7 Ways Pro B-Boys Earn A Living – By Dyzee Supernaturalz




One of the most pondered upon questions that many young adult B-Boys (and their parents) wonder is, how do professional B-Boys make a living? According to the “B-Boying Statistics and Research” Facebook research group, the second most common way that someone gets introduced into B-Boying, is through High School, the first being introduced by a friend. Eventually, as they grow older, they will at one point begin thinking about money and the pressures and responsibilities of life will inevitably kick in.

How Bboys started Breakin


Age started Bboying

Depending on the financial pressures and/or responsibilities of life, many B-Boys will then be forced to make a decision. Do they quit Breakin in order to pursue a time consuming career? Or do they find a regular job to sustain themselves while they continue to break as a hobby? Or possibly, can they pursue their dream of being a full time Professional B-Boy?

Firstly, we need to clarify what we mean when we say “Professional B-Boy”.  When we say Professional B-Boy, we are referring to a B-Boy who makes their primary living, strictly from being a B-Boy, as a career. This only includes work where one has to “Break”, not other aspects such as organizing events or selling merchandise.

So this Blog is aimed at answering the questions, as to how a professional B-Boy (or B-Girl) generates enough income to sustain themselves financially.

Before we begin, it must be noted that the majority of professional B-Boy’s do not make a lot of money.

The following poll on the B-Boy Statistics and Research page indicate that the majority of B-Boys who lived primarily off Breakin made a staggering less than $10,000 USD.

bboying income

So the majority of people, who live primarily from B-Boying, don’t make a lot of money. However, the B-Boys who do make enough money to sustain them also have the satisfaction of being able to do what they love for a living, which is priceless.

Never-the-less, even though there are people who make their living from actually “B-Boying”, the question is, are they doing the type of B-Boying work that they really want? Below is another poll from the B-Boying Statistics and Research Facebook group which illustrates what are the “Dream B-Boy jobs” of many worldwide.

Bboy dream careers

Without further delay, below is a list of the top 7 different ways a B-Boy can make a financial career from B-Boying.

bboy jobs

Teaching Classes

According to the B-Boy statistics and Research Group, the most common B-Boy job is to teach local classes. Teaching classes is the most common job because:

  1. You don’t have to be the best
    Even if you are an amateur; there are probably some rich “Wanna-B-Boys” who need someone to teach them the bare basics. There are also rich parents who need someone to babysit their A.D.D. children and get them to use up all their rambunctious energy.
  2. It can be more consistent
    You don’t have to wait for gig, emails or phone calls. You can get paid on a more consistent basis by setting up consistent programs.
  3. It’s local
    You don’t have to travel far when there are community centers or dance studios nearby.

The disadvantages of Teaching B-Boy Classes for a living are:

  1. Can be physically draining
  2. Might not like the students
  3. Tied to a contract and can’t travel

Either way, teaching classes is usually the first step to making money as a B-Boy. Just remember that, although it’s more consistent, it’s never 100 percent stable, as majority of classes have a start and end date, usually for 8-12 week segments. There are also sometimes cancellations of classes, but the great thing is, when you do teach classes, your always in shape, and only teaching for just a couple of hours a day, which can be your choice on how many classes you want to teach a day or week. If you want to try and fill up your schedule, you can definitely do it!

If teaching B-Boy classes is for you, than there are many ways to teach classes and in different places. As you become better at teaching classes, more doors may be opened to teach in more creative or prestigious places. Below are different places where B-Boys around the world teach classes, and it’s put in order of least to most experience:

  1. Community Centers / Youth Centers
  2. Dance Studios / Dance Academies
  3. High Schools / Elementary Schools
  4. Private Classes
  5. Colleges / Universities
  6. Youth Detention Centers

At first you might start off teaching for centers and schools. Eventually, you might get to the point where you begin creating “B-Boying programs”, and before you know it, you become a program director.  Or perhaps, you one day open your own studio or school!

Here are some tips to become a teacher in B-Boying:

  1. Write a lesson plan of what you are going to teach
  2. Write a resume, cover letter and mission statement
  3. Go to community centers and dance studios, asking if they are looking for beginner/ amateur B-Boy lessons instructors (be prepared to do a demo)

Average pay for teaching classes: $20-$60 per hour

B-Boy Showcases / Performances

Another very popular way of the B-Boy hustle, is to do showcases for money.  The benefits of showcases, is that it normally can lead to more work, and is a quick way to make some money in 5-10 minutes. The only down side, is you have to deal with companies and corporations that want to pay you as little as possible, and even if you have much experience, there will be other B-Boys and groups who undercut you for less pay. You also might have some waiting time between searching for shows to come up, so make sure you keep busy by continually practicing and upgrading your showcase skills.

