This time of year calls on us to look back and reflect on the journey that brought us to today. 2019 was a dynamic year at The Bboy Factory, full of exciting changes and growth. Challenges beckoned us to mature and consider the legacy we are building for our future. Even as we take a moment to reflect on the year that has passed, we stay present and focused on the incredible things coming in 2020. The Bboy Factory enters this new decade with a clear vision of ourselves, our intentions and the path ahead.
In a couple short months, The Bboy Factory will have been open for 8 full years, the longest of any Colorado Hip Hop School. In that time, we have provided thousands upon thousands of hours of free community practice space, premium quality classes for hundreds upon hundreds of youth and countless opportunities for Colorado dancers to learn with icons and leaders in Breakin and Hip Hop dance. With legends like Ken Swift, Mr. Wiggles, Ivan the Urban Action Figure, AsiaOne, Remind, Zulu Gremlin, Kwikstep, Born, Casper, Rennie Harris, Brian Greene, Henry Link, Caleaf, Salah and current champions such as Menno, Thesis, Ynot, Roxrite, Stripes, Victor, Neguin, Moy, El Nino and dozens more regularly teaching and endorsing our programs, we have made history in Colorado. Despite the confidence in our legacy, the path has not been easy.
In many ways, the Colorado “scene” is a small pond with many groups and individuals vying to be the big fish in that pond. Differing groups have formed small circles and kept themselves insulated. Looking back, The Bboy Factory played a role in that process. Our intention was only to build a stronger dance culture, but our message struck some as divisive and elitist by claiming to provide the utmost authenticity above all else. While we still believe that to be true, we recognize that what we built does not necessarily make everyone feel welcome. However, we have grown to understand that when an organization prioritizes authenticity it naturally will not fulfill everyones' desire. We have matured to understand, overstand and innerstand that that is just fine. Polarity exists everywhere and in everything. We strive only to build harmony within our organization through actions that align with our own intentions. We are not concerned with popularity. The Bboy Factory has no desire to be a big fish in a small pond. We strive to swim in the ocean of world class individuals who make this a global culture and scene.
Today we continue to build far beyond Colorado and attract the highest quality dancers from around the world to bring them to our students and the community that supports our movement. There is a direct correspondence between what we’ve focused on and what has become a reality in our studio. That determination has resulted in global recognition and elite students. One of the hardest lessons of 2019 was letting those students go. Several of them moved on from The Bboy Factory. Some went off to college, while others moved on to instruct some of our classes. Letting go was hard, but the rewards were great. Our enrollment went way up and our Teams nearly doubled in size. Supporting graduates to journey beyond our school made room for a whole new generation of students and looking forward we know those numbers will continue to grow. Our programs have been refined by experience and our students are developing faster than ever. Combined with ample opportunities to learn with world renowned teachers, we are providing what The Bboy Factory set out to.
We will only get better in 2020. The many years of experience and lessons have made our vision of the future clear. We are committed to providing the best version of our programs, which we know is the very same authenticity we set out to provide nearly 8 years ago. With that intention we see clearly that our role in the “scene” is only to stay true to ourselves, to attend the events that we will genuinely enjoy, to support the programs that we truly believe are valuable and community members who are aligned with our values and beliefs. We know that might not be everyone and that is just fine. People come in all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, sexualities and have just as many tastes, opinions and beliefs. For those who appreciate what we provide, we appreciate you and to those who don’t, we appreciate you too.
With that clarity, let us paint a picture of 2020. The Bboy Factory will continue to grow. We will host the best teachers and dancers in the world to come share and build with us. That will continue to attract more and more students who value quality over popularity. We will maintain our free community practices for several hours every week so that anyone who wants a place to work hard has space available to them. We will keep providing premium Breakin education for Colorado youth. We will remain committed to supporting members of our community who want to curate events and performances that provide platforms for Breakin and all Hip Hop dances to shine.
We will attend events not because we feel obligated to the scene, but because we intend to have fun dancing with others who love this culture. We will organize events that we ourselves would want to attend, not the events we think our community expects. We will do things differently where we didn’t enjoy them in the past and the same where we did, because we are aware that all things are constantly in motion and nothing is static. We embrace the energy of change even as our vision of the future stays steady. Our passion has only grown over the years and we will pour that vigor into everything we do to make the best version of The Bboy Factory a reality. Looking within we will act from the clarity of knowing why we do what we do for our community.
Many years ago, we said there was work to be done in the scene. Our intention was uplift our community. One element of that vision was to provide events designed to highlight Breakin as more than just a competition. We wanted to see events that weren’t about winning something, but focused on coming together to celebrate what we all love so much. Competition has long been a large part of Hip Hop, but the party came first. We believe the reason most people started Breakin wasn’t to “win.” We started Breakin only because it was fun. In 2019, too many events felt exactly the same to us, the same battles between the same people with the same energy. In 2020, we’re rewriting the script and putting fun first again by tuning in to our culture and trusting that rhythm to guide us.
Our mission is only to build more of what we love and what makes us feel good. There are no grudges being held and no ill will towards those who don’t appreciate us. We’re focused on ourselves, our students and our programs. We know there are people who do not like us, but we don’t accept their energy. We’re only transmitting positive frequencies in 2020. The Bboy Factory is a force for good and growth in Colorado Hip Hop, the United States and the World. It has been since the day it opened and will continue to be. Our doors are open and we welcome everyone with love and respect. We preach hard work and dedication. We treat everyone who embraces our movement with an open heart. When we are stern it comes from love, when we are strict it comes from love and when we are intense it comes from love. We Break only because we love the dance. Let that be clear. So although it has been a struggle to make it this far, the struggle has made us strong and we’re only going to keep getting stronger in 2020.