the cats I worked with went on to have lifelong careers pursuing their art and passion in the elements of hip hop.  It was important insight for me at an early age. We can think out of the box, do stuff on our terms, and not only change individuals’ lives, but also impact wider communities.

Over the years of my professional career beyond dance, I have had some of the toughest front-line social work jobs, such as doing child abuse investigations, running group homes, doing street outreach, running wilderness programs for youth involved in the courts, being a probation officer and eventually forming BluePrintForLife.ca, which I have been running full time for eight years now.  In that time we have worked in over 50 remote communities in Canada, including the Arctic, delivering over 80 powerful, week-long intensives, where we become the entire school for a week (with teachers, police, social workers etc. all actively participating as equals with the youth.)

BluePrint in the Arctic

KRS-1 iand buddha 22 smOur BluePrint team represents approximately 40 of Canada’s top bboys and bgirls from right across Canada, together with some American brothers joining us, such as Waak and Nemesis from Breaks Kru and Frankie from Supreme Beings. What’s dope is that we are not only creating good employment for our brothers and sisters, but that with the intensive experience of our work, many of our team have chosen to return to school to pursue social work-related careers. I cannot begin to describe how we all continue to heal in our own deep ways by doing such work. Many of my team have now spoken publicly for the first time about the scars in their lives which drew them to our dance. How cool is it that we have created a workforce that cares, shares, and mentors healing in one another’s lives? Imagine a corporate megalith caring in this way — I’d like to see that happen. We are creating new models of work and leading by example.

Recently, we have begun doing intensive work in youth prisons with youth involved in gangs, many of whom have committed extreme violence such as murder and rape. In Canada our prison work is being talked about as revolutionary and many have stated that it is the most healing of anything that has ever taken place in the history of Canada’s corrections system. We are now mapping out how to do this in every facility in Canada, eventually moving from youth to adult prisons. My goal is to bring our model to other countries, including the USA, where prisons have unfortunately proliferated.

What never ceases to amaze me is how adaptable the hip hop art form is to working with different groups and cultures.  It is a gift to the world and it is exciting to see youth in Canada’s Arctic blend ancient Throat Singing with BeatBox or use their Arctic sports integrated with bboy movement. We also use it to connect generations as the family is important in every communities healing – check out these Elder DJ’s in the Arctic.

Arctic Elders DJ’s on the ones and twos

How cool is it that bboying is used worldwide to do creative outreach!? Shouts out to the worldwide bboy family doing this important work,

But I think we are at a new point in our history. Now we can make new allies and partners with Social Workers, Mental Health, Education, etc. Not to water down who it is that we are and what we do, but to show them that what we do and who we are is really a healthy metaphor for building resiliency and how to engage life. In moving to this next level, it is on us to connect the dots at deeper levels to mental health and use tools such as hip hop to open the door, while exploring deeper counseling and mentoring.

This is what we do in Canada. Our programs are not just about dance, we engage on all the difficult issues going on in people’s lives, such as sexual abuse, addictions, suicide etc.

Buddha talks about Sexual abuse

Anyway, we all have a lot of work ahead of us. We need to mentor each other and create real bboy soldiers in the world who are not just focused on winning comps, but on leading by example and changing the world -one hood at a time.

Good on ya UDEF on moving towards outreach as an important part of your mandate.

“They Come for the Hip hop -They stay for the Healing”

Here’s a final treat for ya…

Me getting down old school style at an event in the fall of 13’

Bboy Buddha at age 54

One Love !

Buddha

 

Bboy Buddha (Stephen Leafloor), Canadian Floormasters Crew
BA, MSW, Ashoka Fellow Canada
Founder of BluePrintForLife.ca
Ontario, Canada

Website: BluePrintForLife.ca

Video: http://vimeo.com/84702915

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/81033302853/

Making noise with BBoy Toyz

bboy-toyzI started breaking in early 2000 when I was 12 years old, and now that it is 2014, this marks my 14th year of breaking! Since the age of five, I was always interested in dancing, but when I discovered breaking in middle school with my older brother, we were both hooked right away. We started off imitating b-boys we watched on VHS tapes from Freestyle Session 3 and B-boy Summit ’99. By 2002, I had joined the Lionz of Zion crew and was able to practice and learn from some of the best in the DMV scene (DC, Maryland, Virginia). I never imagined my life with b-boying would come to where it has today – traveling the world breaking and inspiring others to push themselves as I have had the opportunity to do.

While I have competed throughout the world, most recently I have begun doing more work as a coach/teacher, event promoter, and judge. I am currently working at a hip-hop nonprofit organization in Washington, DC known as Words Beats Life (WBL). I coach and teach at WBL and host open practice sessions as an after-school program. I also organize and promote two breaking events for WBL in DC, Top Notch in the early spring and Freshest of All Time during the summer. In addition, in 2012 and 2013 I co-produced the To The Pointz battle in 5 Pointz, NYC alongside Kid Glyde of the Dynamic Rockers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HhE1H74ITI. In June of this year, I will be organizing a prize money event in Phoenix together with Gravity, which will be part of the 2014 Pro Breaking Tour and which will benefit a charity for school children named Playworks.

