This past Saturday, Oct 4th, I had the pleasure of going to see one of the largest North American street dance competitions held at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby. While I had done a little bit of research about the event with the interview I conducted with locking competitor Robin Tjay (a.k.a. Boogie Bonez), I was nowhere near prepared for the incredible amount of talent and energy these dancers brought to the stage.
My dance background was limited to the classical styles, having taken ballet and classical jazz classes personally. This was mainly because, hip-hop, or at least the hip-hop I was familiar with on TV shows and music videos, never really interested me beyond a mild appreciation for individuals that could move their body to a beat.
That is until I got to see what real hip-hop looked like. In the main auditorium, the crowd was going wild. A semicircle of viewers on stage were cheering for their favourite dancer who was popping, locking, or wacking their body like there was no tomorrow. Those viewers in the seats of the auditorium were just as enthusiastic and at many times, I seriously wondered whether or not anyone at this event had sat down for more than a total of five minutes throughout the entire evening.
This atmosphere for myself was obviously foreign to me. I was not a popper or a hip hopper that had any idea about who to cheer for or how. Yet, simply the fact that this vibrant community existed made me want to know more.
The performers on stage at Last One Stands moved their body to the beat in such a way that I could not get over the sheer amount of endless work that must have gone into training their bodies, minds, and souls to move to the music in such an organic way that no set routine could match in terms of flow and ingenuity. Such admiration and respect for these dancers was plainly evident by the end of the night as I became another face in the crowd cheering, wooting, and even trying to dance out my excitement and passion for each battle.
As you can tell by my obvious fan-girl excitement, I left the auditorium that night an absolute convert.
LOS 2015, can’t you come any sooner?
The following are the pictures taken by Christine Kim at Last One Stands 2014 Battle with a link to the playlist of videos also taken throughout the event.
For more information on Last One Stands 2014, check out the official website here.