Why is it that after nearly 40 years, b-boying aka extreme breakdancing has yet to join the pro sports arena?
When I first started my journey to launch a pro B-boy sports league six years ago, I met with Red Bull BC One B-boy athlete Kidglyde and talked to him about my idea. He mentioned that the B-boy community would never support it, the main reason being that b-boying dance competitions were firmly entrenched in the creative art of dance. I listened to him and gave up on the idea.
Six years later, via social networking channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I can see and feel the pain b-boys face as they compete not for money, but mainly out of passion and for recognition. As a former pro b-boy and head of household, I know passion does not pay the bills nor put food on the table. The sad truth is most B-boys work or are supported by their parents to support their B-boy lifestyle.
So once again, I set out to launch a pro B-boy sports league. I put in over 1000 hours of research, conducted interviews and recognized that today’s attitude of B-boying as a sport is readily accepted by the B-boy community. I also found I wasn’t alone in this quest. Karl Olivier “Dyzee” Alba, Pro B-boy from the 7 Commandoz and creator of the judging system used in R16 Korea B-Boy competitions, shared the same passion. He also mentions that he believes if B-Boying does not move forward, history will repeat itself and B-boying will surely fade into the abyss of darkness as it did in the past.
I agree 1000% with Dyzee’s assessment and viewpoint. Part of the popularity of B-boying today is attributed to the B-boy movies, specifically the STEP UP series, that have been coming out steadily further promoting this exciting and thrilling dance. As BIG as B-boying is today, pro b-boys still can’t make a career out of B-boying. I learned that the goal of today’s pro B-boys is to win competitions primarily for the recognition so they can make money judging the events. I also found that the participation and attendance rates were not growing here in the U.S. In fact, in 2009, Red Bull BC One Finals generated over 10 million YouTube views. In 2013, their Finals generated 900,000, a drop of nearly 9 million. If this is the state of B-boying today, something has to change, and fast.
My research showed that these competitions were flawed in many respects; too long, unfair judging, small cash prizes, cash prizes only to winners, and not engaging. As an award winning screenwriter/director/producer, I wrote a script for a B-boying sporting event that I would pay money for. As a project accountant, I created a manual for the structure and organization. As an entrepreneur, I located the revenue model to support big cash prizes. As a former pro B-boy, I made sure to keep the essence and culture of B-boying within the sport. And that’s how I created World B-Boy Battle, a highly organized, professional B-boy sport that enhances the culture, showcases a highly thrilling and competitive sport, allows athletes to make b-boying a career and engages and entertains all audiences across all media channels. Do we have the funding or sponsorship for this venture? Not yet, but we are diligently working on it. I believe. I have faith.
Is the B-Boy Community ready for World B-Boy Battle – the world’s first professional B-boy sport? My research says yes. Red Bull BC One Champion Hong 10 said, “That’s a good idea. I like that”. B-Boying must move forward.