WDSF Breaking for Gold

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Europe’s best Breakers to compete at 2023 European Games

06 Sep 2021 16:43

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The European Olympic Committees (EOC) and the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) are pleased to announce that Breaking has been added to the sports programme for the 2023 European Games in Krakow-Malopolska, Poland.

In total, 32 Breakers (16 b-girls and 16 b-boys) will compete in 1vs1 battles for gold, silver and bronze medals.

Breaking is set to make its Olympic debut at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 after being officially included in the Olympic sports programme by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in December 2020. It’s inclusion at the 2023 European Games will be the perfect springboard for Europe’s best b-boys and b-girls attempting to qualify for Paris.

“Being part of the European Games, which are a gateway to the Olympic Games a year later, should come as excellent news for Europe’s best b-boys and b-girls,” said WDSF President Shawn Tay. “To get a real taste of the Olympic experience so close to Paris 2024 will be invaluable to the 32 athletes who qualify. We are confident that Breaking will bring much added value to the European Games’ programme and will be a big hit with the public in Poland.”

The worldwide appeal and growth of Breaking has resulted in the discipline being added to a number of high-profile multisports events, including the Youth Olympic Games, World Games, World Urban Games, the Asian Games and now the European Games.

“We are delighted to welcome Breaking on board for its first European Games appearance,” said Hasan Arat, EOC Coordination Commission Chair for Krakow-Malopolska. “Our sports programme will be the biggest and by far the most diverse in the history of our Games, and Breaking will bring a young, dynamic and urban dimension. With Breaking’s Olympic debut set for 2024, it will also be the perfect platform on which the athletes can prepare for Paris in a similar Olympic environment.”

The European Games are the continent’s premier multisport event for elite athletes and are held every four years. Krakow-Malopolska 2023 will be the third edition, following the inaugural edition in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015 and the second edition in Minsk, Belarus in 2019.

Breaking joins 3×3 basketball, archery, badminton, beach handball, beach soccer, boxing, canoe, cycling, judo, karate, modern pentathlon, muaythai, kick boxing, padel, shooting, ski jumping, sports climbing, table tennis, taekwondo, teqball and triathlon, as sports already on the 2023 European Games programme, with more sports set to follow.

New date and location confirmed for the 2021 WDSF World Breaking Championship

23 Aug 2021 18:53

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WDSF is pleased to inform everybody about the new place and date for the 2021 WDSF World Breaking Championship which will now be held on December 4th, 2021 at Theatre de Chatelet in PARIS, FRANCE.

The 2021 WDSF World Breaking Championship will be held in the 1 vs 1 format for B-Girls and B-Boys. Each National Member Body is entitled to nominate 2 B-Girls and 2 B-Boys for these respective championships. Any nominated B-Girl and B-Boys must be 16 years of age or older on or before December 31st 2021.

The 2021 WDSF World Breaking Championship will be part of the qualifiers to the IWGA World Games, taking place in July 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

We are delighted the Fédération Francaise de Danse (FFD) will be organizing this prestigious event on the “Road to Paris 2024” in the French Capital. As everybody knows Paris will also be the host city of the first ever appearance of Breaking at the Olympic Games in just over 3 years.

Further detailed information on the 2021 WDSF World Breaking Championship will be provided to all NMB´s by FFD in the close future.

New WDSF Appointments Advance Olympic Breaking Goals

29 Jul 2021 16:47

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The two women appointed to the World DanceSport Federation’s Breaking Division are set to play pivotal roles in the build-up to the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Mary Fogarty of Canada, a practicing b-girl who is internationally acclaimed for her scholarship on Breaking communities and an academic writing on dance, is the WDSF Breaking Division’s new Welfare Advisor.

Nicole Binggeli, a board member and key figure in the development of the Swiss Breaking Federation, has been named as a Breaking Division Judging System Advisor.

The WDSF appointments underline the federation’s commitment to increasing gender equality on its Breaking committee, the body responsible for the development of Olympic Breaking in the lead up to and including Paris 2024.

