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The spirit of competition filled New York City’s Hammerstein’s Ballroom for the Red Bull BC One World Final on Saturday (Nov. 12) night. Thirty-two of the entire globe’s best breakers were whittled down to two (male and female) champions, and the crowd got all the physics-defying dance excitement they expected, and more.
After about a year loaded with 60 qualifier events across 30 countries, 16 b-boys ad 16 b-girls (including a last-chance cypher) were in New York City to battle for world supremacy. Representing countries like Japan, Italy, Venezuela and even Kazakhstan, the talent on display was evidence of the growth of Hip-Hop from a fledgling culture in the Bronx almost fifty years ago to an international phenomenon currently. Also, the artistry on display, effortlessly pulling off moves their predecessors could only imagine, highlighted the culture’s continued growth.
Organized into brackets, the contestants were judged by legendary and renowned breakers— Ayumi, FaBGirl, Kid Glyde, Jey and Sick. Judged not only on their ability to spin and throw their bodies in the air with the dexterity of an elite gymnast, contestants also had to demonstrate their skills as dancers, too. Some of the crowd favorites include Alvin from Venezuela, Sunny from New York and Yu-Ki from Japan.
Throughout the night, since the origins of Hip-Hop and breaking were also being celebrated, the crowd was treated to performances from Dres of Black Sheep and the God MC himself Rakim during intermission. And just before the finals, the famed Jabbawockeez dance crew performed to raucous applause.
But in the end, after a long but exciting evening of fierce battles and a few eyebrow-raising picks from the judges, the main event came down to Logistx (USA) and India (Netherlands) in the b-girl final and Victor (USA) and Lee (Netherlands) in the b-boy final. India and Victor were the winners, with each pulling through with tight 3-2 decisions by the panels of judges.
India had to defeat last year’s champion. “I had to battle the defending champion, that was not nothing,” she said. “I had to do my best, but I was so happy to battle against her.”
On the other side, Victor was in familiar territory. “It feels like a dream, to be honest,” said Victor, who is from Kissimmee, Florida, of winning the title, his second. “I can’t believe I won again. I wanted to prove to myself that I can do it again.”
The Red Bull BC One World Final, it’s first time back in NYC since 2009, aired on ESPN+ but you can catch the full livestream right now on Red Bull BC One YouTube, Red Bull BC One Facebook and Red Bull TV.