uNITED WE DANCE Issue no.5 | November | North American Takeover

Welcome to United We Dance ..

Welcome to United We Dance, your monthly digital magazine from the international world of street dance!

This month, to honour our inaugural North American Hip Hop Championships in Florida, USA, we’re taking a look at the founding continent of hip hop and street dance itself: North America.

In this month's issue, you’ll find out the origins of each street dance style, how hip hop came 'across the pond' to the UK, you’ll learn about the dance community ethos in the USA, catch part 2 of our interview with founding father of hip hop dance, Buddha Stretch and plenty more.

Scroll on to keep reading ...


  1. UDO News
  2. An Interview with Buddha Stretch - Part 2: How Music Influences Dance
  3. Spotlight on: Rob Rich
  4. Dance & the Community
  5. Feature: The Evolution of Street Dance
  6. Dance in the Dominican
  7. Instagram Accounts You Need to be Following
  8. Hip Hop's Hottest Couple
  9. Hip Hop Music & Lifestyle: in Mexico
  10. Across the Pond: Hip Hop from NYC to LDN
  11. In Next Month's Issue...

UDO News..

Asia-Pacific Championships 2018 ... A Weekend to Remember

Wow. November has been a month of many firsts for UDO, which includes welcoming our incredible dancers from the Asia-Pacific to the UDO Asia Pacific Championships 2018 in Chongzuo, China.

The weekend was filled with dynamic performances, inspiring workshops from an internationally acclaimed faculty, and most importantly, the fantastic spirit and passion of the UDO Asia-Pacific street dance community.

One of many memorable moments was this show stopping performance from the Over 18 Ultimate Advanced Champions, Team Genesis from the Philippines! This talented crew also took home $10,000 in cash prizes! Click here to watch their set.

Want to find out how to qualify for next year? Contact us @UDOAsiaPacific on social.

Six Nations fly the flag

On the weekend of the 9-11th November, dancers from the Six Nations of Ireland, France, England, Scotland, Wales and Germany united in Wales to represent their country and compete for the 2018 Six Nations Championship cup.

The Championship saw the introduction of new battle styles this competition year: in house, popping, locking, breaking and hip hop. The energy and talent from our battlers was phenomenal.

Will we see you next year?

UDO North American Hip-Hop Dance Championships.. the countdown begins

There are just 2 weeks left until we’ll be descending on Orlando, Florida to unite the talent from across the North American region. With dancers from America, Canada, Mexico and the Carribean in attendance, this event is sure to showcase an incredible international collaboration of hip hop.

The Championship is founded on our mission of providing a platform for all dancers to showcase their creativity and passion, with first time to elite categories being held in crew, duo, quad and 1v1 Battle categories.

If this wasn’t enough, we have partnered with the IMMABEAST faculty for the Championships as they hold there BABE tour down the hall.

Weekend ticket passes will allow you access to 1 exclusive workshop as part of the IMMABEAST Florida convention. Plus, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in discounted IMMABEAST workshops in their down time.

The faculty line up is as follows..

Willdabeast, Janelle Ginestra, Buddha Stretch, Rob Rich, Peter Pinnock, Taylor Hatala, Maryann Chavez, DJ Marv and MC Raw Swagger.

UDO World Championships nominated for Dance Event of the Year

Last Friday, the UDO team headed to London for the Dance Awards UK. The evening celebrated the dance industry and was a spectacular showcase of the passion, talent, and creativity in the UK dance scene.

We watched a captivating performance from Autism with Attitude, a popping showcase from Mindtrick, and saw UDO faculty Gemma Hoddy put her unique spin on street dance and jazz in her performance.

We would like to congratulate all of the award winners and nominees, including: Synergy for being named Dance Studio of the Year, Omar IMD for Team Choreographer of the Year, Ola Papior for Female Choreographer of the Year and Jonathan Baron who received the Rob Anker award for founding inspirational team Autism with Attitude.