The move will be welcomed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) amid its concerted push towards gender parity across international sports federations.

In her role, Fogarty will ensure that athletes are protected when attending WDSF events.

“I am here to listen to the concerns of dancers as they emerge throughout this novel process,” said Fogarty, who was also recently appointed to Canada DanceSport’s Breaking Committee. “I intend to be a first point of contact for dancers at events and to provide them with support and guidance for any critical incidents.”

Asked what it meant to be appointed alongside Binggeli, she said: “This demonstrates the federation's commitment to take the concerns of dancers seriously.

“Nicole has been an active contributor to the scene, so is well versed in the politics and challenges of being a woman in hip hop dance spaces.

“As a Breaking community, we have had strong woman leaders since the earliest days of the dance, and with notable dancers such as Rokafella, Honey Rockwell and Asia One, to name just a few.

“We have women that have always strongly represented the voices of women of colour in the scene and I look forward to seeing that representation shine through at the Olympics.”

Asked about the challenges for the WDSF’s new Breaking Division ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics, Fogarty said: “The global Breaking scene has a lot of new ideas to grapple with in the lead up to the Olympic moment.

“This moment requires new strategies as well as the guidance of older dancers who have been through the waves of popularity in this art form,” she said.

“My personal goal is to advocate for the rights of dancers, to support the development of talent, and to contribute perspectives that reflect the diversity, activism, artistic expression and fire that have made this dance form thrive in adverse conditions.”

In her role, Binggeli will coordinate and help at events or remotely, advising organisers how to manage the WDSF’s two judging systems: Threefold and Trivium. Trivium will be used at the WDSF World Championships and Paris Olympics, with Threefold at all others.  

Binggeli will be looking to contribute in a number of ways to pave the way for Breaking’s Olympic debut.

“We want to support, give technical assistance and transfer the know-how in judging,” she said. “We want to contribute to transparent and modern judging for fair results.”

She said judges required more tools and support to do their job properly. Bringing judges and technical officials up to speed on the complexities of the Trivium system over the coming three years was important. “We need to be able to show transparency about judging.” 

Commenting on the WDSF’s push for more women in top positions Binggeli said: “Diversity, equality and inclusion is self-evident in a modern world.”

With three years to develop the sport of Olympic Breaking and fine-tune governance structures, the WDSF is poised to grow the global profile of the dance discipline and increase participation among the younger generation. 

Binggeli said Paris 2024 offers huge opportunities for Breaking in line with the IOC’s key objectives to widen the appeal of the Olympics.

“It’s an exciting time for Breaking. As it becomes more visible and popular, it builds new opportunities and there’s more respect for what it is. It’s a great chance for a new generation to develop DanceSport and art in different ways,” she added.

Fogarty is relishing the prospect of seeing her sport on the biggest global sporting stage.

“Paris is a great choice for Breaking’s emergence at the Olympics,” she said.

“The French public and government have long seen the potential of this art form and provided more support than many other countries.

“I hope that DanceSport and the WDSF listen to the voices of b-boys and b-girls who have long advocated for and challenged arts and sports structures to take seriously this art form by its own aesthetics and the amount of attention breakers have paid to the significance of dance in transforming people's lives,” she added.

“I hope there is a fruitful synergy and we can present the form for what it is – one of the most exciting dance artforms of our times – and through presenting it to ask questions about decolonizing art, speaking from the margins of society, and questioning everything to make a better world.”

Breaking Down the Rules: Storm and Renegade on the Trivium Judging System

08 Jul 2021 07:40

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The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) recently held a successful three-day Breaking Congress aimed at disseminating knowledge to b-boys and b-girls globally on the road to the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

One of the most popular seminars was on “What judges look for in a Trivium Judging System,” which was delivered by the two main developers of the system, Niels “Storm” Robitzky and Kevin “Renegade” Gopie.