Below are the types of showcases and Performances:

  1. Private showcases (Bar mitzvahs, Weddings, Birthday parties, etc,)
    These are the most common and will most likely start with people you know. This happens by referrals. Make sure to have a few business cards available.
  2. Corporate Showcases (Conferences, expos, demos, etc)
    Corporate shows usually have more money to spend on entertainment. However, being a corporation, they will try to spend a little as possible and get the most they can. You should also think the same way when working with them.  The less they want to pay, the less work you should do. If they want to pay the bare minimum, then do the shortest 2 person 3 minute crazy performance to keep them wanting to come back for more. Be prepared to show them what they’re paying for ahead of time as well. Just remember, if they think they can get the same thing you can offer cheaper from somewhere else, they most certainly will.  So make sure your performances offer something different.  Now if you have competition with another crew, try to meet with them and discuss standards, so that the companies are not playing you.
  3. Street Shows
    Believe it or not, street shows are one of Bboyings number one ways to make money. If the weather is nice, and there are many tourists, Street shows are the way to go. However, you need to learn the tricks of the trade, you need to be funny, entertaining, and learn to master the art of raking in that cash.
    Did you know: an entire underground scene of Street Hitting B-Boys exist in New York City which has little to no connection to the worldwide B-Boy community?

Mastering the art of showcases and performances can lead to many more opportunities. Not to mention, when performing for “non-bboys” you tend to keep up your “crowd pleaser game”. Eventually, your performance ability might lead you into the next level of performances…

Average pay for B-Boy Showcases: $200-$1000 per 5-10 minute showcase
Average profit for B-Boy street shows: $40-$100 per 5 minute performance, skit or freestyle


NYC B-Boy Tata after a day of Street Hitting, counting his earnings

Theatre Performances

Unlike regular performances, Theatre performances are on a large bigger scale and can usually involve having to gain other skills and talents such as acting. Usually, large production theatre performances, have high budgets to pay their performers, and are often more than a “one time gig”. It’s in their best interest to take care of their performer’s health, as your ability to perform to the best of your ability, is in the shows best interest.  Some performances are local and show only in one venue, while other Theatre performances travel on tour. Either way, if you made it this far, it’s because you have earned it. Signing up for a theatre show or getting booked to go on tour can be long and strenuous, but after the tour is done, you usually have a large lump sum of cash which you will need to stretch out until your next tour.

If you want to join a theatre show, keep your eyes and ears open for casting calls. Normally, anyone can audition.

Another road you can go is to create your own theatre performances. This way, you have free reign to choreograph your own theatre piece, with your crew.

If this is one of your dreams to start your own Theatre show:

  1. Search for government grants and apply for art funding
  2. Simply create the show yourself, rent the venue, and sell admission tickets.

Average Theatre performance pay: $200-$500 per performance (x number of shows per tour)

As you and/or your groups name gets bigger and recognized for your skills and “entertainment value”, you might enter into a new realm.

Entertainment Industries

The commercial entertainment industry is where a lot of the money is, and currently, is the biggest money maker for B-Boying. This is the reason why many of the best B-Boys from a country, will move to the entertainment capital or district such as Hollywood , Seoul, etc.

Different types of jobs that are available in the commercial industry are:

  1. Commercials and Advertising
  2. Movies
  3. Back up dancers / Choreographers
  4. Television shows

If your primary goal is to make money through the entertainment industry, you will have to:

  1. Live in the entertainment capital
  2. Seek out a good casting / talent agency

The advantages are:

  1. The Money
  2. the Fame
  3. The lifestyle

The biggest disadvantages are:

  1. The money, fame & lifestyle
  2. Compromising your values (selling out)
  3. Dry times (not getting casted)

Average pay per Entertainment industry gig: $5000-$20,000

Impression You-got-served-poster

Now if your skills are really high, and you feel that the entertainment industry is not for you because you want to stick to the roots and culture of B-Boying, then you may be able to make a career from the actual culture itself, which is:

Judging Competitions:

B-Boying competitions have grown to a level all around the world, from large world championship competitions, all the way down to local grass root community events.  The supply and demand for Judges is constant. As a matter of fact, for many Professional B-Boys who live primarily through the culture, being invited to judge competitions is their main source of income.


  1. Paid travel, hotel, and food for weekend duration (not spending money)
  2. Best seat in the venue to watch battles
  3. Very little amount of work (usually only one judges showcase)


  1. Ego getting big from sitting on the judging throne
  2. Spend too much time away travelling
  3. Can get boring watching too many battles
  4. Begin losing skills because lack of training time
  5. People hating on you because of your opinion
  6. B-Boys undercutting you for Judging gigs

Being an international judge is an honorable position in the B-Boying community. This means that there are people who actually value your opinion or expertise. All you have to do is not mess it up!

