Spring Battle @ Buffalo: Kinetic Energy Defeats the Frigid Cold and Delivers Warmth in the Community
Temperatures plateaued around the mid-20s, but the lingering winter cold could not stop the kinetic energy of Spring. I could see the bright evening sun dancing down the sides of the buildings on Main Street while the Verve Dance Studio hosted their monthly dance battle held on the last Saturday of every month. This month’s battle was entitled, “Spring Battle @ Buffalo,” which brought life to downtown Buffalo unlike the frigid season so far.
The doors opened up at 7:00pm, and everyone trickled into the stairways leading up to the studio. The live energy before the battles can be felt as I climbed the 3 flights of stairs as I’m greeted by old school beats coming from the studio speakers. The view at the top of the stairs are the fresh graffiti paintings of B-Boy Shane Dupree that decorate the walls and brightens up the feel of the studio. I always anticipate to the warm smile that greets you at the entrance to the studio as the admission fee is $5 to watch and only $1 extra to compete in the battles.
Once you enter the studio, the large windows to the outside are like a mirror of art reflecting art. I normally don’t gaze out but the view of the sunset through the dormant branches of the trees could leave anyone mesmerized along with the incredible talent being displayed in the studio. There is a healthy flow of smiles, personalities, conversation, laughter, old school Hip Hop music, fresh B-boy dance gear, warm up stretches, All-Stylers practicing on the dance floor, B-boy/B-girls sharpening their power moves, and little Irie among other children running back and forth in excitement to set the pre-battle atmosphere. It is such a pleasure to see people from all over Western New York, Canada, and the surrounding communities gather to witness the artistry and evolution of movement that unites us.
The evening officially began with the MC B-boy Shane Depree Fry energetically welcoming everyone to the event and making a few announcements of upcoming events associated with the studio over the microphone. He stated that the Battle @ Buffalo is always family friendly and that the studio provides classes for all ages. One announcement that stood out to me was ‘The Elements Summer Camp’ is being offered this summer for all ages. For more information on the camp, among other events/performances check out the Verve Dance studio website at www.vervedancestudio.com or contact them through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shane then introduced the seasoned vets of the turntables, DJ Sike and DJ Trevthorne as the masters of music from the old and new school.
All-Styles Competition Recap:
The judges of the All Styles competition were James Levy Jr. (T.E.I.N), Joel Lil Sov Lindsey, and Xavier Flyywalker. The competitors included: BlackStar, Dreamer, Centric, Superman, Jake From State Farm, McFly, Skyline, and Ruffneck.
The finals between Black Star and Ruffneck was accordingly the best matchup of the All Styles competition. Black Star definitely saved his best moves for the finals and put up two solid rounds for the judges to deliberate. However, Ruffneck seemed to be unbeatable; his focus along with his intricate finger tuts took the finals by storm. They both had superior musicality, but Ruffneck’s Krump style and manipulation of the beats earned him victory of the Spring Battle @ Buffalo All Styles competition. They displayed camaraderie as they congratulated each other out of respect for the competition.
B-boy/girl Competition Recap:
The evening continued as the B-boy/girl brackets were all set. B-boy Depree announced the judges which included Stacy VanBlarcom aka ‘B-girl Resolve’, Rashawn Pope aka ‘The Chosen One,’ and B-boy Shane Depree himself. The competitors of the B-boy/girl competition included B-boys: Austin, Dreamer, Paul, Tiny, Rise, Skyline, Nix, Spins, and Gage. The finals were all set, and B-boy Austin and B-boy Gage were ready to embrace the break beats provided by the DJs. B-boy Austin again fused his quirky unorthodox style with the beats and pulled out two decent rounds. However, B-boy Gage’s seamless transitions from top rock, to footwork, to power moves, and a series of freezes earned him the victory votes from the judges of the Spring Battle @ Buffalo B-boy/girl competition. Again both competitors showed respect and the value of healthy competition as they shook hands at the end of the battle.
The next Battle @ Buffalo will take place on April 25th, 2015, and the doors to the Verve dance studio will open at 7:00pm. It is an event that encourages friendly competition while providing kids, parents, and people of the community the opportunity to support positive Hip Hop culture on a Saturday evening. All ages are welcome to watch, compete and enjoy education through entertainment. Again congratulations to Chris Titus aka Ruffneck and Carlos Duenas aka B-boy Gage for winning their respective competitions. I hope to see you all at the next battle as spring will definitely bring some warmer temperatures for everyone to join in and make this event a continuous staple of the community.
Life is about positive movement, Define Yours.
Rishone aka Centric