The Trivium System is an intuitive digital scoring platform that allows judges to react to Breakers in real-time according to their physical (body), artistic (mind) and interpretative (soul) qualities. It was developed to give the Breaking community a fair, transparent and modern judging system and was successfully used in qualification tournaments for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 as well as the YOG itself. It will be used again -- with a few tweaks -- at upcoming WDSF World Championships and the Olympic Games.

Asked about the key takeaways the two wanted to leave with the roughly 1,000 people who joined the free-of-charge online Congress, Storm said: “DJ Renegade and I both knew that there is a knowledge deficit when it comes to judging. We presented a solution that represents the Breaking paradigm. There is an imminent fear in the Breaking community that Breaking might lose its identity if the IOC recognizes a system that is not modelled after the cultural values. We wanted to make sure they realize that the Trivium represents Breaking to the fullest.”

“We also wanted to express how complex the discipline of judging is,” Renegade said. “I don’t think it gets the respect it deserves. The level of Breaking nowadays is exceptionally high and we need to understand that judging, necessarily, must match that level.”

Complexity was about the only negative feedback the WDSF received regarding the Trivium System following the Youth Olympic Games. For those unfamiliar with Breaking, understanding how the Breakers were being scored apparently caused some head scratching. To those in the know, however, Trivium was a welcome evolution from the simple binary judging system it replaced.

“The feedback was, overall, great from the people that understood the system,” Storm said. “It is clear for us that people that never watched battles or never realized what’s of importance in a Breaking performance may have their problems reading the stats and understanding the decisions.”

“The feedback that I received was super positive,” Renegade added. “From the dancers and the viewers I spoke to. Dancers feel like they have a greater level of transparency than ever before and can employ strategies and receive a more detailed form of feedback. The viewers commented on how much sense it made, especially the transparency of the rounds system and that they ‘felt’ the pace of the battles much more.”

Nevertheless, the WDSF hired an international consulting firm to do a SWOT analysis of the Trivium System to see where improvements, if any, could be made. The results, according to Storm and Renegade, were unsurprising, with most suggestions already on the duo’s radar and being actively worked on.

What all parties agreed on was the need for further simplification of the system, especially with regard to the way it was being presented to the audience.

“I already reflected to Storm that we need to make it simpler for the average audience member,” Renegade said. “Hide the abstractions yet provide them with enough to follow what’s happening. People still ask about the offside rule in soccer, yet still enjoy the game regardless. Sometimes it’s enough to know there IS an answer even if you don’t know what the answer is.”

All of this and more was discussed in detail during the WDSF Breaking Congress, which was held virtually on the 15th, 17th and 19th of June.

Joining Storm and Renegade as lecturers were Nemesis (USA), Focus (Finland), Kareem (USA), and Roxy (UK). Nemesis presented on “The Historic Context of Moves and Order of Progression,” while Focus delivered a presentation on “Qualifying at High Level Events.” Roxy spoke about “Battling at a High Level as a B-girl” and Kareem detailed “How to Structure High Level Rounds.”

The WDSF received many requests following the Congress for the seminars to be shared online so those who were unable to attend live could also have the opportunity to benefit from them. Future Congresses are now planned, with specific dates to be announced in due course.

Both Storm and Renegade, who were recently named to the WDSF’s Breaking Division as Judging System Specialists, acknowledged the importance of educational opportunities like the Congress.

“They are of imperative importance,” said Storm. “Especially during these times when we cannot really all meet each other. The information needs to get out there. If not, people get uncertain, start speculating and that’s always the first step for doubts and finally rumours.”

“We are moving to the future,” Renegade added. “These platforms will continue to have importance. It’s impossible to get everywhere and they provide access to many areas that can’t afford to fall behind in the information race.”

WDSF BREAKING CONGRESS DEEMED SUCCESSFUL, STANDARD & LATIN CONGRESS TO FOLLOW

23 Jun 2021 08:08

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The World DanceSport Federation (WDSF)’s Breaking Congress was successfully held on the 15th, 17th and 19th of June, attracting close to 1,000 people and generating both positive feedback and interest in additional workshops in the future.  