To become an international judge, you will need one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Be a game changer in the scene
  2. Be a contributor to the development of B-Boying moves or styles
  3. Be a respected member of the international B-Boy community for 15+ years
  4. Prove you know what it takes to be a winner by winning battles
  5. Have a lot of political friends in high places

How to mess it up:

  1. Be difficult to work with (having a big ego, getting into trouble, demanding too much, etc)
  2. Being biased towards one approach (should have an open mind where all types of B-Boys will see you as a fair judge)
  3. Irresponsibility (ex. Missing flights, cancelling gigs)

The truth is that there is now way to regulate who can judge or who can’t, and thus has always been a major problem in the community. Marketing yourself beyond just your own city is a first step, and making a name internationally should be your main goal.

Average international judge pay: $500 – $1200 per weekend
Average local judge pay: $50-$150 per event

judges (1) judges

If you made it to becoming an international judge, then you can begin moving onto the next major way professional B-Boys make income.

Master Workshops

Most B-Boys who have been travelling, battling and judging in the world wide B-Boy community will at one point be asked to teach a workshop.  If you are able to build a strong reputation for teaching great workshops and knowledge, there can be a lot of money to be made from Master Workshops.


  1. Premium pay for a single class
  2. Extra income aside from judging
  3. Possible Workshop tours, sharing knowledge, experiences and secrets
  4. Paid travel, accommodations and food to travel and dance with the next generation of B-Boys


  1. Away from home longer amounts of time
  2. Other B-Boys learning your moves and secrets (Bad if you are still competitive)

To become a Master workshop teacher, you need to:

  1. Become an international renown judge
  2. Market yourself as a master teacher (make sure everyone thinks and says this about you)
  3. Align yourself with top B-Boys whom you can claim responsibility for having made them who they are. (hopefully it’s true)

Becoming a Master Workshop Teacher should become a retirements B-Boy plan, when one retires from competitive battling.  Also, one should have an understanding family who will allow them to travel for long amounts of time.

Average Master Workshop pay: $200-$500 per 1.5hr to 3hr workshop OR $10-$50 per student

Before being a judge and a master workshop teacher, one should first become a respected B-Boying through “Battling” which is not only the statistically lowest paid (and riskiest) aspect of B-Boying, but also is the dream job if one can make a living from it.



According to B-Boying Statistics and Research Facebook group poll, the dream job, if someone can make a living by doing any job through Breakin, the number one choice is to make money strictly from Battling, representing and bringing honor to your crew, your city, and/or your country.

Bboy dream careers

While representing for glory, honor and respect is majority the reason why one gets into B-Boying in the first place, this aspect of B-Boying is actually the lowest paid job, mainly due to the fact that, you have to win in order to get paid. The higher the cash prize, usually the higher the competition level.

MorrisAs a matter of fact, although there are a small handful of B-Boys who might make the majority of their income from prize money (such as Morris Fallen Kingz / Supernaturalz), the main reason for Battling is to get to a level where you’re asked to judge and eventually teach master workshops.

For many, this is the sad truth about doing exactly what you love to do and getting paid for it, however…

With the rise of the Pro-B-Boy movement (professional B-Boy movement), there are now a handful of B-Boys who received a sponsorship endorsement for being the top competition B-Boys in the world, namely, the Red Bull BC One Allstars. These 10 B-Boys are paid a monthly salary to just practice, as well as financial incentives for placing higher in world prestigious competitions.

bc one allstars

Recently, Monster Energy also decided to put together their own sponsored team called the “Monster B-Boys”.

monster bboys 3

Average sponsored athlete: $1800-$2500 monthly salary/ $200-$1000 for placing anywhere from quarter finals to 1st place

Although the Red Bull BC One All-stars and the Monster B-Boys aren’t specifically paid to “just battle”, this has opened up a new world of “Endorsed B-Boys”. Perhaps in the future, B-Boys will be endorsed to just battle, much like professional MMA fighters are paid to fight, and professional teams are paid to just play, this might be the future for B-Boying competitions.

Until that day, you have to keep believing in a Pro B-Boy future. For many B-Boys who started in the 90’s and earlier, they would have never believed that B-Boying would grow to what it is today. For now, if you decide to live the B-Boy lifestyle, you are going to have to make some sacrifices, such as not making so much money, or moving to the entertainment capital, training for shows instead of battles, etc. Just know that there are people out there making sacrifices of their own to create a Pro B-Boy future, and won’t stop until the B-Boy culture has become official, united and recognized worldwide, and there will be more than 7 ways Pro B-Boys can earn a living.



