Thinking about entering a Rain Crew Open Styles battle but don’t know what it is? Well let me explain.
On 31st October 2016 Rain Crew and The B-Boy Factory hosted two events at the same time in two different continents; The Rain Autumn Jam London UK and The Rain Halloween Jam in Denver Colorado USA. Both events aimed to host a breaking battle and an “All Styles” battle open to dancers of all dance disciplines in the hope of bringing together a range of dance communities under one roof. The focus would be on Streetdance styles but all disciplines were welcomed guests to share in our culture.
So here’s the snag; All Styles in the UK is not the same battle category as All Styles in the USA. What the UK classified as All Styles, the USA called Open Styles and what the USA understood to be All Styles was something quite different. As such The USA based B-Boy factory publicised an Open Styles battle for their dancers and we in the UK publicised an All Styles battle, despite the fact that the judges were prioritising roughly the same things.
Now on 28th September 2016, Kevin James aka DJ Renegade aka Kevie Kev James posted a Facebook status asking: “Can we get some sort of consensus on what constitutes a) All Styles b) Open Styles c) Experimental? I’ve seen these on flyers and am a bit confused as to what each represents. Having to DJ and judge a few it would be nice to be clear on what is expected.”
As with most of Renegade’s status updates, this immediately prompted an international discussion resulting in us introducing the Open Styles category name as understood in the USA at the Rain Autumn Jam London (UK).
Why did we change the name?
Well by understanding, In an International community it’s important to share a common language and understanding on certain concepts. Although there may not yet be a clear or exhaustive understanding of what each battle category demands, adopting and applying a common terminology across the board can make this clear for judges and competitors regardless of nationality. Subsequently we concluded that using the USA term Open Styles in the UK in place of All Styles may provide some clarity that can be refined as we move forward. We of course welcome everyone to engage in these discussions.
Demands the style that matches the music. That is to say, if a particular track comes on, the dancers will first be judged on their ability to match dance style to music and then on their dance ability in relation to that music. So if a House track comes on and someone does a good Krump round, but the other dancer does an OK House round, the House dancer is more likely to win. There are no guarantees because lots of things are factored into judging but this would be the expected outcome.
Demands the best response regardless of style. That is to say, the dancer is judged on their ability to engage the music regardless of the style they choose to use. So if a House track comes on and someone does a good Krump round engaging the music, but the other person does an OK House round, then the Krump dancer would be more likely to win. Again, no guarantees but this would be the expected outcome.
Demands the most creative response challenging the limits of creativity within the style. That is to say the track played is likely to break traditional barriers between styles to push the dancers to do the same. The dancer who strictly does House, Krump, etc without challenging the rules of that style or the audience and themselves, is less likely to succeed against a dancer with less precision and musicality, but who does. Although references to experimental can be found as early as in the Detours movement, there seems to be little articulated consensus on what exactly may be required for one artist to trump another. As the category matures there appears to be a process of subjective selections where you know the winner when you see it. Again, absolutely no guarantees and much clarification still required but we hope that this helps.
Rain Winter Jam 2016
The next Rain Winter Jam will feature a 1on1 Breaking category and 2on2 Open Styles category as described above. Dancers are invited to purchase tickets online, or on the door and visit our webpage of Facebook event-page for more information.
Thurday 15th December 2016 | Rain Winter Jam 2016 | London (UK) | https://www.facebook.com/
Location: Centre Stage Studios, 1 Gurney Road, London E15 1SH
Book Tickets Online: https://