Led by experts from the Breaking community, lectures were offered free of charge on topics ranging from how to meet the requirements of the Olympic scoring system to the historic context of moves and order of progression.

It was the first opportunity for b-boys and b-girls to receive a clearer idea of the judging system that will be used at Paris 2024, one based on the Trivium system used at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

“The Congress was a great success,” said Storm, who together with DJ Renegade are responsible for creating Trivium. “People from all over the world showed up. I am hoping people keep spreading the knowledge. Each one reaches one teach one.”

The WDSF received many requests following the end of the Congress for the workshops to be shared online so those who were unable to attend live could also have the opportunity to benefit from them.

Joining Storm (Germany) and Renegade (UK) as lecturers were Nemesis (USA), Focus (Finland), Kareem (USA), and Roxy (UK).

Storm and Renegade provided a workshop on “What judges look for in a Trivium Judging System” that proved to be the most popular of the three-day Congress.

On Day 2, Nemisis presented on “The Historic Context of Moves and Order of Progression,” while Focus delivered a presentation on “Qualifying at High Level Events.” The third and final day saw Roxy discuss “Battling at a High Level as a B-girl” and Kareem detailing “How to Structure High Level Rounds.”

“We will not stop providing opportunities for our dancers to keep educating themselves,” said WDSF President Shawn Tay. “And that means all dancers, from Breakers to our Standard and Latin pairs. As the pandemic continues to limit travelling, training and competition opportunities, we will continue to assist our athletes in their ongoing learning and improvement as well as providing alternative sources of motivation during these difficult times. We are pleased with the success of the Congress and especially all the positive feedback we received and vow to organise more on the road to Paris 2024.”

The Congress, which was open to all b-boys and b-girls worldwide, was also an opportunity for local Breaking communities to strengthen ties with their WDSF National Member Bodies (NMBs) and vice versa.

A similar Congress for Standard and Latin dancers will be held this week on 23rd and 25th June. The WDSF Athletes' Standard and Latin Online Congress will also be free-of-charge and open to athletes, coaches, judges and other members of the DanceSport community.

Some of the top athletes in both Standard and Latin are confirmed as lecturers, including Marius Balan & Kristina Moshenska, Armen Tsaturyan & Dominika Bergmannova, Francesco Galuppo & Debora Pacini, and Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva Zukauskaite, making it a must-attend event.

The schedule (subject to change) is as follows:

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

1pm to 2pm CET

  • Topic: Live Panel Discussion on Training and Motivation during Challenging Times
  • Speakers: Marius Balan & Kristina Moshenska, Armen Tsaturyan & Dominika Bergmannova, Francesco Galuppo & Debora Pacini, Evaldas Sodeika & Ieva Zukauskaite 

2.15pm to 3.15pm CET

  • Topic: What Do I Look for in Tango as a Judge?
  • Lecturer: Emanuel Valeri (Denmark)

3.30pm to 4.30pm CET

  • Topic: How Can We Utilize the WDSF Technique Books to Improve our Dancing? 
  • Lecturer: Stefan Green (Italy)

Friday, 25 June 2021

1pm to 2pm CET

  • Topic: How Do We Dance an Effective Quickstep?
  • Lecturers: Benedetto Ferruggia and Claudia Koehler (Germany)

2.15pm to 3.15pm CET

  • Topic: What Does it Take to Create a Formation Team Effectively?
  • Lecturer: Roberto Albanese (Germany)

3.30pm to 4.30pm CET

  • Topic: What Would I Like to See in a Paso Doble Routine?
  • Lecturer: Peter Maxwell (UK)

 REGISTRATION LINK: https://tinyurl.com/wdsfathlete

If the response to the WDSF Athletes' Standard and Latin Online Congress is positive, the WDSF will organise similar meetings in the future. 

The WDSF would like to thank all the lecturers for sharing their invaluable time and knowledge with the athletes.

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