– Dyzee
R16 Global Series

Originally posted on r16korea.com

Don’t play yourself


When I was 11 years old I learned what hip hop really is and I also learned by observing that there was other people that did not really know what hip hop is but still loved hip hop. Breaking is 1 element in hip hop, but to be a true bboy you must respect all the elements and practice them aswell. We used words such as ‘FRESH’, ‘DOPE’, ‘INCREDIBLE’, ‘DYNAMIC’, ‘BURNED’ and of course ‘WACK’ or ‘TOY’. Now if your peers or other people watching you break complimented you with one of those words, you knew then you were breakin the way it should be done. Or the way it should not be done. I came to this jam to remind the hip hop community that there is a way to do this dance, this element of hip hop, breakin/bboyin. Stay true to the dance. Don’t over saturate the dance, ‘don’t play yourself’ was a huge part of breakin when I grew up. Meaning: if I just battled some one today in NYC at a jam, then the next week im in Japan battling another dude doing the same exact moves, the same exact way I did them in NYC. ‘YOU’RE PLAYIN YOURSELF’, ‘YOU’RE PLAYIN YOUR MOVES’, you can tell it’s choreographed movments, don’t do that! If you battle go home and practice until you get new moves get new ways to go into your old shit so it looks different, so people say that was FRESH, not that was AMAZING. IN HIP HOP WE DIDN’T USE words such as HE’S AMAZING, OR HE WAS STRONGER THEN THE OTHER GUY SO HE WON. No, no, no, no, no. Y’all got it all wrong in breakin your supposed to BURN THE GUY YOUR BATTLING so when y’all leave THE JAM YOU are like ‘yo we burned those TOYS’ not ‘yo we won the competition’. Don’t play yourself. Don’t play hip hop. Be hip hop.”
– Flea Rock (Skill Methodz)

See the Cast of ‘Beat Street’ Then and Now


Released around the time mainstream America first started to fall in love with hip-hop, 1984’s ‘Beat Street’ is a film encompassing the three key elements of the movement: breakdancing, DJing and graffiti. Using the burgeoning hip-hop scene as its background, the movie follows the lives of two South Bronx, N.Y.-based brothers and their circle of friends.

With its hokey dramatic plot and awkward comedic moments, ‘Beat Street’ has rightfully never been considered a gem of American cinema, but since it features musical performances from some of the key artists of hip-hop’s first wave, the movie is essential viewing for any self-respecting fan of the genre.

Today, we’re launching Then and Now, a feature in which we take a look back at hip-hop-related movies and find out what the cast have been up to in the years since they first hit the big screen together. We couldn’t think of a better film to kick off the series with than ‘Beat Street.’
Rae Dawn Chong Plays Tracy Carlson

Then: Chong plays Tracy, a college music student and composer who is fascinated by b-boy culture.

Now: The daughter of Tommy Chong (of ‘Cheech and Chong’ fame), the actress has gone on to appear in such films as ‘Commando,’ ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘The Principal.’ In a 2013 radio interview, Chong threw some verbal jabs at her ‘The Color Purple’ co-star, Oprah Winfrey, calling the media queen a “great brown-noser,” among other disparaging things. She later apologized and said that her comments were taken out of context. Sure they were!
Guy Davis Plays Kenny “Double K” Kirkland YouTube / Neilson Barnard, Getty

Then: Davis played “Double K,” an aspiring DJ that falls in love with Rae Dawn Chong’s character.

Now: The New York City native has juggled both an acting and musical career since the release of ‘Beat Street.’ The son of actors Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis, Guy has appeared on stage and screen, and is also a respected blues guitarist with over 15 albums in his discography so far.
Jon Chardiet Plays Ramon “Ramo”YouTube / Facebook

Then: The actor took on the role of Ramon, a graffiti bomber who ultimately dies in a NYC subway tunnel after slugging it out with a rival bomber.

Now: Chardiet has authored more than 20 children’s books, and has continued acting. His most recent appearance is in the 2013 thriller, ‘Borderlands.’
Franc. Reyes Plays Luis YouTube / Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

Then: Reyes played Luis, a bomber in Ramon’s circle.

Now: The Nuyorican actor-dancer turned his attention towards directing in the years since ‘Beat Street,’ with gritty crime thrillers like ‘Empire’ and ‘The Ministers’ under his belt. Before he became a director, Reyes had a stint as a songwriter.
Kool Moe Dee Plays Himself YouTube / Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

Then: Kool, along with the rest of the Treacherous Three and Doug E. Fresh, appeared in a scene in the film performing the song ‘Xmas Rap.’

Now: Born Mohandas Dewese, he became the first rapper to ever perform at the Grammy Awards. One of hip-hop’s earliest stars with hit singles like ‘How Ya Like Me Now’ and ‘Wild Wild West,’ Kool has also done some acting, and even appeared in the 2002 Britney Spears film, ‘Crossroads.’ Despite the last fact, the rap OG’s hood pass is still valid.
Crazy Legs Plays Himself YouTube / Mike Coppola, Getty Images

Then: The legendary dancer appeared in a breaking battle scene in the film.

Now: Richard “Crazy Legs” Colón is the president of the Rock Steady Crew, an influential dance collective formed in 1977. In 2003, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed July 26 to be “Rock Steady Crew Day” in New York City.
Brenda K. Starr Plays Herself YouTube / David Friedman, Getty Images

Then: A chance meeting with one of the film’s producers, singer Harry Belafonte, helped Starr score her performance of the song ‘Vicious Beat’ in ‘Beat Street.’

