Soon after I started taking b-boying classes, I gave myself a goal: in October 2010, I'm going to enter DC's Crafty Bastards 2 vs. 2 battle and try not to make a total idiot of myself. It's a low bar, and I've got about six months to meet it.
At that point, I'll have been breaking for just over a year. I'll need to be able to do a pretty good toprock set, drop, run through some reasonably fluent footwork, and either incorporate or end with some kind of freeze. Right now, I've got maybe half of that, and even that half needs work. So here's the Plan:
On top of all this is a need to remedy my general lack of physical fitness. B-boying has been a fantastic workout--I lost about twenty pounds almost immediately, and I'm certainly a lot stronger than I used to be--but it's not yet enough. So throw some push-ups and sit-ups into the mix, and maybe some jogging with Belle and the dog.
On a more observational note: this weekend I went down with a friend to Circles 11, the JMU Breakdance Club's annual b-boy/hip-hop event. A good time was had by all: the battles were thrilling, the MCs got chewed out by DJ Skeme Richards, and I got to meet some fresh faces. I only had one real problem: there were too many crews.
Not in absolute terms, of course--the more b-boys and b-girls out there, the better. But Circles had 54 crews entered for its 4 vs. 4 battles, each of which had to go through a qualifying round with another crew. That's 27 prelim battles, even before the 8-crew bracket could get started (another seven battles that get extra time). It takes a long time to get through 27 battles--at 8 dancers per battle, that's 216 rounds.
It's so long, in fact, that burnout starts to set in about half-way through. After about 15 battles, you're overloaded in amazing power-moves and tricks, to the point where you start to dismiss even the most incredible feats. "Sure, you did a windmill into a broken-wrist airflare and ended on a perfect elbow freeze. Yawn. What else ya got?" When you realize that you've become this jaded, it's a bit of a shock. I do think it's telling that musicality doesn't suffer nearly as much--dancers who specialize in rocking the beat still hold interest long after the powerheads blur together.
I'm a newbie to the scene, so I hesitate to make prescriptions, but you can feel the energy draining out of the room when there are so many prelim rounds. I'd almost like to see big events limited to 40 crews or so, to keep it from getting ridiculous. Or perhaps we need a way to dual-track prelim rounds, if there were a way to do it fairly. But I feel like there's got to be a way to cut things down a bit and keep the energy up. Not that anyone's going to listen to me for organizational advice.