This is now the 4th time writing a “Year in Review” post since launching my website. It’s a good way to reflect on the past year and helps give a clear perspective for future goals. This year was spent more on building on a local level, especially the Montreal locking scene, but I did take some time to do some traveling abroad too. Let’s dive in and see some of the more influential events this year!
The year started off with a trip to NYC for the USA qualifier of Juste Debout 2013. I teamed up with Jan Funky (Kyrgyzstan) for the 2on2 locking battle. Jan is one of the hungriest upcoming lockers/poppers and I first met him in Russia in 2011. We worked on routines the night before the event and we ended up making it to the finals! The final battle against the Hood Lockers (Riot & Glytch from Philly) was cool. They ended up taking the W but battling with Jan was a great experience and the weekend spent in New York was pretty damn fun! Check the final battle below:
The end of the month marked my 30th birthday! In honour of this momentus occasion I organized a “30 to smoke” locking battle in which I had to win 30 rounds against members of Lockunity. It took me 45 rounds to win 30, it was pretty challenging! I also threw a Prince-themed party in conjunction with the WEFUNK family and our good friends at Le Bleury who hosts a monthly funk night in Montreal. The purple paisley Minneapolis vibe was certainly in the house!
February was a quiet month. I spent most of the time working and saving up for the trips I will take later in the year. One memorable event was the Kalmunity Vibe Collective annual Mardi Gras party at Les Bobards. It is partly because of this event that inspired a decision to travel to New Orleans later in the year (more to come on that!) Kalmunity is a group of talented musicians, singers, MCs and artists who have a weekly jam session every Tuesday night in the Plateau. Sam-I-Am, one of the city’s top waackers is a regular performer with the group. More to come with Kalmunity in this review also!!
During this time I was teaching at Tripoli Studios on the mid-west side of Montreal island. The winters can be long and cold in Montreal so to liven things up, we set up a special workshop with members of Lockunity. Everyone had the opportunity to teach and share a little bit and the class was a success.
In homage of the cold Montreal winters I released my 3rd video entitled “The Hive”. For me, winters are the best time to practice and my little practice spot, which was christened as “The Hive”, is my laboratory where I can build and experiment with dance. This video is a highlight of some of my practice sessions in The Hive.
Urban Element, one of the local dance studios that strongly supports street dancers, holds a regular event called Shut Up & Dance. The March edition was something special and really set the stage for street dance events in the Spring. A special 2on2 all-styles battle was held and I teamed up with Venom (Symbiotic Monsters). We went by the team name: Duo Cell. There was something in the air that night, maybe because people were hype that Monstapop, Venom, Shash’U and Greenteck were all heading to Paris for Juste Debout that week. The final battle speaks for itself.
As mentioned, a pretty strong Montreal representation traveled to Paris for the 2013 Juste Debout finals at Bercy. The popping battle was epic this year. Beats by DJ Shash’U. Symbiotic Monsters vs Green and Ness in the semis and Greenteck and Ness taking the win in the Popping Finals against Japan. Real City stand up!!!
Here’s a photo of the second Lockunity workshop we did at Studio MP mid-month.
I spent a weekend in Toronto as a guest locking judge for the UDO Street Dance Championships. Here’s a video of the judges demo. Also featuring Buddha Stretch, Frank Boogie, Tommy Steez and Brooke (UK)
The month ended with another great annual Montreal event: Chaos Unleashed. Although this is a popping event, the organizer asked Lockunity to do a special locking performance. Check it out!
Spring and the city comes alive with all sorts of events parties and battles. The Cypher Sons held their annual bboy event called South Flavor Jam in the South Shore of Montreal area. The battles were fun but the best part about local events are the after parties! Montreal bboys know how to party! Check out the battle below of Illmask against Eastern Bloc (Halifax)
As a day job, I work as a teacher at an adult education centre called Place Cartier. My supervisor allowed for the formation of a Hip Hop club at the school. Before the semester ended, the club was asked to do a performance for the student body. We had MCs and bboys perform and the energy was really high. Big ups to all the students who got down that day!
The Shut Up & Dance event in March was only a tease for the the April edition. Another 2on2 all styles battle but this time the music was provided by a live band: Kalmunity Vibe Collective. When the dancers vibed with the musicians and singers, all hell broke loose (in a good way)! I teamed up with Lady C (Calgary) in this battle against Cherry & Atn. Lady C won the whole event!
What’s May without Bust A Move? It’s Christmas for street dancers! This year a 2on2 locking battle was included and there were some really great locking duos. Toni Basil was the special guest judge. It was cool getting to take Toni’s workshop as she had a lot of interesting knowledge and stories to share. This year I teamed up with Boombeast. We made a great team together and the final battle between us and Pyro & Cantolock (Toronto) was spectacular.
We won the final battle and that made it my 5th Bust-A-Move win! Much love to Spicey for keeping locking alive and well during the BAM festival! Here is the video for the 2on2 locking final.
Also big up to Treklock & Kim Sato. This was the other highlight battle of the night!
Just a few days after BAM, I set out on a 2-month Asia Tour. It felt great going back to Japan but this year I traveled to some other cities, including Osaka, Kyoto, Nagano and Tokyo. Big ups to Yukari, Chibiyuri, Momo, Kenji, Daisuke and everyone else who took care of me while I was out there. Most of my dance time was spent teaching, no battles in Japan this year. Maybe in 2014 😉
I originally planned to travel to China for Keep on Dancing but the organizers moved the dates and as a result the flights I booked had to be changed. I decided instead to visit Thailand since that is where Loose Canon is currently living. We did some workshops together and brought some good vibes to some local Hip Hop parties. Met some very cool people in Bangkok and I hope to be back someday soon. The food there is soooooo good!
Next stop: Seoul, Korea. I spent just about a week in Seoul and most of my time was spent in the Hongdae area. Woong from Originality has both a studio (Level 6) and a night club (Brown) in the area and I got to meet many lockers while I was there. There were 2 battles I participated in (a 7 to Smoke and a 1on1) as well as a workshop by Yukari and an awesome party organized by Khan from Originality. Below is a battle between me and Moon (Originality) from the Feel the Funk 1on1 event.
The last stop on the Asia tour was to Taipei, Taiwan. As numerous are the various delicious street food are the many lockers in Taiwan. I spent most of my time with Yaobai of the IP Lockers and some of the TBC Lockers. Check the footage below from a battle that went down at IP Studio.
Heading home from Asia was a bit hectic (delays, etc) but when I did arrive back to Montreal, I took off to New Orleans for just over a week with Ruby Jane. The Big Easy is a beautiful city full of culture, music, history and amazing Southern food. We met some good friends and saw some amazing shows. I taught my first workshop in the US at Dancing Grounds Speakeasy Studio.
We also participated in a 2nd line march and checked out the weekly funk night hosted by Dj Soul Sista.
Below is footage from the Father’s Day Second Line led by the Perfect Gentlemen in Uptown New Orleans.
July & August
July was relatively quiet this year for me. After being on the road for two months, I taught some summer school courses and really took time to enjoy the summer in Montreal by hitting up swimming pools, outdoor practices, festivals and hanging out with good friends.
However, August was a bit more eventful. It started with a locking workshop at the Flavor Factory in Ottawa.
An Ottawa based filmmaker, Aba Atlas, contacted me wanting to film some locking videos. The first of two short videos were shot featuring me and Treklock dancing at Lionel Groulx metro.
It has been a personal goal to learn some hustle dancing because dancing with girls is FUN! Much respect to Crazy Smooth for sharing his knowledge of New Style Hustle.
Another goal this year was to build up Lockunity and we decided to get some group photos done. Big up to Melika Dez for her awesome work on the new photos which we have been using this past year.
This was “back to school” month which also meant a new weekly locking class at Studio MP as well as the return of the weekly Lockunity sessions at the new Urban Element studio. (Classes and Session will be continuing into 2014!)
House of Paint is one of the premier events held in Ottawa each year and 2013 marked the 10 year anniversary for the event. Big Daddy Kane and Afrika Bambaataa were the headliners for the weekend. They put on a great show! There was also a crew vs crew bboy battle and I entered with Bboy Dingo as Illmask. We were a 2-man army but we brought some heat!
As part of the mission to build locking in Montreal, I worked with Treklock and Boombeast to run a 3hr locking intensive workshop. We had over 36 participants and we worked hard!
Another busy month! One of my crew members and close friends, BBoy Lazy Legz got married. It was a memorable event and Lazy didn’t disappoint on the party either. Congrats to both Lazy and his wife Melissa. You guys are inspirational!
Another long-standing goal was to someday be able to learn from one of my biggest bboy inspirations: Megas of the Boogie Brats. Well the opportunity arose in October and I took advantage of it! Shoutout to Lego (SNC) who also shared a lot in this workshop!
After a 5-year hiatus, I brought back the Family Affair event. The first one went down in 2008 and had a 1on1 locking and 1on1 waacking battle. This year we changed it up a bit and had a 2on2 locking/waacking tag team battle. Disco Dave (NYC) was the special locking guest judge and Waackeisha judged the waacking. Ruby Jane played some awesome tracks, Sam-I-Am and Treklock won the battle and even Prince showed up to host the event! 😉
Disco Dave workshop
Disco Dave Judge Solo
Family Affair 2 Finals
Almost there! November had a number of highlights as well. Who’s Hungry is an annual event run by Bboy Dingo (Illmask). This year was an all style cypher battle and I made it to the finals for the 2nd year in a row. Unfortunately, no footage!
Another shoutout to Treklock who performed a piece at the 100Lux show hosted by Foret Noire. Trek did a moving piece combining locking with Heavy Metal. Once again, no footage but I had to mention this because it was very powerful!
I’m not lying when I say there are a large number of dance events in Montreal. Can I Get A Soul Clap? is an annual bboy event but the organizers included a 3on3 all styles battle this year as well. I entered with Boombeast and Atn and we took the win home with us that night. There is footage of this event below.
Aba Atlas came back to Montreal to work with me, Trek and Boom on a follow-up to our first locking video. This time it was shot in Montreal’s Chinatown. Shoutout to the pigeons!
To top off the month, one of the most memorable parties was organized by Too Marvelous (Linx and Leah McFly). Chocolate Jungle was a 90s party with music that kept the people moving all night long! Le Belmont was pumping with energy, fly outfits and incredible people. Shoutout to Likethismoove who took some great photos!
Just one more post and that will be it for 2013! Back to Ottawa for the Canadian Floor Masters 30th Anniversary jam. CFM is a bboy crew who has been around since 1983 and Buddha is a true Canadian OG bboy! He brought back the city vs city battles (that used to happen in the mid 2000s) at his party. This year Montreal came with an army and they gave the city vs city win to Montreal!
It was a blast battling with all the MTL bboys/bgirls but Toronto and Ottawa also really held it down. Shoutout to BBoy North for filming all the crew battles! Here is the event recap video
Damn! So when I started writing this blog I didn’t think too much happened in 2013. Was I wrong! This had to have been one of the busiest years for me so far. I’m very thankful for the friends, family and funk in my life. Everything that happened this year couldn’t have been done without your love and support and for that I am very grateful. I can’t wait for 2014. We’re going to hit the ground running!