Breakdancers of all ages tore it up at the Southeast B-boy Championships, where children and seasoned b-boyers alike flocked to showcase their talents and tricks. The first annual tournament was held from 3 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Nov. 6 at the YMI Cultural Center in downtown Asheville.
Walking into the packed auditorium at the YMI, there were impromptu-performance circles — one of the left and one on the right side of the room — where b-boys and b-girls practiced and performed on the sidelines. In the front and center of the space was the main performance floor, where one-on-one and three-on-three battles took place before two judges, B-boy Moy, of Houston, Texas, and B-boy D, from Connecticut, who kept score of each dancer’s performance throughout the competition. DJ Brett Rock, Fred Krugr and SPCL GST spun music on the stage behind the performers and, as Frantic wrote in a Facebook message, held “down the wheels” all night long. At the end of the night B-boy TYGR was crowned the individual champion of the event, while Dark Night, AJ and J-Killa of Ill Boyz Only took first place in the three-on-three competitions. TYGR and members of the Ill Boyz Only walked away with a $600 cash prize and with a title they will have to defend at next year’s battle.
Breakdancers and organizers Michael “Frantic” Pelletier, Joseph Adams and members of Hunab Kru successfully created a positive environment for dancers to compete and for spectators to watch in awe of the strength and skill involved in this mesmerizing art form. For more information about the inspiration behind the competition, check out B-boys rockin’ on and on, an article featuring an interview with Frantic and Adams about their hopes of establishing an annual tournament in Asheville.
As Frantic continued in his message, “Hip-hop as a culture is comprised of such incredible individuals that I need not thank each separately, but only to thank hip-hop and know that I’m thanking all of you… [Thanks to] Dave Chappelle [who] came out to see us!!! [Thanks to] every parent who brought their kids to see and learn, and every B-boy in the cypher willing to crash and burn!!!!”
Video by Aiyanna Sezak-Blatt:
All photos from the scene by Ethan Burns: