Written by Mariya Majid
We’re only coming to the end of the third month of the year and its already started in a blaze for Rain Crew, literally! with Kofi touring in Australia as part of the international sensation that is the Blaze dance show. The show features twelve of the best street and break dancers in the world, including Neguin, Skycheif, Lagaet and many more. Read K in a Blaze to find out where else they have been touring and more about the show.
January also saw Italipino take part in the UK qualifier for the largest International standup-dance event, Juste Debout’s. Italipino entered the toprock category under the Judgment of Bboy Mouse, Bboy Spin and DJ Renegade. The eliminations consisted of eighty competitors, each with 30 seconds on the clock to showcase their talent and impress the judges. Out of the eighty hopefuls only eight were selected, Italipino being one of them. His first round was against friendly rival Short Bread from the all female dance group Boadicea.
Upon hearing the first few seconds of the track Italipino recalls ‘I don’t know what came over me, but something said go hard and burn’ resulting in an intense battle and a unanimous vote from all three judges pointing in his favour, securing him a place in the semi finals.
In the Semi-Finals the Pinoy boy went up against Ed Spoons from Ghetlow Pirates with only one round to prove themselves.
Unfortunately this was the end of this particular journey for Italipino as the judges voted for Ed Spoons two votes to one. Italipino had entered this same competition two years earlier without passing the qualifying round and he believes that aside from training, his change in mindset made a huge difference and helped him progress further than he had previously. He learnt that you have to ‘focus and just dance like no one’s watching, it’s just you and the music’.
While Italipino battled it out with some of the best in the UK; Clint, Chilly, FM, Jetlag and P-Star were performing the closing act for the hip-hop show that is Breakin Rules 2013 in Dundee Scotland. The piece titled, ‘We Get Down!’ was a high energy performance with each dancer expressing themselves as a unit. Needless to say, the audience was not disappointed.
February began on a high with the crew setting off on a road trip to Antwerp, Belgium for Raw Circles 2013. Explosif made is way from Paris France to meet the other Rain members Clint, FM, and Italipino. Raw circles is an international event with the main feature being a 2on2 main event against some of the best pairs in the world. This particular competition was a first for the group and it was the first Jam Rain student Dylan had ever attended and battled at. Both Clint and Italipino entered the Toprock battle and were matched-up against each other in the preliminaries. Clint was successfully selected for the top 16 eventually making it to the finals.
The finals was an intense two rounds against Bboy Shuhei from Found Nation Crew (Japan) and ended with Clint as the victor in a unanimous decision from the judges.
Wild G has also been very busy by performing a ‘powerful’ and emotional piece on series four of Sky’s Got to Dance. Wild G brought judge Kimberley to tears and progressed him onto the semi-finals along with youth dance sensation IMD who he also mentors. With guidance and choreographed routines from both Wild G and Omar A. Awuah the dance crew IMD went on to become finalists of the show with their ‘energetic’ and lively routine.
Explosif who is currently residing in Paris has been training hard and developing a variety of different styles which he says is ‘opening his mind to new ways of thinking in relation to movement’ with his focus on ‘learning and sharing by exchanging in dance clubs and workshops with inspirational French dancers’. Its also clear that being in Paris also makes it easier to attend events taking place on the continent. As February drew to a close Chilly and FM visited Explosif attending Just for Fun Rockerz where they ciphered the night away and to Chelles Battle Pro 2013. Chilly found Battle Pro to be particularly inspiring and for him, it was a reminder of how much more he has to push himself. He also spent a few weeks training with VO in Madrid where he found his time there to be motivating to say the least. VO has been representing in Spain travelling the whole country competing in breaking competitions taking place there for the last year. As march draws to a close, VO will returning to the UK for a short while to spend time with the crew, battle and prepare for the future.
The rest of the year is set to be just as hectic and packed as the first few months have been. Now the crew have R16, Outbreak, Yalta, Summer Jam and IBE to look forward to in the coming months.