We would also like to thank Dance Awards UK for nominating the UDO World Championships 2018 for event of the year. We feel incredibly humbled and proud to be able to provide a platform for all of our dancers to showcase their creativity and passion.

An interview with Buddha: Part 2

If you could speak to the next generation of dancers, what is the key piece of information about this cultural heritage that you would like them to take on?

Everything starts and ends with the music. If they look at where the music comes from, hip hop music is a gumbo [soup] of different genres. The dance is somewhat based in that. You are drawing inspiration and ideas from pre existing things. As KRS-One states, "hip hop didn’t invent anything, it reinvented everything." I would love the kids to understand that nothing that we do is new, it’s all a reinterpretation and a refocus of the same continuous energy that came before it.
If you draw that energy you can create a whole new wonderful canvas through your art.

What do you look for in the dancers performances when judging?

How I judge is across the board, it’s a series of questions. Who? What? When? Where? How ? Why? Who is your character, who are you? What is your vocabulary, what are you doing? 'When' is creatively when you put all these things together, you see what happens. Where - stage, class, cypher, you have to put it all together and express it there. How are you doing it? You must show your technique. Why - this is your rhythm, it's the music. If your dance isn’t inspired by the music, then I can’t really understand it.
Those are the questions I am trying to answer when I’m judging. Rhythm, technique, vocabulary, creativity, character, and basically overall performance.

Do you think hip hop dance styles should - or could - have a place with the more classical dance styles or should it be kept as a separate entity?

The misconception is that hip hop doesn’t have technique, or is not as involved with the technical aspect of dance as say classical dance is. From my perspective, that’s wrong; all dance is interconnected. The techniques that apply in ballet, can apply in hip hop also. If you look at it, we’re all using the exact same tools. No one has three feet, four arms, two heads. So you know we are all using the same tools, and in using those same tools, you’re going to have interconnectivity. From a greater standpoint, since everything in life is interconnected, how can dance not be? It’s grown to the point where it should be taught much in the same way. My teaching is based on how classical dancing is taught. I’m working on the technique behind the dance, on the rhythm behind the dance, on the vocabulary behind the dance. How do you know what the dance is without the vocabulary?
You know what the vocabulary of ballet is, you know what the vocabulary of say salsa is, so hip hop has to have a vocabulary.

How does it feel to be one of the founding fathers of hip hop?

It’s an amazing feeling to watch dancers from all over the world doing some of the same movements that I and others that I know started. It’s always inspiring to see their take on it. As a teacher, you are trying to learn in the process of teaching. For me that’s the greatest thing about it. If im teaching really well, I should be able to learn about the process itself whilst I’m teaching.The greatest thing is to see someone take what you’ve given them, and give something back in return.

Catch Buddha judging at the UDO North American Hip Hop Dance Championships this December 1-2.

Spotlight on: Rob Rich

Catch Rob judging the UDO North America Hip Hop Championships, where you'll have exclusive access to his workshop!

Dance and the Community..

For those of us who grew up in the dance world, taking class almost every day - and spending our weekends in the studio – was one of the greatest joys of childhood & adolescence. We know how taking part in dance classes can have a hugely positive impact upon young people, and that the skills gained in the studio last a lifetime. The skills we learn from dance don’t stop at wowing audiences and judges; dance teaches humility, compassion, and hard work.

We often joke about dance families, the infamous ‘Dance Moms’ T.V show consolidating stereotypes about ruthless dance studio mothers. As dancers ourselves, we know it to be true that dance moms are driven, compassionate, confident parents who dedicate hours of their day to their child’s pursuit of passion.

However, the dance community has the potential to reach out beyond the studio. When speaking exclusively with UDO at the World Street Dance Championships 2018, Sean Green enthused “[At UDO North America] I can’t wait to see all the communities come together, all as one. One united, one dance, one power, one soul.”

