Not just the harbour, lobster, and Trailer Park Boys.
Atlantic Streetdance Championships 2005
One of the best parts about my career is traveling all over Canada. In August, I was flying out to Halifax with MuchUnleashed to Buskerfest. While waiting for my luggage at the airport, b-boy and East Coaster Golden Graeme introduced himself, and invited me to check out the Atlantic Streetdance Championships. He explained that it was a battle for the entire East Coast.
It's really easy to think of the Canadian b-boy/b-girl community as just Toronto/Montreal/Vancouver, just because the country's so big, and the majority of breakers are in or near these cities. I think most breakers not from the East Coast couldn't even name a crew past Quebec. So when I stepped into the Halifax YMCA for their East Coast battle, I felt a bit like an explorer discovering new territory.
The championship was straight forward. Cover for the afternoon was $4 (I only had to pay $2 as I came for the second half - rock!) and it featured various competitions, including footwork, power moves, and funk styles contests; plus 2 on 2 and single battles. Breakers were competing for Olympic style medals. The event was family friendly, and the turnout was diverse - fans of hip hop, as well as hippies and mall punks. Also, because of Buskerfest, USA Break Dancers and Team Ryouko were in attendance wowing the crowd.
The scene is still developing, but the enthusiasm is there. Crews represented various Atlantic provinces. And this is not an assumption - flags were waved during the battles! I met East Rock Crew from, their name gives it away, The Rock. They told me they're the only crew from Newfoundland, and they started just a year ago. From talking to various b-boys at the battle, the event's host Jake and Graeme have actively helped create a breakdance scene in Eastern Canada. Word is PEI currently doesn't even have any crews!
The day was a reminder how large Canada is (by size, the second largest country in the world). I was inspired to meet many b-boys (and a b-girl!), but frustrated that the country wasn't a bit smaller so we could easily all come together for events. Hopefully in the future ...
Thanks to Graeme and Jake, and everyone I met in Halifax. I'm so glad I had the chance to witness the Atlantic Streetdance Championships. The East Coast is beautiful, and so are the people. Everyone is so friendly! I can't wait to return.
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