23 Apr 2019 06:54
World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) President Shawn Tay met with Ser Miang Ng, Executive Board Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), on 18 April in Singapore to discuss a range of topics related to WDSF’s role as a valued member of the Olympic Movement.
President Tay said he was delighted to meet with Mr. Ng, and the two had very positive and productive discussions.
During the meeting, the pair discussed a number of wide-ranging issues, including: the governance, roles and responsibilities of the WDSF as an IOC Internationally Recognised Sports Federation; the possible inclusion of the dance sport discipline Breaking in the Summer Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the development of the WDSF’s other disciplines.
President Tay said he valued the input from the long-time Olympic and sports administrator and added that he looked forward to continued dialogue with Mr. Ng in the months ahead.
The IOC Executive Board on 27 March approved a proposal by the organisers of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 to include Breaking (in addition to Skateboarding, Sport Climbing and Surfing) on the sports programme for their edition of the Games. The full IOC Session will vote on the proposal at its next meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland from 24-26 June, with a final decision set for December 2020 following the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
06 Apr 2019 09:51Today is the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), an annual celebration of the power of sport to drive social change, improve community development and promote peace and understanding.
As a member of the Olympic Movement, the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) is celebrating IDSDP by recognizing all the dancers, coaches and mentors who through DanceSport are building bridges between peoples, empowering communities, and fostering societal and individual change.
One person who epitomizes all this and more is Navid Rezvani, also known as B-boy Spaghetti, who has spent most of his life learning from and giving back to Breaking and the Hip Hop community around the world.
An Iranian-born Norwegian citizen, Rezvani wears many hats. Depending on the day, he can be described as a dancer, an artist, a motivational speaker, a teacher, a documentary maker, a Hip Hop MC, an ambassador, or all of the above. But one thing is certain: sport has always played a central role in his life.
“In Iran, sport is well-integrated in our culture, especially football and wrestling, and it definitely had an influence on me,” Rezvani says. “I was inspired to not only master something, but master something that had a bigger meaning that could resonate with others – with your family and the community. When these guys won, everyone would cheer and it was a great celebration that brought people together inside homes and out on the streets. So we were always looking forward to the next championship and were hoping for a win so we could all celebrate.”
Rezvani first took to the martial art of Taekwondo, inspired as he was by Bruce Lee and Spiderman. But after moving to Oslo and getting his first taste of Breaking at a youth centre called Xray, he immediately knew he had found his calling.
“Sport teaches values and confidence,” he says. “I am smaller than average and when I was young sport taught me that confidence was inside me. I realized that once you master a sport, you don’t need to put on a mask when you leave the house, you can just be yourself. You learn self-respect and that teaches you to have respect for other people as well. All you need is already inside you.”
He soon started making a name for himself, going on to win the official 1VS1 Norwegian championships and various international competitions, reaching the finals of the Norwegian version of the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance,” and finishing second in “Norway’s Got Talent.”
Now 36 years old, B-boy Spaghetti has pretty much done it all, including becoming the first B-boy to receive a three-year scholarship from the Norwegian Art Council, an achievement he is understandably proud of, as it gives him yet another platform on which to promote the artistic, cultural and athletic elements of Hip Hop and Breaking.
Knowing how fortunate he has been to find strength through sport and the arts, he now spends a great deal of his time giving back to others, be they elite-level athletes in Norway or disadvantaged youth in India, Palestine and Bangladesh. Rezvani’s teachings are universal and find receptive audiences around the globe.
Rezvani cites boxer Muhammad Ali, “the greatest of all time,” as a major influence behind his passion for sharing his gifts, in particular the quote: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your time on earth.”
He says he was first inspired to pass on what he has been given through art and sport during the International Baccalaureate program in high school when he discovered the American slave-era adage of “Each One, Teach One,” a philosophy also used by Nelson Mandela and fused into Hip Hop culture from the very beginning.
“'Each One, Teach One’ was a philosophy among slaves where if you knew how to read and write, you therefore had a responsibility to share your knowledge with somebody else,” he says. “And this philosophy is still very active in the Breaking community today, where we inspire and educate each other as dancers, always giving back.”
This was evident at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last October, where, despite being extremely busy as judges, Athlete Role Models and spokespeople, B-girl AT and B-boys Moy and Mounir took the time to hold a free, five-hour Breaking workshop in a community centre in the Argentinian capital. It was one of the highlights of Breaking’s extremely successful Olympic debut, and something the 240 local young people who attended will not soon forget.
One of the most powerful messages B-boy Spaghetti has for young people is that to become the best version of yourself, you must be true to who you really are.
“In our world today, there is such a strong influence from social media and it is easy for young people to steal the identities of others. But if you do that, you fade away as your true self,” he says. “Hip Hop and Breaking allow us to express ourselves and that becomes an integral part of the dance. It is something that even [International Olympic Committee President] Thomas Bach picked up on, when he talked about Breaking not just being a sport but an expression of the individual. I tell young people to dare to be themselves as it is the only way to become a role model in their own right.”
IOC President Bach was complementary of Breaking both at last year’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and again following a recent IOC Executive Board decision to approve Breaking, along with with skateboarding, surfing and sport climbing, for possible inclusion on the sport programme for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
“[Breaking] is a very authentic expression,” Bach said. “You feel with every performance the personality of the athletes. It is not just delivering an exercise, it is expressing yourself.”
