Red Bull BC One B-Girl Brunch: Women Breaking Thru

Some of the talent from the world’s biggest breaking competition gathered for a special B-Girl Brunch at Hollywood’s on September 16th Tommy Hotel before the Red Bull BC One Cypher USA Final which took place in Los Angeles on September 17th.
The hosts of the B-Girl Brunch, Asia onea b-girl pioneer and the famous DJ Carisma led a discussion on breaking and the culture from a woman’s perspective.
Hosts B-Girl Asia One and DJ Carisma

Hosts B-Girl Asia One and DJ Carisma

© Maria Jose Govea

As one of the most well-known and respected b-girls in the world, Asia One is also a member of the Fame City Graffiti Crew, the President of the Mighty Zulu Kweenz crewand the creator of No simple props, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving hip-hop culture. As a hip-hop activist and ambassador, she continues to be influential in the breaking community.
charisma started her DJ career power 106, where she quickly attained the title of Celebrity DJ and became 3x Female DJ of the Year. Carisma is credited with breaking some of the West Coast’s most well-known hip-hop acts, including Ty Dolla $ign, Tyga and New Boyz. She is also the founder of Young Californiaa label and a DJ crew.
Celebrating the ‘Women’s Breakthrough’ in the dance and entertainment industry, attendees had a candid discussion on how important it is for b-girls to stay connected despite the competition surrounding events. Everyone agreed that such discussions are not only motivating, but also important for them Evolution of women in the break and hip hop.
“I feel like there should be more of these community building conversations because I think they empower the b-girls in the scene and bring us closer together.” B-Girl Praying Mantis, a competitor of Red Bull BC One, said. “As far as women’s careers in breaking go, it just keeps going up and you can see it at the level of the younger generation.”
B girl Monseanother Red Bull BC One attendee added: “I can see that the empowerment of women has increased thanks to different platforms that involve our participation or allow us to share experiences with other girls and hear the experiences of legendary ladies share that open up safe spaces for women.”

She explained, “Women have worked hard to break many stereotypes and prejudices,” Monse continued, “Breaking gives us a voice to determine our aspirations and equality.”

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Red Bull BC One participants, B girl Nadjayacommented on capturing the essence of the dance and the importance of consistently presenting it through your movements.
Red Bull BC One B-Girl Brunch

Red Bull BC One B-Girl Brunch

© Maria Jose Govea

“Fighting is a representation of who you are and it’s important to show that through your movements. If you feel like being creative, be creative with your movements. If you feel powerful, show how powerful you are on this stage,” said Nadjaya. “For centuries, women have been overlooked. But we’re finally moving forward and these Red Bull BC One events allow us to get the recognition we deserve. To show that we are capable of doing what men can do.”

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Over the decades, b-girl fashion has been imitated and influenced by what is prevalent in society. The rawness and freedom of expression inherent in hip-hop has allowed women in sports to emulate an era they hail from. While reflecting the true essence of the genre they represent, b-girls continue to be scrutinized for what they wear and the confidence they exude through fashion.

"We had to preserve and advance this traditional hip-hop dance."

“We had to preserve and push that traditional hip-hop dance.”

© Frankie Perez

“We got stuck in this idea, where there’s always this discussion, ‘Why do the b-girls dress like that?’ The guys would be like, ‘Do you think we want them to dress like that? Because we don’t want them to look like men,'” Asia One said. “And we’re like, ‘We don’t care what we’re supposed to look like.’ Hearing stuff like that was like… We don’t stumble over how to look like you want.”

“We’ve always felt ok if we wanted to wear lipstick,” Asia One continued. “I used to wear a lot of lipstick when I was broken. I liked the way I looked with lipstick and a big old hat and whatever. I wasn’t worried about that. For me, I was representing myself and dancing that certain way.”

Asia One freezes and points to the camera

Asia One freezes

© Maria Jose Govea/Red Bull Content Pool

B-Girls show the essence of dance by moving differently than men, entering and exiting transitions.

Asia One explained: “B-Girls show the essence of dance by moving differently than men, entering and exiting transitions. B-boys often use their muscles to execute their moves, while b-girls use different hip swings and shoulder movements to expertly capture the spirit of the dance.”

“We’re seeing a big focus on physicality in the sense of I have a coach now or I have a street coach,” Asia One continued. “We invest in ourselves in areas that help us grow and fully support our dance So, we [the older generation] did not; We just broke up,” she added. “That’s all we did. We weren’t exactly fitness people before; we were dancers. And I think now; we are really straddling the lineage of athletic individuals who dance.”

On the way to opportunity:

B girl Isis, Red Bull BC One USA 2021 Champion, described how women are gaining power in the breaking scene as more options are available to them and men. “We women are powerful, and I think the level is going up more and more, and that’s because the opportunities are coming not just for men, but for women, too,” she said.
Red Bull BC One B-Girl Brunch

Red Bull BC One B-Girl Brunch

© Maria Jose Govea

competitor B-Girl KT shared a similar sentiment. “I think breaking is very male-dominated and as a woman it can be difficult to deal with,” she said. “If I could give you some advice [to aspiring dancers]it would be to stand your ground, train hard and not be afraid to take up space.
Breaking will make its official world debut as an Olympic discipline in Paris in 2024. The Bronx-born art form will be judged in two separate competitions, one for men and one for women, in which 16 b-boys and 16 b-girls will compete in “spectacular one-on-one matches” that Committee of the Paris Olympic Games Approved.

“Skills are skills, right? They are just skills. And now we really realize that we’ve come a long way in this dance as well, where it’s still a very subjective dance,” Asia One said. “I think we have to admit that – me as someone who dances and who judges it – it’s a super subjective dance that’s complicated when you put it into a sport form or an Olympic form.”

Red Bull BC One B-Girl Brunch

Red Bull BC One B-Girl Brunch

© Maria Jose Govea

“Women can easily outperform a man in a competition and win. I’m not saying ‘easy’, I’m just saying it’s a 50/50 shot and you could just do it,” explained Asia One. “I think that’s encouraging too. We can pave our own ways and roads, but we are actually equal to men in what we do. And that’s strong. It’s not really about gender. It’s about the art forms. So it’s important to recognize that. These are not male art forms.”

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