Diversity Unites and Ignites April’s Battle @ Buffalo!
The city just has a different feel every last Saturday of month. For me it is the anticipation of the circle and the music that will provide the platform to release built up creativity. I am always thirsty for the opportunity to connect with an audience that loves the freedom of movement combined with personality. I would imagine that all dancers that live for the art of free style or live performances can relate. For spectators it is the opportunity to witness the young and old energize/inspire their Saturday evening with some excitement at the monthly Battle @ Buffalo Event.
Dancers with all different backgrounds/forms of movement re-decorated the dance worn wooden floors of the Verve Dance Studio with an artistic touch of personality, individuality and collaborative entertainment. The bright yellow paint from the walls, along with the golden maple finish of the floors created this glow to the pre-battle atmosphere that set the stage for the unforgettable evening ahead.
For quite a while the majority of the participants at the Battle @ Buffalo events have been males. Occasionally one or two females would sign up to battle and other times it would happen sporadically. We have gotten familiar with a few female faces though. Other than her job as the accountant/personable greeter of the battles, Brooklyn has always been one of the fierce competitors in the circle. Other power house females like Tina Jarmusz (Timez), Audrey Knight (RoyalBlu), and Stacy Vanblarcom (B-girl Resolve) are also familiar faces. They all bring a different style/element that we all respect/appreciate but for April’s Battle @ Buffalo the creators of the event sought to change the inconsistency of the female participants. This month they mandated the incorporation of the female energy into a 3 on 3 crew format that changed the complexity of the entire event.
The 3 on 3 format consolidated the B-boys/B-girls and All-stylers battles into one exciting, competitive bracket. All 8 crews were in battle mode and the ladies were liberated to be themselves as well as demonstrate their skills in the circle. The 8 Crews included: Rishone, Ally and Rashawn, Silly, Classic and RoyalBlu, Skyline, Scorpio, and Timez, Put Together Crew, Aaron, Ashley and Tony, JC, Stacy, and JR, Stormy, Jordan, and Xavier Flyywalker and Auston, Max and storm. All crews brought a mixture of styles that debuted as the highlight of the night.
B-boy Shane Depree kicked off the battles by introducing the judges which included: Joel Lil Sov Lindsey, Carlos Duenas aka B-boy Gage and Shane himself. He also took a moment to highlight DJ TrevThorne who kept beats flowing from the 1s and 2s for the duration of the evening.
I was so impressed by each group and the ladies that participated, each one bringing a different energy/style to add to each battle. Every round was competitive, forcing every competitor to deliver their best. The judges had a hard time making a definitive decision as each crew just kept delivering solid rounds. The Final two crews that earned their spot were: Rishone, Ally, Rashawnn and JC, Stacy, and JR.
The finals kept the energy level high in each round. Rishone, Ally, and Rashawnn definitely jumped out to a strong start. I used a mixture of salsa/popping, Ally imprinted her hard hits with some subtlety, and Rashawnn capped it off with some strong floor work and freezes. JC, Stacy, and JR ignited the crowd and their musicality made it easier for the judges to pick them as the winners. Stacy’s floor work and style delivered the first mark of victory. Then JC energized by her performance, also joined in with two solid rounds of unique attitude. It was, however, JR who brought the house down as he intelligently used the music to ignite the spectators and ultimately galvanize the victory for his crew. The theme that always makes me appreciate the Battle @ Buffalo events is the congratulatory portion after the battles that each dancer shows respect to their opponents regardless of the outcome. It just proves that this competition is really about elevating art and not an individual.
Other than the cold still fighting the inevitable change of the season, the evening was filled with talented, explosive, and diverse crews. It opened up the opportunity for the female energy to equally bless the circle and created a whole new entertaining format. I love that this event is family friendly and everyone in the community can unite and create a positive energy that even kids feel safe to partake in. Again, congratulations to JC, Stacy, and JR for winning the first 3 on 3 Girl incorporated format for April’s Battle @ Buffalo. The next battle will be May 30th and I know it will be a warmer spring day. It is open to everyone who can attend, as the admission is $5 and only $1 extra to participate in the battles. I will see you all next month to witness one of Buffalo’s most uplifting dance events.
Life is about positive movement, Define Yours.
Rishone aka Centric