Now: Not long after ‘Beat Street,’ Starr landed a record deal. Her first single, ‘Pickin’ Up the Pieces,’ became a huge dance hit in 1985. A young Mariah Carey worked as a backup singer for Starr around this period. After a successful run in the pop (‘I Still Believe’) and freestyle (‘What You See Is What You Get’) arenas, the singer turned her attention to the Latin market and found a whole new audience as a salsa diva.
Afrika Bambaataa Plays Himself YouTube/Scott Gries, Getty Images

Then: Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force appear in a performance scene shot at the famed Roxy club in Manhattan.

Now: A pioneering DJ in hip-hop, Bambaataa made Life magazine’s “Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” issue in 1990. The 56-year-old is in the middle of a three-year appointment as a visiting scholar at Cornell University.
Grandmaster Melle Mel Plays Himself YouTube/Tim Whitby, Getty Images

Then: Grandmaster Melle Mel & the Furious Five closed the film out with an explosive performance of ‘Beat Street Breakdown,’ the theme to ‘Beat Street.’

Now: The first rapper to refer to himself as an “MC,” Mel is still touring around the world and most recently was seen in Ice T‘s excellent documentary, ‘Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap.’
Stan Lathan Serves as Director of ‘Beat Street’ YouTube / Paul Morigi, Getty

Then: Lathan had already directed classic televisions shows including ‘Sanford and Son,’ ‘Miami Vice’ and ‘Hill Street Blues’ before he took on ‘Beat Street’ after teaming up with producer Harry Belafonte.

Now: Since ‘Beat Street,’ Stan Lathan continued to direct and also become a big player as a producer. Along with partner Russell Simmons, Lathan co-created the ‘Def Comedy Jam’ series in the early ’90s, and in 2002, the ‘Def Jam Poetry’ series. Still a behind-the-scenes mogul, his daughter is actress Sanaa Lathan (‘The Best Man,’ ‘Brown Sugar’).

Cheers to the Notion of Love, Hate, God, & Revolution


cheers to the notion of Love, Hate, God, and Revolution is a
collection of short stories and poetry that are based on these four topics. It is an
immigrant’s perspective on coping and coming to terms with his own belief system and
life. The book is at times angry, at times it is trying to see light, at times it
is just trying to hold on to love. The read is black and white and meant to be
understood, it is a writer interpreting the classic with today’s influence. The book
is available at



Circle of Fire | Silverback Bboy Events | Mason Rose | UDEFtour.org


If you have been dancing for a while you’re sure to have heard of one of the most prolific west coast crews, Circle of Fire. Known for their fusion of breaking and house, Circle of Fire has been pushing the boundaries of free expression in breaking for nearly two decades; a yin to the yang of traditionalism and structure. Mason Rose spent some time with the crew and today we present a look into the soul cypher with Circle of Fire as they get down in the bay. Check it out below!

An excerpt from the mind of Mason Rose:

“Forged in the fires of trial and triumph a person’s soul is ultimately expressed through art, through culture… through sound and movement.

What is soul? Soul is not something you have but rather something you can become.

No place is this more evident than in the dance community. The dancers do not simply express their souls, but rather for those brief moments in the ever-sacred cypher… the dancers ARE their souls; uncovered and true for all to see.

And like all truth, Soul has a certain ring to it. And like all rings they bring us full circle.

What is soul? Step into the Circle of Fire and find out.

Mason Rose”



What started as a vision of dancers from Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, an international project came into being: With the aid of breakdance as means of expression, we will counteract street violence with street culture together with dance enthusiastic children and teenagers from slums of Manila, Philippines.

Joint by numerous breakdancers from various countries and in close collaboration with the local funding agency Onesimo we will establish public and sustainable break dance trainings spots for teenagers in carefully selected slums of Manila, starting March 2015. Through workshops we will provide adolescent people with an insight into the peaceful and positive culture of Hip Hop dancing.
Break dance ought to help them gain higher self-esteem and thus form an identity detached from street violence.

Due to their lack of prospects, for countless street children of Manilas the only thing left on their search for themselves is the coherence within criminal gangs. The hope for a life in dignity seems to literally choke on the dust of Manilas streets.
With a team of ten we will present the Hip Hop culture again where it once started: In areas afflicted with poverty and injustice in which people barely have a chance to live a balanced life free of existential worries.

The internationally successful film team KAIZENPICTURES will accompany the project and produce a feature documentary from the gained film footage. With help of the globally strong Hip Hop scene this documentary will then be sold worldwide. Distributions of this film will in the future and on the long run financially support the project.

For further information visit our website hiphop4hope.com
or contact us info@hiphop4hope.com




Stance were invited to the beautiful town of Marmaris, Turkey to cover Underground Funky Base 8 World Finals.

