Since 2004, Red Bull has been holding an annual breakdancing competition called Red Bull BC One Camp to honor and celebrate one of the historical — and currently, often overlooked — tenets of hip-hop. Founded in Switzerland, the competition has actually never been held in the US until this year, when the city of Houston, Texas was tapped to host it this past April.
The camp was held in the tiny, yet charming downtown Houston venue called The Secret Group, and its American location wasn’t the only first for the event. This year, the BC One Camp included an all B-Girl Cypher for the first time — historically “B-Boys” have been the focus of the event, but this year they brought the competition into 2018. I had the pleasure of attending this historic 3-day event and was incredibly excited to experience “breaking” up close and personal.
Hours ahead of the historical B-girl Cypher, The Secret Group swelled up with a crowd thrilled to possibly learn a thing or two from Beyonce’s most popular dancers and 2017 World Of Dance winners, Les Twins at their “Dancing On The World Stage” workshop, one of many teaching experiences offered during this weekend. The French twins had just reunited with Beyonce at Coachella a week before the event, which made it surreal to see them then right in front of me, in her hometown, teaching a dance workshop to Luke James’ “Oh God.” It was honestly a privilege just to be in the presence of such greatness.
As I watched Les Twins, aka Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, teach a velvety routine to their troupe of dancers, another teacher — colloquially dubbed Crazy Legs, as a hip-hop pioneer who leads the prominent Rock Steady Crew — walked up to me and offered some kettle corn. At first I say no, but eventually gave in, because… kettle corn. We start talking about “breakdancing” — a lost art, I tell him — before n he suddenly lowers his voice to caution me to never call it “breakdancing” again, especially in an environment like this camp. It’s called breaking.