As my career has progressed, I’ve become increasingly interested in building with the community, because I want to help preserve the history and maintain the integrity of this dance and culture. Working with a nonprofit such as Words Beats Life allows me to give something back to the community without taking anything away from it, which brings me to the topic of UDEF.

I look forward to working together with some of the nation’s top b-boys, b-girls and promoters through the non-profit UDEF to build something great for the competitive breaking scene. For too long we’ve been plagued with a scene that is missing the professionalism necessary to move our events to the next level. With the coordination and structure UDEF is now bringing to the table, we should be able to transition to an increasing number of well-organized and professional events. With some of the nation’s top breakers and promoters as the driving force behind the non-profit UDEF, we also have a chance to gain corporate sponsorships and prize money for the events and endorsements for the b-boys and b-girls. This development will benefit all breakers and promoters without our having to sacrifice the integrity of this dance and our culture. An initiative like UDEF has been long overdue.

I can’t wait to see how the scene will evolve and progress in 2014 with the involvement from UDEF, Silverback B-boy Events and Freestyle Session. It’s exciting times and we have a great opportunity to take this dance to the next level!
Peace!

Bboy Toyz (Geoffrey Chang), Lionz of Zion – Maryland/DC, USA

2014 Trailer: http://youtu.be/dWN4cBC4LiQ

CCFV Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpntwZ6oMp0

Yak Films: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGrpIAo_Byk

To the Pointz Recap 13’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HhE1H74ITI

 

Blog: www.toyzofzion.com

Facebook: facebook.com/toyzareus

Twitter: twitter.com/toyzareus

Instagram: instagram.com/toyzareus

King of Hearts 6

The King of Hearts 6 event took place on February 15, 2014, and featured a crew vs crew battle (5+ members). The winner was Havikoro over Stranger Danger in the Finals. The event took place in Denver Colorado at the Salon Real Event Center, was co-organized by Dance2Live, and was a part of the $250,000 Pro Breaking Tour’s Challenger Series.


Event Recap Video by Strife.TV


Crew Battle Playlist

Word is Born

Those who truly love hip hop ask a lot of questions about the culture and look back into its history. And from so doing, we don’t jump to the conclusion that history is merely times of the past. A student of hip hop studies and seeks to understand the history, using this knowledge to observe the present and to prepare for the future. By understanding one another’s histories, we become closer to our own roots in finding our real selves and genuinely approaching the b-boy culture that we love.

 

born

 

While I see b-boying through the eyes of a competitor on the one hand, I also see it through the eyes of an artist. B-boying naturally involves competitive interactions, but instead of focusing only on battling simply for ego and fame, if we use our energies to discover and develop one another’s skills, we can progress to the next level in this art form and contribute to the overall growth of hip hop culture.

 

I am honored to be a part of UDEF and the Pro Breaking Tour movement and hope to continue sharing positive energies with b-boys and b-girls who love hip hop — and together, being true to our roots, we can help the scene grow.


Bboy Born, Rivers Crew/Mighty Zulu Kings/Floorgangz

Video 1: Rockin@Chinatown
Video 2: BFW

Ivan – Urban Action Figure

URBAN ACTION FIGURE, teacher, artist and athlete in the international scene underground, overground, old school to new school, you name it, been there, rocked it.  Ivan, the youngest of seven brothers, who inspired and challenged him to be the best at everything he has ever set his mind to – from sports to djing, instructing, hosting, dancing and many other creative talents – for over three decades and still going strong through 2014. And, Ivan has now expanded his activities into the fitness industry with Ivan’s Dance Rock, an exciting entrepreneurial venture which merges his passion for performing arts and lifestyle fitness.

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“As I see it, UDEF’s charitable mission brings postive energy, focus, space and time to a way of life that supports the urban dance community here in the states where it all started consistently. The $250,000 Pro Breaking Tour represents a great opportunity for young competitors, event organizers and the many families, coaches, friends and crew members who support them. UDEF’s board of professional dancers, leading event organizers and experienced business people are inspiring this movement, which will be educational for our community as a whole, and ‘pro-action’ as well!”

“I am excited to see our community take this huge leap in the right direction. Thank you for your ongoing support of this movement and see you in the cypher!”

ivan

YouTube: BBoy Ivan
YouTube: BBoy Ivan (Documentary)

Roc 4 Rezpect II

The Roc 4 Rezpect II event presented by Silverback BBoy Events took place on February 2nd,2014 at the Hiberian Hall in Dorchester, Massachusetts and included an open bracket 2-v-2 bboy competition. The 2-v-2 winners were Del Fuego over Gravity Benders with TAC in 3rd place and Injured Crew in 4th.  The All Styles winner was Riceball over Aboogie.  The event was co-organized by Joselyn Ortega and was a part of the $250,000 Pro Breaking Tour’s Challenger Series.

2v2 Battle playlist