Featuring the likes of Storm, Maurizio, Kapela, Ben, P-Lock, Airdit, Voodoo West Crew, Teembo and many more. This event should be on a lot more Bboys & Bgirls radar!!!! It’s got it all!!

Music: DuffStep – Close your eyes
Chronicle Grime – Career Cats Get Tiger Suits
Drone footage by UFB TV
Filmed and edited by Doy



Nabil from France addressing concerns about the current state of the global scene.
Nabil doesn’t need no introduction, dancers that have taken the time to study the art form.
have seen his footage or heard his name come by. One of France living legends adresses a change that many of us have witnessed over the past years. Most scared to speak up , scared to face consequences. Watch the footage below

The Real Streets of R16 World Finals 2014



Many people only know of R16 for the battles which take place. But many people don’t know the entire live experience of being at R16 and all the different aspects and elements of the entire weekend. Here is an insider’s report of what went down at the 2014 R16 World Finals.

After many months of planning, travelling, and many challenges, another successful year of the R16 Global Series has finally ended with the R16 World Championships which went down in Seoul Korea on July 4th, 5th and 6th.

Every year, the R16 Global Series is growing bigger with more countries B-Boys, poppers and lockers having the opportunity to participate at the world finals amongst this generation’s top, hungriest and active battlers. 2010 was the first time R16 implemented championship qualifiers around the world, starting out with a total of ten eliminations. In 2011, it grew to sixteen eliminations, then 2012 had twenty two and 2013 had twenty six. This year, there were a total of twenty nine R16 championship eliminations in twenty three countries around the world. Now only the best of the best are able to make it to Korea and have an opportunity to battle on the world stage. Besides a few special invites in the Solo B-boy, Popping and Locking categories, all participants are the R16 Champions of an entire region, continent, or great nation.

R16 Winners list 2
Not only has R16 grown in size and reach, but the core final event, has grown into an action packed three day weekend with many participants visiting from all over the world.

The weekend kicked off on Friday July 4th with the R16 Press Conference which is held in the R16 World Championships venue called Olympic Hall. This is where all the competitors get their first glimpse of how serious this event is. After the government officials deliver their ceremonial speech, each of the artists and athletes are called up onto the stage so that the various press can take pictures, videos and snapshots. Towards, all the crews are called up onto the stage, one by one and must perform a one minute throw down for the press. After all 8 crews have finished, the press vote by ballot for which crew they liked the best. The winners win the R16 Presses Choice Award and 1000 dollars for just one minutes work. Predatorz takes the win and is the second year in a row that Russia wins the Press award.
Press Conference Artists
Immediately after the Press conference, held at Club Syndrome is the R16 Open Elimination for the solo B-Boy, Popping and locking categories. Perhaps it should be renamed to the R16 International Open because the majority of participants are from all over the world, with nearly two hundred entries. Battlers not only have a chance to experience competing with the Korean level of Popping, locking and Breakin, but they also have a chance at earning the few remaining spots on the world stage.
open eliminationIt is amazing to see how high the level of the open elimination has risen. In previous years, the Korean nationals have dominated. This year, is the first year that no Korean has won a spot on the world stage. The top 8 had some very intense battles, with some new faces that are surely to blow up in the near future. Look out for B-Boy Heady from Korea and B-Boy Quick from China. The two final spots were taken by Boris from Double Kill Taiwan who has made his first debut on an international stage, and Ayumi from Body Carnival Japan, the first B-girl to win the R16 open elimination history.

open elimination ayumi

Day 2 starts off at 1pm with an outdoor block party style festival called the Puma cypher, just outside the main doors of the R16 World Championships venue. While people are lining up to get their tickets to the R16 World Finals, they have the ability to see real B-Boy cyphers up close and in person, experiencing the true original essence of Hip Hop. Featuring a DJ booth, and hosted by Jotee of Rivers crew, the cypher has a nice vibe while B-Boys from all over the world jump in and the crowd cheers for as the dancers of all skill levels participate in the circle. pumacypher
Puma has four B-Boys, (three black and one latino) dressed up like 70’s and 80’s old school B-Boys. Many people flock to take pictures with them in front of the Puma suede exhibit. Graffiti panels and a long row of vendors which consist of B-Boy companies like Soul Food, Bboyworld and Underworld add so much more to the experience.

The main doors open at 5pm as people slowly make their way into their seats, although over 1000 people choose standing seats to be as close to the action as possible. Before the main event starts, recap videos of all the past R16 eliminations are playing on the jumbo LED screen. Then suddenly, the lights turn off as the audience roars in excitement. Day one is the finals for Popping, Locking and the Solo B-Boy battles.


The Popping battles and Locking battles both have the final 8 contestants in each category. The Popping final battle goes into a tie breaker with Kid Boogie from USA, winning over Sally Sly from France.