His words certainly ring true in dance communities; by taking classes, students grow and develop their skills together, while families unite to support their young dancers. Dance studios are beginning to open their doors to more and more members of the community by offering adult classes, and inviting in young people from all walks of life. Hip hop has always been about giving a platform to every dancer regardless of their background, and communities are enriched by this exposure to hip hop culture; the trope of ‘keeping them off the streets’ often rings true. In hip hop dance classes, young people can express themselves, gain ambitions, and learn life-long skills which benefit their community in the long-run.

The community benefits of dance continue to improve the dance industry on a national level. “I believe the community is very important in the dance world,” Sean says. “Supporting different conventions, organisations workshops, competitions ... we have to support each other in order for [the industry] to continue to grow. We must evolve with time, and UDO’s a great example of that.”

Feature: The Evolution of Street Dance

Street dance truly is a global phenomenon, allowing communities from all across the world to express themselves to music through rhythm and dance. From a genre that originated in the streets, to becoming part of popular culture through music videos, television and film, it’s success is undoubtable.

We all know and love street dance. But do you know how exactly this genre of dance came to be?


Created by Don ‘Campbellock' Campbell in the early 1970s, this style was created by accident while Don was forming an interpretation of the robot shuffle. His interpretation of the dance forced his elbows to lock into place - which his friends noticed. The move from then on became known as Cambellocking. Campbell formed the group the Lockers, who were the pioneers of this style and made TV appearances throughout the 70s.


Popping originated in mid-1970s America by a group called the Electric Boogaloos. After seeing the Lockers perform on TV, Boogaloos founder Boogaloo Sam was inspired to create a new type of dance.

With the term boogaloo meaning short, quick, movements, the Boogaloos specialised in a series of movements that founder Sam had perfected. Variations include poppin, creepin, boogaloo, roboting, tickin.


Breaking in the 1970s was focused on ground work movements ( top rocking etc). Moves were added and deleted as tastes in funk, soul and early hip hop music evolved. The basic form of rocking and breakdance ‘cutting’ contents remained the same until the Rock Steady Crew and Electric Boogaloos hit the streets of NY with hand gliding, back spinning, windmilling ground moves that are now synonymous with breakdance.

The style particularly gained popularity in the 80/ 90s when breakdance moves were incorporated into movies and theatre productions.


The term ‘Voguing’ was inspired by the model-like poses from Vogue magazine. Paris Dupree is believed to be the pioneer of this style. Voguing created a space of empowerment for the LGBT communities, who created it.

In 1990, Madonna’s hit ‘Vogue’ and documentary ‘Paris is Burning’ adopted voguing into the mainstream culture.


Waacking originated in the LGBT club scene during the 1970s disco era. The style was used by LGBT dancers as a form of expression against the discrimination they received. During this era, dancers were able to find their freedom by expressing themselves performing waacking to funk music.

The style was also said to be inspired by martial arts and the use of nunchucks.


Originating in dance halls in 1970s Jamaica, the dancehall style was developed from the music genre, Dancehall. Dancehall is synonymous with Jamaican culture and is viewed as a lifestyle that incorporates music, fashion and a sense of community.


One of the newer styles, Krumping, originated in the early 2000s by Ceasare ‘Tight Eyez’ Willis and Jo’Artis “Big Mijo” Ratti. Krumping was seen as a way of escaping gang life by channelling aggression and frustration through dance.


House dance originated in underground clubs in the late 1970s and 1980s in Chicago and NY. This style was influenced by several types of movement, including: tap, african dance, latin dance and capoeira.

In the 80's and 90’s, house dancers started forming cyphers. This style was then seen in a new, communal way.


Hip-hop is classified as having 3 periods: old school hip hop dance ( from 1979-84), golden age hip hop dance (1984 -96) and new school hip hop dance (1996 - present). The 3 periods of hip hop dance are directly connected to the changes in rhythm and sound of hip hop music.

What's your favourite style? Let us know on social by hitting the button below!

Dance in the Dominican

Dance and music are foundational to Dominican culture, and is central to everyday life on the island. The Merengue and the bachata is the national music and dance of DR, and with its enticing tracks and sensual steps, it’s easy to see why it’s considered muy excelente.

