Red Bull Dance Your Style, the premier global dance competition is currently in full swing in the United States and tonight (April 21), Baltimore will be blessed with a stacked lineup of talented dancers. Ahead of tonight’s showdown, we had the honor of speaking with some local stars who are relishing the opportunity to put on for Baltimore and the world of dance accordingly.
Red Bull Dance Your Style puts an emphasis on street dance and doesn’t follow any traditional forms. Instead, the focus is on the vibe, energy, execution, and ingenuity as many competitors are often untrained but battle-tested. Further, while it is a competition, many of the participants are familiar with one another’s work and there is even collaboration between dance crews.
As we are in Charm City for this event, Hip-Hop Wired spoke with local dancers McLovin, TSU_Flash, Prince Darryl, and Queen Stylz, and New York’s Beasty, all of whom were gracious with their time as they prepare for tonight’s competition.
McLovin, a veteran of the Baltimore Club scene, shared with us that his long journey from the homestyle dancing that lead him to be crowned King of Baltimore two years in a row in 2011 and 2012 to now has culminated in him discovering that Baltimore Club is inching ever closer to its mainstream moment.
“Being from here, it’s hard because Baltimore Club is so distinct from Jersey Club and other cities that land in this world so to represent my hometown and show our style of dancing, like the Spongebob for instance, and Red Bull giving us a world stage is an honor for me,” McLovin.
Born Brandon Dawson, McLovin now resides in Las Vegas where he’s found a nurturing community that welcomed his style of dance while embracing others.
“When I moved out to Vegas, I found folks to connect with and share my love of Baltimore Club and learn that our small corner is highly influential. And then, you’re so close to the West Coast out there and they do a completely different thing than we do in Baltimore, “McLovin shared.
“I love a lot of styles, like even in D.C. with the Go-Go, I love that and while I can’t always catch it, I admire it and incorporate what I can in my routines. Dance is a feeling and it’s something you want to share with the world and I have that in Vegas now but Baltimore will forever be home,” McLovin concluded.
Next, we spoke with TSU Flash, who, like McLovin, is a pioneering member of the TSU dance crew. Flash answered our questions in that no-nonsense way Baltimoreans often do but always with an endearing bit of charm.
“The thing about Baltimore is that while we might not the biggest city, we have a right to be here. This doesn’t happen for Baltimore a whole lot. I can’t thank Red Bull enough for hosting the competition here because you all will see how much our styles have traveled beyond the borders,” Flash began.
Flash, born Kenneth Worsley, says that he’s been dancing for pretty much all of his life and it’s given him opportunities to showcase not only Baltimore Club but the beauty of competitive dance as a whole.
“I came up battling in Baltimore and I found out that our style being so unique, we had to adapt but that’s Baltimore in a nutshell. People forget about my city a lot but this competition is here for a reason and I can’t wait to show the world what we’re about,” Flash ended.
Prince Darryl, a dancer, and actor who grew up in the city expressed that his love and dance are just as important as his desire to become an accomplished actor. In fact, we discovered that he was between shoots when he decided to join the Red Bull Dance Your Style lineup. In our brief chat, Prince Darryl expressed all of the emotions leading up to the event.
“Baltimore Club is so special to me because it’s given me an opportunity to do something like Red Bull Dance Your Style in my own city and to show that we should be mentioned up there with other cities with big dance scenes,” Prince Darryl said.
When asked about his emotions and state of mind, Prince Darryl was candid.
“I’m not gonna lie, I’m a bit nervous, I’m excited but I’m also just going to let the music take me over and I’m gonna do my thing. I know how to make the best of the moment because of acting but to put that into dance is second nature,” Prince Darryl added.
Queen Stylz was beyond gracious with her time and her journey into dance, sharing that it’s such a large part of her life that she’s moved towards teaching dance as a means to extend Baltimore Club’s legacy.
“Baltimore is my heart and I try to show that off in my dancing and I give so much of myself when I’m on the dance floor. I’ve been doing this for what feels like all my life and look behind us. I’m home doing this, not in New York or Miami. I’m home, so I’m excited to give the people a show,” Queen Stylz said.
In an honest moment, Queen Stylz, who won the Queen of Baltimore dance competition in 2013, says that the city has a long way to go in becoming unified before transforming into a power player in the global dance scene.
“Baltimore Club should be bigger because look at some of the other cities that take a little of what we made here and blew up. Because so many crews here are sectioned off, we don’t work together like we should and I want that to happen in my lifetime. This competition is just the start but I think we could do more to show that Baltimore can work together and make a lane for other creatives,” Queen Stylz said.
Last but not least, we spoke with the dynamic Beasty, a former Red Bull Dance Your Style competitor based out of New York and also representing Japan. Beasty, although not deeply familiar with the Baltimore Club scene, says she admires what she’s seen so far as she prepared for the competition.
“It’s crazy how every big city in the world has its own thing. Like here, it’s Club. On the West Coast, it’s popping, and so on. I try to do a little bit of everything and let whatever the music that gets played lead me the rest of the way,” Beasty shared.
Beasty is a recent winner of Red Bull Dance Your Style Boston and while she loves the street dance competition world, she is ready for more commercial work.
“Dance is a great stepping stone for ambitious people and I’m just 21 so I feel like I have a lot to give to dance before I step away and teach the next generation. I want to put on for not only my crew, but for New York, and Japan and all my mentors who guided me,” Beasty added.
Red Bull Dance Your Style kicks off Friday (April 21) at Baltimore Ram’s Head Live hosted by Neek B and Queen P. Doors open at 6 PM local time. For tickets and to learn more, click here.
Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Dance Your Style Hosts First Event In Baltimore, Local Stars Ready For The Stage was originally published on hiphopwired.com
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