Solo Popping

The locking final battle is not only an all Japan final, but it is also between husband and wife, Masato (winner of R16 Japan Locking) VS his wife, CIO who qualified in the open elimination. CIO wins over her husband Masato and becomes the R16 Locking World Champion.

Solo Locking

The R16 Solo B-Boy Battles has a total of 16 B-Boys and B-Girls, majority of them being R16 Elimination Champions from around the world. This year, there was a new system used for the world finals Solo B-Boy battles, which is a hybrid of the “Undisputed” system, aka the “Best Of” system, with some elements similar to the OUR System. The difference is that the “Best Of” system is judged “Round for Round” (first one to win a specified amount of rounds wins) while the OUR System is judged on who overall won the majority of the universal B-Boy elements.

Solo Bboy

This year, the Best of System had five judges, each of them looking at a separate category, but giving a vote round for round who won according to their category. Four of the categories are relatively similar to the OUR System, Fundamentals, Creativity, Difficulty and Execution. The only difference is the Cypher/ Battle Element was taken out and replaced with a Musicality category.

In all battles except for the Finals, the first person to win the majority of 3 is the winner. Consequently, if someone wins the first two rounds, then the battle is finished. The audience was able to look up to the scoreboard and see not only who each of the judges was voting for, but also who was winning round by round.

Although the Best Of system didn’t have the after battle final climactic suspense of whom the judges would ultimately vote for, it was able to build a deeper connection from the audience to the fan favorites during the actual battle itself, creating suspense and excitement especially in battles which were close. For example, Roxy lost her first round against Lil Zoo, but when she won her second round, the crowd went crazy. When she tied her third round, the crowd went even wilder. In the end she lost in the deciding 4th round, however she won the hearts and respect from the audience.

In retrospect, the Best Of system was really great for the audience, adding excitement and enjoyment to the battles with a sense of professionalism in the direction of B-Boying. On the other hand, some B-Boys have some getting used to this method of judging, and battling.


One blooper this year was for the first three solo B-Boy battles, there was a technical error with the system. The names where switched on the scoreboard, so Tata was announced the winner over Issei, and Eddy Twister was announced the winner over Boris from Double Kill Taiwan. It wasn’t until Spin was announced the winner over Wing, did the staff realized that the names were switched. Therefore Issei, Boris and Wing were announced the rightful winners and advanced to the next round.

In the end, Issei won over Lil Zoo in the final battle, becoming the first ever 3 x R16 Solo B-Boy World Champion and now wins a spot in the “Undisputed” finals.


Day 3 begins once again with the Urban Arts Festival and Puma cypher outside the main venue at 1pm. This time, it’s even more packed than the day before. At 5pm, the main doors open and everyone makes their way to their seats for the much anticipated crew battles and performances. This year, the levels of the performances were on a higher level. It seemed as if each show was getting better and better and the crowd was very into it. Each crew had different qualities which made their show stand out in its own way. The performance battle is not only meant to find the best performance, but it is also meant to create the seeding brackets for the battles. The top scoring crew battles the lowest scoring crew, while the second highest scoring crew battles the second lowest scoring crew, and so on.

Each of the five judges are assigned to a specific criteria and giving a score from 1-10, according to their category. This is done to ensure all important elements are accounted for, rather than being based on pure entertainment factors. The five categories are Foundation, Creativity, Difficulty, Execution, and Performance.

Performance results

This year, the showcase performances were on a high level and the scores were extremely close. According to the judge scores, SKB (Australia) and Double Kill (Taiwan) were tied for 5th place with 34 points and was only 1 point behind Body Carnival (Japan) who scored 35 points, who was last year’s performance e winners. Half a point above them was Gamblerz (Korea) scored 35.5 points.


However, way ahead of them was Super Crew (USA) who scored 40 points. They were leading until the last performance by Predatorz (Russia) which they scored 42 points and won them the R16 Crew Performance contest. To see more details on the showcase performances, go to http://r16korea.com/site/?p=3340&lang=en to see more. After the performances, the final rank seeded the brackets and the crew battle began.

This year, for the crew battles, the OUR System had a new scoreboard implemented. It was designed to use less numbers and give the audience an overall feel of who is winning and losing throughout the entire battle. The five element icons of Foundation, Originality, Dynamics, and Cypher Battle were each on a scale that would slide to the left or right, according to how many points they scored, similar to a tug of war over the 5 elements. To see how the new scoreboard works, please watch the following battle for as example

Now it’s time to make a detailed recap on some of the battles at R16 World Finals. There are three battles which need to be highlighted:

  1. China VS USA
  2. Taiwan vs Japan
  3. Korea VS Russia

#1 Jokester Crew from China VS legendary Super Cr3w from USA was one of the first round battles. Although Super Crew didn’t have two of their most known B-Boys (Ben and Ronnie), against Jokester throughout the entire battle, they were winning. Super Crew was winning 4 to 1 elements, then in the middle, Jokester started catching up, 3 to 2 elements for Super Crew. Then alas, the final round, Jokester throws out their strongest commando routine, finishing it off with rising China superstar B-Boy Quick who ends with a strong stylish power combo. How does Super Crew respond? With a solo from one of their members, definitely not strong enough as a response, thus consequently, losing the battle, 3 to 1 elements. This was the first time China has ever beaten USA and was a huge win for the great nation of China.