So where does street dance come in?

Street dance – particularly breaking – has a strong underground presence in the Dominican. Music is at the heart of Dominican culture, and breaking has become a well-established form of dance and expression among Dominican dancers.

Cyphers are regularly held in underground clubs, and welcome crowds to watch and support their favourite b-boy or b-girl in the ultimate underground battle. Think dancers going head to head, music blasting, tricks, flips, crowds going crazy. The atmosphere is incredible, and the talent is second to none.

Breakdance is now entering the mainstream, and competitions have started to spring up across the country. Since 2011, Furia Urbana has been running breakdance competitions in the DR capital, Santo Domingo. Competitors come from across the island to showcase their hottest moves, and go head to head in battle after battle.

With it’s gorgeous beaches, beautiful scenery, delicious food, and street dance events, it’s safe to say we are sold on the Dominican. We feel an all-inclusive trip is on the horizon…

Top instagram Accounts You Need to be Following ..

If you’re interested in the hip hop dance world, and you could spend hours watching class videos from Millennium Dance Complex, IMMA SPACE, or Playground L.A., it’s all too easy to lose hours scrolling through their Instagram pages. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably already following the big names in U.S Dance: icons like Brian Freidman, WilldaBeast and Janelle Ginestra. But who else should you keep your eyes on?

1) Kaycee Rice

With her dance partner Sean Lew, Kaycee has taken Instagram by storm. At just 16, her personality shines in every video, as she encourages all her followers to celebrate what makes them unique. Her old videos are beyond adorable, showing her at 10 dancing along with WilldaBeast Adams in class. Her hip hop technique has made her a household name in every dance studio family.

2) Jade Chynoweth

Having starred in the Step Up franchise, Jade is fast making a name for herself as the go-to girl in Hollywood hip hop. She dances in IMMASPACE, BuildaBeast, Playground LA, and Millenium to just name a few, yet she stays down to earth. Her account blends fresh choreography in well-let studios with freestyle routines in her home. Her #SelfLove videos are a great reminder to us all to take a break from time to time – ice cream at the ready!

3) Kyle Hanagami

Kyle’s insta page reveals a fun-loving choreographer who shows no signs of slowing down. From slick MDC routines, to Jurrasic Park-themed viral dance challenges, to music videos for the likes of Justin Bieber & DJ Khaled, his page has serious game. His posts are light-hearted and real, earning him the Influencer title with ease.

4) Sienna Lalau

She may be young, but at 17 Sienna has already inspired many a young dancer to follow their dreams. Her hip hop choreography is unapologetically fierce, and her videos often show her surrounded by friends and aspiring dancers. As an ImmaHIGHSociety dancer, she’s in the company of hip hop dance royalty.

5) Big Will Simmons

Big Will teaches at IMMA SPACE, and is a regular in class at MDC. He often mixes it up by posting streetwear looks to his page, which compliment his hip hop sets. His execution is so tight, and he knows how to work the camera. Do we sense a dancerXmodel collab on the horizon…?

Hip Hop's Hottest Couple: Janelle Ginestra & WilldaBeast Adams

If you’ve been on YouTube any time in the last 5 years, you’ve probably seen Janelle Ginestra and her now husband WilldaBeast breaking it down in their world-renowned hip hop sets. After setting up immaBEAST dance company in 2013, Will and Janelle’s names have become synonymous with sold-out workshop tours, performances, and viral videos. Following their incredible professional credits – including Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj to name just a few – this set them up to become household names in hip hop.

As a duo, they’ve been choreographing iconic routines together for some years, and are fast becoming the most recognizable couple in the hip hop dance world. Their wedding dance alone raised the bar for all future wedding dances, as it charted their journey to the altar using the slickest hip hop choreo.

See what we mean? Serious #CoupleGoals

They’d been working together on choreography collaborations long before they became Mr & Mrs. Their company encompasses not just a studio – immaSPACE – but also selects young dancers for mentoring through immaTEACH, creates dance concept videos, and even has its own clothing brand.

Not only that, but immaBEAST holds world-class hip hop conventions BuildaBeast Experience across the U.S. This allows young dancers to come and take class with an award-winning faculty, and gives them opportunities to perform.

immaBEAST dancers have gone on to soaring heights, from competing at international Championships to landing gigs with the likes of MTV, Nike and even spots in Hollywood movies. immaBEAST alumni dancers include the sensational Kaycee Rice, Jade Chynoweth and Josh Beauchamp.

We are so excited to be working in collaboration with hip hop’s hottest power couple, who inspire young dancers through their workshops, classes, and videos. Find out more about our collab here.

Catch WilldaBeast & Janelle and the IMMABEAST team teaching and judging at the UDO North American Championships 2018.

Hip Hop Music & Lifestyle: Mexico

Following our collaboration with Enjoy the Dance, we wanted to take a look at hip hop dance in Mexico. Hip hop dance brings communities together, and offers young people the chance to work towards a common goal as one team. Enjoy the Dance holds competitions across the country, welcoming small crews and megacrews to showcase their passion for hip hop dance.

But how has hip hop in Mexico grown over time? Not only is hip hop dance becoming more and more popular across the country, providing communities with outlets for expression and collaboration, but hip hop music has also been sweeping the nation. Mexican hip hop artists have been climbing steadily through the charts, making some incredible hip hop tracks.

Jezzy P

Her feisty tracks discuss contentious topics like gender, political corruption, and wider social issues. Quick-fire lines go a mile a minute in each of her songs, which have a powerful resonance. Her interpretation of hip hop is engaging and innovative: check her out if you’re into the faster, angrier side of hip hop music.

Mare Advertencia Lírika

Her sound is very fresh, presenting a unique take on what hip hop can sound like. Her raps are fast and furious, discussing darker issues that have a haunting tone. Take a look at her tracks if you like hip hop tracks that really have something to say.

Niña Dioz

Fans of classic hip hop music have to check out Nina Dioz. Her recent drops explore the classic hip hop themes of money, lust, and social status; her sound will resonate with those who love the old-school genre. She pushes the boundaries with her videos, playing with classic hip hop tropes, yet she never seems to take herself too seriously. She’s carving a name for herself in the United States, and certainly deserves a strong, international fan base.

The winning team from Enjoy the Dance 2018 were awarded their flights and registration for the UDO North America Hip Hop Championships as part of their prize, and we can’t wait to see them compete this December in Florida.

Across the Pond: Hip Hop from NYC to LDN

Almost any fan of hip hop dance will tell you that popping, locking, and breaking emerged from the back-streets of the Bronx in the 70s and 80s. But how did this style synonymous with New York street culture become so popular across the pond?

Breaking was the first style to take the States by storm, with crews like Wild Style and New York City Rap touring across the country throughout the 80s. As the popularity of hip hop and rap soared, the European audiences wanted in on the action. Listening to the music just wasn’t enough anymore; hip hop was fast becoming a cornerstone of popular culture. Throughout the 90s and early 2000s, hip hop artists began to take over. MTV showcased the latest hip hop hits, encouraging fans to copy routines and freestyle their own choreography. Competitions began to spring up, with dancers from all over Europe dancing head to head in battles, duos, and crews.

In 2004, roughly 30 years after the first b-boy took to the streets of New York, the UK hosted its first Breakin’ Convention for international competitors. Although held in Sadlers Wells, London, the performance lineup was all-American. The Electric Boogaloos headed up the convention, sharing the stage with Rennie Harris and Tommy the Clown. Guests from across Europe were faced with the ultimate challenge: they had to step up their street dance game.

By 2006, Boy Blue Entertainment was at the forefront of popular culture in the arts, as they took home a prestigious Olivier Award for their ‘Pied Piper’-inspired hip hop performance. Their choreographer, Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy, was firmly established as the dancer to watch. As ZooNation’s ