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With just a month to go until the World Urban Games this 13-15 September in Budapest, the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) reached out to two breakers set to compete in the Hungarian capital to get their thoughts on the first edition of the new multi-sport event and a range of other topics, including Breaking’s possible inclusion at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
B-boy Klash is a five-time winner of the Red Bull BC One in his native Egypt, and he has his sights set on Budapest to raise both his profile and the profile of Breaking in his homeland. Hungarian b-girl Csepke, on the other hand, took part in Breaking’s debut at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games and is proud to be welcoming the World Urban Games to her hometown and exposing Breaking to an ever-widening audience.
“I’m very happy to see the World Urban Games organised in Hungary,” said Csepke, who was born and raised in Budapest. “I think it’s a great opportunity for me and for the whole Hungarian Breakin’ culture because we can meet the prominent players in the Breaking scene.”
The World Urban Games will feature eight sports (six competition and two showcase) in total, including BMX Freestyle, Roller Freestyle, Parkour, 3X3 Basketball and Flying Disc Freestyle. Breaking will take place over two days at the WUG, with the Round Robin phase on 13 September followed by the Final phase (Top 8) the next day.
Twenty-four of the breakers qualified directly from the 2019 WDSF World Breaking Championship held in Nanjing, China this June. Six others booked their tickets via the Outbreak Europe event last month, meaning the level of artistry and athleticism on display will be world-class, something that Klash says he more than welcomes.
“For me, I want to be unique and known everywhere around the world. I love Breaking and want to be the best,” he says, adding that he enjoys performing difficult and original moves, something the crowds in Budapest should expect to see next month.
Klash also says that when he competes at international events he does so not only for personal reasons but as an ambassador for his country. “Egypt has a lot of people dancing – maybe 1,000 b-boys – but there is [not a lot of] interest, there are no tournaments. My country really needs this.”
The WUG are designed to be the ultimate global showcase for urban sports, providing visitors with a rich mixture of sports, music and culture. The Games will also help to regenerate a part of southern Budapest that has been off limits to the public for many years: the site of the Great Market Hall, which first opened in 1932. The Hall, which Csepke describes as the “perfect venue” for the event, will be used both as a competition site and a concert hall and is situated next to the Danube River, providing a visually stunning backdrop for the Games.
For Csepke, the WUG are another important stepping stone in her development as a b-girl. She credits her success to the great support of her Stay Fresh Crew and especially her coach, Lajos Fodor, who she admires for his work ethic and commitment to ensuring that “great opportunities” are offered to her entire team.
“I want to have fun during the event because it is very important for me to dance with a positive attitude and to do my best moves,” she says, pointing to her footwork, Toprock and musicality as her main strengths. “I will try my best during the World Urban Games to proudly represent Hungary.”
Csepke did just that at Breaking’s debut at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, which she says was a springboard to greater opportunities and growth within the community.
“I learnt a lot during the Youth Olympic Games. The things that I learnt and experienced there help me during my daily practices in Hungary,” she says. “I have been practicing and travelling a lot with my team since then. I had another chance to represent Hungary in Nanjing, China at the World Breaking Championship. It was such a great experience, too.”
Of course, one of the biggest opportunities for Breaking in decades is its possible inclusion at the Olympic Games in 2024. The WDSF has already received provisional inclusion from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with a final decision set for December 2020.
Asked if they would be interested in taking part in the Olympic Games should Breaking be granted official inclusion, the two breakers were unanimous in their response.
“Absolutely!” says Klash. “I want the world to become more interested [in Breaking] and the attention to focus on dance, because it is so good and very difficult.”
Csepke echoed his thoughts: “[The Youth Olympic Games] were a great chance for me and for the whole Breakin’ community. I’m really excited that Breakin’ might be involved in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.”
The line-up for Breaking at the World Urban Games is as follows:
B-girls: Ami (JPN), Sunny (USA), Jilou (GER), Ying Zi (CHN), Roxy (GBR), Ayane (JPN), Madmax (BEL), Queen Mary (BUL), Logistix (USA), Fresh Bella (KOR), Vavi (RUS), Paulina (POL), Csepke (HUN), Kate (UKR), San Andrea (FRA), and Sarah Bee (FRA).
B-boys: Menno (NED), Lussy Sky (UKR), Lil G (VEN), Bumblebee (RUS), Lagaet (FRA), Shigekix (JPN), Phil Wizard (CAN), Klash (EGY), Vero (KOR), Roll (HUN), Dr. Hill (MEX), BruceAlmighty (POR), Victor (USA), Icey Ives (USA), Daniel (NOR), Quake (TPE).
On hand to judge the 1vs1 battles will be Jeskilz (FRA), Katsu One (JPN) and Moy (USA), with Amjad and Rambo doing the emceeing and DJs Southscream and Fleg on the turntables.