A big lesson from this is that in the OUR System, every detail and every round counts. You continually have to top whatever your opponent throws out at you, there is no such thing as throwing away a round.

#2 Taiwan VS Japan

Another close call was Double Kill from Taiwan against last year’s finalist Body Carnival from Japan. Taiwan was winning in the beginning; however Japan was able to pull through towards the middle and in the end won 3 to 1 with the Battle category tied.

On a side note, Double Kill from Taiwan has been working hard for the past 3 years to get to the world finals, winning two R16 Taiwan Championships and finally winning R16 South East Asia Championships earlier this year. It’s great to see their hard work pay off for them.

#3 Korea VS Russia

The final battle was between Gamblerz of Korea and Predatorz of Russia. If you read the many comments on youtube, the decision is pretty split over who should have won. Here is a breakdown of exactly what went down.

After the first round, Predatorz was winning 2 to 1 elements, winning originality and Battle while Gamblerz was winning Foundation.

But immediately after, Gamblerz turned it over and was winning 3 to 1 elements. The score was pretty close from 3 to 2, than 2 to 1 all the way until the end, where Gamblerz wins over Predatorz, 4 to 1 elements.

Overall, it’s great to see Gamblerz back on the main stage, although many people agree that it would be quite difficult to top the epic performance of Morning of Owl from last year as well as Jinjo from the previous years.


Controversial scores:

In every event, there are always controversial decisions. However, the OUR System is very transparent and allows for the judges scores to be carefully examined. Before we look into some of the most controversial scores from R16, please keep in mind that when seeing these scores, you need to also consider the view from the judges seat, the energy in the atmosphere, as well as repeats from previous rounds. Also, watching battles on youtube is a lot different than watching in live in person. With that said, here are some of the most controversial scores that has got the community asking questions.

#1 Dynamic score being too high

Some people have been noticing that Lil G has been scoring some B-Boys a little bit too high or low in Dynamics. For example, Rocket scored a perfect in Dynamics, scoring higher than Predatorz who did power moves. Was Lil G taking into consider other dynamic qualities such as balance, energy and complexity… or was he judging based on what is easy or difficult for him personally?

#2 Rocket in Foundation

Although Gamblerz is known for their high level of Dynamics, Rocket is known for his awesome musicality. In R16 Korea eliminations, Rocket scored a 5 (Perfect) in foundation, however in the R16 World finals, final battle, he received a 2 (poor) by the foundation judge, Asia One.

#3 Originality against Japan

Body Carnival not only is known throughout the world as an “originality” minded crew, but they also had Assassin from Waseda breakers on their team. Assassin is known in “today’s” community as one of the most original B-Boys, however, in one of Body Carnival’s battles, Benji the originality judge scored Assassin a 2 (Poor) on originality. Is this considered a bad score, or could it be that Benji is from the 90’s, and was from a time where originality was considered the most important aspect in B-Boying? Perhaps he seen it all, or maybe he’s been out of the loop too long?

Whether one agrees or disagrees with these scores, the fact of the matter is that the OUR System is what allows us to look into the judges heads, and as some people have already said before, if we can’t trust a judge to be able to judge just one element of Bboyin, how can we trust them to judge all elements at the same time? Either way, our community is heading in the right direction, and it will take time before we either find the perfect judges, or train our worldwide judges to be as perfect as possible.

After the R16 World Finals, it’s time for the much anticipated R16 After Party, which was held in Seoul’s number one prestigious club named Octagon. The R16 After party not only hosts the top DJ’s in our Hip Hop / B-Boy community, but also creates a concert like atmosphere where there are top Korean music artist, such as Jay Park of AOM.

Part way through the night, Floorgangz call out Blue (Extreme / SKB) in the cypher. The intensity of the circle was so high that a crazy Blue starts shoves the Floorgangz member, then shoves the person to their right, then the next person, then Blonde, then some members of SKB. Turns out, Blue was trying to get people to move back, but was a little bit tipsy to communicate that properly. Despite the intensity, after the battle, was all manly hugs and daps which goes to show the power of the cypher, and the power of Hip Hop.
In conclusion, the legendary battles of R16 has come to plateau for this year, however the overall stage production and audience experience has grown to a new level. Even more so, R16 has grown to become more of an ultimate three day experience that once experienced, can change someone’s life. R16 continues to be the hope to the future that one day, B-Boying will become as professional as the other sub cultures and lead our community into a self-sustaining culture and industry.