The next Olympic test for Breaking will be a vote by the full IOC Session during its next meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland from 24-26 June. Should Breaking receive provisional approval by the Session, a final vote on its inclusion at Paris 2024 will come in December 2020 following the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Rezvani says he would welcome the opportunity for Breaking to be given the green light for Paris 2024, as it would give B-boys and B-girls a chance to learn from athletes of other sports and vice versa, which is one of the most important lessons he himself has taken away from his time as ambassador for the Performance Culture Program at Olympiatoppen, Norway’s top Olympic centre.
“I have seen how important diversity and inclusion are for culture and sports,” he says. “I am often reminded of how much we as B-boys and B-girls have to learn from the sports world, including all the detailed technical training Olympic athletes do to get the best results, their focus on healthy diets, injury-prevention knowledge, post-injury and rehab exercises, and their discipline in prioritizing.
“And on the flip side, we have so much to inspire the sports world with, including our self-thought, creativity and passion as self-expressive artists. Only by working together can we enrich our worlds and pave the way for more interest in physical activity among young and old people globally.”
Learn more about the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace here.
03 Apr 2019 15:52
The World Urban Games 2019 programme includes six competition sports and two showcase sports. Breaking has been chosen for the inaugural competition programme.
Breaking, together with 3x3 basketball, BMX freestyle park, freestyle flying disc, parkour and freestyle roller skate, has been chosen as a competition sport at the inaugural World Urban Games 2019 Budapest. Indoor rowing and laser run will feature as showcase sports.
WDSF President, Mr. Shawn Tay, said: ”Breaking is a spectacular, energetic, fresh and entertaining sport that not only has the power to inspire youth, but also offers a great spectator experience for all. We are sure that Breaking will find its space and fit well into the spirit of the World Urban Games. Breaking represents a true urban sport; it is part of a new trend, and has the possibility to engage the community through social, cultural and educational activities.”
The varied sports programme is a reflection of GAISF’s vision for the Games, providing a global stage for it’s International Federations to highlight their emerging sports disciplines. The pioneering event presents a great opportunity for IFs to reach a new generation of fans in urban communities. In addition to the competition and showcase sports, demonstrations of music, dance and urban culture will also feature as part of the event.
The World Urban Games Budapest 2019, powered by GAISF, will take place in September 13-15, 2019.
02 Apr 2019 15:23
Today, WDSF is pleased to announce two partners from the Breaking community, who will support, share expertise and assist the local organizers in Nanjing in making sure everything is well run.
And8, registered in Austria, will manage competition scoring in Nanjing using the Trivium Value judging system approved for use at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Further information regarding the Trivium Value judging system can be found on the WDSF website under Competition Rules. The And8 website address is: www.and8.dance.
WDSF is very pleased with these two partnerships and strongly believes that the relationships will be mutually beneficial. Together with the line-up of the Technical Delegates, MCs, DJs and the panel of Judges, the WDSF expects the 2019 World Breaking Championship to be of highest quality and setting the standard for all future WDSF Breaking Events.
27 Mar 2019 16:24
IOC Executive Board gives thumbs up for Breaking at Paris 2024
The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) welcomes the decision today by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to move forward with a proposal by the organisers of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 to include Breaking on the sports programme for their edition of the Olympiad.
When asked about Breaking at a press conference announcing the decision, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “It is a very authentic expression. With every performance you feel the personality of the athletes. It’s not just delivering an exercise, it’s expressing yourself. […] I admire the moves they make. Even in my time as an athlete I would have never even gotten close to this kind of motion and flexibility in the body.”
The IOC President, an Olympic gold medallist in fencing, added that he admires how Breaking perfectly combines the sports aesthetic with personal expression.
Breaking joins Skateboarding, Sport Climbing and Surfing as the four shortlisted sports for possible inclusion at the XXXIII Olympiad. The package of sports will now be submitted to the IOC Session for provisional approval during meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland from 24-26 June. It was announced today that the final decision on Breaking’s inclusion at Paris 2024 will only be taken after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in December 2020. In the meantime, the IOC will have a monitoring programme in place that will look at the performance, management, governance and integrity of each of the four sports.
“The WDSF is very pleased to have overcome this latest hurdle en route to Paris 2024,” said WDSF President Shawn Tay. “We would like to thank everyone, especially the Breaking community itself, for the overwhelming support and commitment we have received from around the world. We could not have come this far without you and look forward with great anticipation to the IOC Session in June.”
The Paris 2024 organisers proposed the four sports in response to a new level of flexibility afforded to Olympic Games Host Cities to encourage innovation in the Olympic programme. Host Cities, beginning with Tokyo 2020, now have the option of suggesting new sports and events for inclusion in their edition of the Games that are not binding on future Games hosts. Skateboarding, Sport Climbing and Surfing were also included on the programme for Tokyo 2020, making Breaking the only new sport under consideration for the 2024 programme.
“I am extremely pleased that the IOC continues to show its confidence in the proposal of Paris 2024 from last month,” said French b-boy Mounir. “I am personally delighted to see that the IOC firmly believes in the potential of Breaking to contribute to the success of the 2024 Games. Today’s decision is warmly welcomed by the Breaking community, and it gives us extra motivation as we work toward this historic occasion.”
Given the outstanding success of Breaking at last year’s Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, the WDSF remains convinced that the discipline can add significant value at low cost to the Summer Olympics and the Olympic Movement as a whole.
While its origins are in the United States, today’s elite-level b-boys and b-girls come from all corners of the globe. Breaking is very popular in France, with an estimated 1 million people practicing the sport and 350 registered clubs.
The country hosts 560 national and 11 major international Breaking events every year. There is also a powerful development programme at the national level in place, aimed at supporting competing b-boys and b-girls with coaching and training preparation. More than 10,000 athletes have already benefited from the programme.
The 2024 Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in the French capital from 26 July to 11 August.
WDSF Communications Team: