Updated: Apr 10, 2019
Last weekend The Bboy Factory took a team of competitors to Oakland, California to compete at Break the Bay. Last year, event organizer, community leader, and super fresh DJ Delrokz came out to
Denver for our Bboy Factory 6th Anniversary and we decided to return the support by making the trip to California for his event. We took our crew, Ironlungs, for the 5 vs 5. I personally wanted to take a moment to share some of our experience.
Ironlungs is not a "super crew," although some of us are also from other crews. We are friends and mentors with a desire to represent Colorado at a high level. Our members for this event were Data, Kid Cruz, Run, Ryan and Rule One.
We also set up a vendor booth with Bboy Factory merchandise and my awesome wife, Alexandria Marcus helped us run it. Bgirl Rose joined us just to represent in the cyphers and enjoy the event. Needless to say we went out there with a deep and talented team.
Break the Bay was a great jam. It truly felt like an uplifting community effort. There was so much great work represented beyond the competition. From Mikey Disko's efforts to reach out and help homeless in the bay, learning about Surge's organization, Delrokz's Break 4 Tots, and Ark's students Down with the Diamonds, it's safe to say the leadership in the Bay area is strong and positive minded. The scene truly felt like a family and that's always incredible to experience. Huge props to everyone in the Bay area scene who is putting in work to support the culture.
That's what this is really all about. It's about keeping the culture strong and moving forward to empower the up and coming generations. Break the Bay featured a ton of great DJs, a MC battle, a scratch room for kids to learn how to scratch and a Poppin 1vs1. As an event organizer myself, I know the more elements and people you include the more challenging it is. But this culture is about inclusion and that was on full display at Break the Bay.
That is the reason we made the trip as well. To support the culture, we feel it is important to expose the next generations to great and positive experiences. For a couple years I have been telling my students Ryan and Run that I would enter a jam with them. But I wanted it to be when they were ready to shine, not just to do a prelim round as an excuse to say we did it. They didn't disappoint. With the strong veteran leadership of Data, Kid Cruz and myself and their explosive young talent we certainly made an impression on the Bay scene.
We went hard in the cyphers. Everyone was looking super strong, comfortable and confident. Before the competition began we had already made our presence felt. Prelims went great and all 5 members had clean rounds. Judges deliberated and decided to take only the top 8 from the original 24 crews. In the top 8 we faced a strong team from Seattle and Vancouver. It was a nail bitter and the opposition looked confident and battled hard. In the end, we took the split decision with two votes to one.
Semifinals: Floorgangz vs Ironlungs. First, I have huge respect for the Floorgangz. They bring so much style and technique to the dance and truly represent to express themselves and their approach ahead of concerns for winning. I respect that. Needless to say, they are veterans of the game and really strong Bboys all around. We responded strong and the battle was extremely tight. In the end they stayed calm and kept it really clean. We had some crashes (myself included) and perhaps just didn't have the group energy to match them. In the end, they took the win and went on to win the entire event. Congratulations to them.
But that's why we do it. The moments you get to share with other dancers you admire and respect. The exchange I hope my students will never forget. And no matter what, we left knowing the Bay area is not sleeping on Denver or the Colorado scene. When you go out of state or out of country it can be so refreshing to dance and share creative expression with a new group of people. It can also be intimidating. Bay area is no joke. But we took the opportunity and left our mark. I'm proud of Ironlungs.
Break the Bay was exactly the experience we need more of in my opinion. More focus on the positive we can do as a community. More coming together and less division. More good music and good cyphers. More young kids dancing together with older generations. More smiles when we compete. Thank you Delrokz and thank you everyone who made Break the Bay a great event!