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July 30, 2008 > High School Dance Crews Compete at All the Way Live at Ohlone

High School Dance Crews Compete at All the Way Live at Ohlone

Submitted By Patrice Birkedahl
Photos By Jamison Boyer

Three-man break dance crews from Bay Area high schools battled it out at the Ohlone College Amphitheatre to win a chance at a $600 prize. Thirteen dance crews, known as B-boys, came from Fremont, San Jose, Milpitas, Redwood City and even Stockton to put their "skillz" to the test on the open-air stage at Ohlone.

Four finalist groups were chosen to complete in the two-day break dance festival All the Way Live to be held September 12-13. The finalists include a team from Sequoia High School in Redwood City, two teams from McNair High School in Stockton, and a Fremont team with one member each from three Fremont High Schools: Matt Perez from Mission San Jose, Zack Razura from American and Kenta Naoi from Irvington.

All the Way Live event organizer Sergio Suarez, who also teaches hip hop dance classes at Ohlone, says the crews battled it out until late in the evening with several tie breakers, before the four winners emerged. It's a testament to the perseverance and talent of the dance teams from the local high schools.

B-boys and B-girls prefer the terms urban dance or street dance to break dance, although that is the term best known to outsiders. The dance style has evolved considerably since its emergence on the streets of New York in the mid-80s to include more discipline and athletic rigor. However, dancers seek to avoid becoming too formal or conventional. Improvisation, or free-styling, which consists of a group of dancers surrounding the dance floor while each dancer takes their turn at execute various tricks, freezes and dance steps, is still a major element of performance.

The September 12 and 13 event includes workshops for young dancers with some of the top dancers and choreographers around including German B-boy Pioneer Storm with his crew Battle Squad and performances from Battle Squad DS Players, and Bay Area dance crew Supreme Soul, currently featured on MTV's America's Best Dance crew, which includes two Ohlone dancers RJ (Kool Raul) Navalta and Jonathan (Bionic Man) Bayani.

Tickets for the Friday night professional performance or for the entire event are available through the Smith Center Box Office at Ohlone College by calling (510) 659-6031. For more information on the event check out the My Space page at www.myspace.com/cyphersniper

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