It’s the end of the world as we know it!
Well not really the end of the world, more like the end of the year. So that means it’s time for the annual Year End Review! Had to get a lot done before the apocalypse. Check out what went down each month!
The year started off after returning from a New Year’s party in Toronto and was pretty intense! We began weekly locking classes at Urban Element rotating between myself, Treklock, Boombeast and Quantalock. Trek and I also began teaching at Rebelles & Vagabonds in Laval. I started teaching a Hip Hop Education course at Pearson Adult Career Centre (PACC) in La Salle, plus we also continued our Tuesday locking sessions which started to attract new dancers to the practice. On top of all that, I found time to move apartments and train for the highlight of the month: Juste Debout Canada.
The JD tour arrived in Montreal for the first time and the weekend started off with a workshop with P-Lock. (Check his judge demo below)
The locking battles were really dope! Congrats to Max & Abdullah for the win but Treklock & Chaudah killed it in the finals too! I teamed up with Quantalock and I thought we made a great team too. Below is our prelim set.
The highlight battle of the night was Symbiotic Monsters (Monstapop & Venom) vs Boombeast & Namco
February was another teaching-heavy month but Ruby Jane and I organized our 2nd installment of The Hippest Trip: Soul Train party. This year Don Cornelius passed away so it was only fitting to throw a party themed in his memory! Despite a winter storm outside, people came, got down and had a good time!
The Hip Hop Education course I started teaching in January came to an end at the beginning of the month. The students and I organized a small jam in the school and we had MC demos, graffiti art, breakin demos, music and food!
The following week I was off to the northern community of Ivujivik in Nunavik (Quebec) with Blueprint For Life. There is nothing more rewarding than these projects and the youth we work with are incredible kids. They deal with a lot of things in their life but I’ve experience real Hip Hop up there! Shoutout to Buddha and the whole BP4L team! Here’s some pics. Check the northern lights!
Right before the end of the month I visited Waterloo, Ontario. I was invited back to the University by the UW Breakers to judge their annual event: Ground FX. This year I taught a locking workshop and judged the all-styles battle. Check my judge demo below.
There were 3 events of importance that went down in April. First, it was back to Toronto during the Easter weekend to judge a locking battle as part of the UDO Canada Streetdance Championships. Check out the trailer to the event as well as the judges demo here:
Next it was back to Montreal for Rumble in Da Konkrete Jungle organized by my boy Tabu. I hosted the event that night. There were some hype bboy battles plus Lockunity got to do a performance with a newly arrived locker to Montreal: Lounes.
Finally, Bread Crumbs Crew organized an event in Ottawa called Jack of All Styles. I was asked to teach a workshop and judge the bboy battles. It was a cool event and the after party at the Fall Down Gallery in downtown Ottawa was slamming!
My favourite event of the year, Bust A Move, kicked off May and it was the best edition yet! The event was split into two days and it was a great weekend spent with Neo Boog (Toronto) & Klassic (Ottawa). Flomaster was the guest judge for locking (see demo) and a lot of lockers came out for the battles. The level was really high and there were some really amazing battles. Locking in Canada is growing strong! This year I won the locking category and Neo Boog won the popping. It was a personal accomplishment for me this year to win BAM as I feel I reached a new level within my dance. Check out the highlights from some of my battles.
Right before the start of summer a lot of schools had their year-end shows. Lockunity did 2 performances in June plus the group Trek and I were working with in Laval also performed their piece.
Lockunity got to perform in Montreal’s Rialto theatre for the Creative Kingdom dance school’s year-end show as well. It was a great performance by the whole group. Fresh lighting, outfits, high energy and good vibes!
Enter: Montreal summer!
By far the best time to be in the city is during the summer. The first week of July was when the Montreal Jazz Fest took place. There were tons of free concerts including: Orgone, Osaka Monaurail and Chromeo. Lockunity was present and in full effect!
Usually in the summer Lockunity has outdoor practices at Parc Lafontaine in the Plateau of Montreal. I thought it was a worthwhile project to put together a promo video of the group and showcase what goes down with the lockers in Montreal. So here is Lockunity – Summertime (filmed and edited by me!)
After filming summertime I went on a month-long journey to the Land of the Rising Sun – Japan! It was my first time going anywhere in Asia and I decided to spend most of my time in Tokyo. Japan was off the hook! The food, the fashion, the culture, everything was so incredible. There are so many lockers in Japan and every week there was something happening. Within the first five days of arriving I taught a locking workshop at Studio BeatBox (see photo – with Kuroma & Skytree), did a showcase at a Waacking event and won a 1on1 locking battle. Here is the footage from a battle in Gunma (outside Tokyo). The kids who lock in Japan are really really dope!
Most of August I was still in Japan touring around, dancing, eating, shopping and chilling with friends, new & old. Some highlights include: workshops, a visit to Osaka by bullet train, two stage performances where I performed my Chemical Calisthenics piece (see video), a bboy battle with Show Own Color crew, a session with Tony GoGo, judging a 2on2 locking battle (see judge demo video) and a really hype practice with Takashi and some of his younger students in Ibaraki (see video). Arigato gozaimasu to all my friends in Tokyo, especially Yumi, Momodelic, Junko, Shuta, Takashi, Sori, Kenzo, U-Ki, Teresa, Kaistar, Atn, Leah and everyone else who made my first visit to Japan such a memorable one!
Back to school in September! Back from Japan and I began teaching in the West Island (math & science) as well as a new weekly locking class at Tripoli Studios
House of Paint went down in Ottawa. Illmask repped in the battles and made it to the semi-finals. Here’s a battle against Bread Crumbs
The month ended with a really cool event organized by Oktofoot (Illmask) called Rhythm in the Ring which went down in the boxing ring of Tristar MMA gym. The event was followed by the monthly WEFUNK party with DJs Ruby Jane & Professor Groove
October was a pretty busy month. It started with a new performance by Lockunity. We performed at a youth centre in the West Island as well as at the Ill Abilities: No Limits event in Montreal (see video). Also check out the special battle that went down between me and Piecez during the event where we had to dance like one of the Ill Abilities members. I was Cheecho (no legs) and Piecez was Redo (one arm)
Following the No Limits event, I headed to Sherbrooke for a day of locking workshops with the dancers at Anime Action and then back to Montreal for a class at Scream Dance Academy.
The month ended with the arrival of a very special guest: Anthony Thomas of the LA City Rockers and Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation. Lockunity helped bring him out and he taught a locking and Rhythm Nation masterclass (see video). He also judged a 1on1 locking battle (see demo video). A lot of good battles went down between dancers from Toronto and Montreal. It was nice to see even more lockers entering the battle. I included the final battle between Treklock and Pyro, but you can watch all the locking battles on my Youtube page (they’re pretty good!)
Surprisingly, November was a rather quiet month. A lot of time was spent teaching classes and training. I did visit New York City but did not do much dance-related activities. What do I do when not dancing? Food, fashion, funk & friends!!!
Actually, I did make a quick trip to Ottawa for the Bread Crumbs 5 year anniversary party in Ottawa. Ruby Jane and Magnificent rocked another great party at the Fall Down Gallery and to my surprise, the crew presented me with the “Bakers Award”. A little recognition for supporting their crew since their early days. Much respect to Sami, Cee, Klassic and the whole Bread Crumbs fam!
Finally, December arrives. Although it wasn’t very cold and snowy in Montreal mid-month I travelled with Blueprint For Life on my 4th project to the Arctic. This time we visited Salluit, another small community on the northern tip of Nunavik, Quebec and there was more than enough snow up there! Another really good project with a great team, including another Canadian OG bboy whom I respect: DKC Freeze. Shoutouts to all the BP4L members who did their snow angels! Be sure to check the upcoming video in 2013!
Not the nicest way to end this blog post but the end of December there were a lot of people I knew who either passed away or dealt with the loss of a family member. RIP to Wave-O-Matic, an OG popper from LA. He was someone I knew since 2004 and every time I met him he had good things to say, dancing tips to share and always had a story about the lockers he had seen growing up in LA. I know many people were shocked to hear of his passing on Christmas Eve.
To all the fallen soldiers this year, may you rest in power. To all those who have lost a loved one this year, may 2013 bring you strength, blessings and hope. Much love.
We made it to the end! With all its ups and downs, 2012 was a great year and it certainly feels like 2013 will bring with it changes (hopefully not in the form of a zombie invasion!) Can’t wait to look back and see where I’ll be when I write this review again next year. See you all in 2013!