by Garrett Braithwaite
Freestyle Session is upon us once again, and this year is going to be revolutionary for the event. Cros1, organizer of the event, took some time to answer a few questions for us in order to get a better idea as to what we can expect from this year.
– What is going to be different about this year’s competition versus previous years?
Cros1: “We got a few changes. We have a 7 person judging panel versus 5 last year, and also 2 judges on stand by if there are any conflicts that may arise with crews and judges being on the same team or something of that nature. [We] also added the Skillset Performance battle that Storm, Nicole of Street Style Lab and I came up with. Kind of similar to BOTY but teams of 2-4 instead and shorter pieces and open to all styles. From there it’s battle from Top 8 on.
“[We] also took 2 vs 2 B-girl out and Solo B-girl battle in. Added a Kids 2 vs 2 battle for 13 and under. [We added] House/Hip Hop 2 vs 2. Popping is solo instead of 2 vs 2. And I feel like there’s more of a presence this year in the dance community because of all these tweaks. Also even have a workshop series in conjunction with the Electric Boogaloos, Street Style Lab and dancers coming in.”
– How have the qualifiers been for the dancers to get to the world finals?
Cros1: “It’s been cool, we did about 6 in the US and another 8 or so around the world. It’s been a busy year.”
– What is it like to know DJ Kool Herc is going to be present at the event?
Cros1: “It should be amazing! I mean the guy has an energy and aura around him. I mean he was one of the forefathers of what we do, if not the father. So I mean just knowing someone that was in the early stages I’m curious to see what he thinks of it. I’ve worked with him a few times in SD and brought him to like two club gigs but it was a different vibe. Similar but way smaller then what he will see this weekend.”
– Can you tell us some specifics about the popping portion of the competition?
Cros1:“Well, we switched from 2 vs 2 to Solo for the main battle. I just know I’m making a ring, giving up a bit more money and got the Electric Boogaloos down with the program. Technically, it’s their battle called the IFS Battle. Last year was the first, this year will be the second and I feel we stepped it up a bit.”
– How do you feel to have this competition going for this long now?
Cros1:“Its a part of my life. I’m very passionate about it and I really don’t know of anything I’d rather do. It’s kind of like my child it just keeps getting older and keep taking care of it and doing everything for it.”
So many specials guests will be in attendance, so many competitors from around the globe will be present, and so much anticipation is building up for this event you have to be present in order to fully appreciate the historical significance this year’s event will have.
And to all of that we thank Cros1 and all others who are helping put this event on for the sake of hip-hop and for all the fun and unity it brings to our communities.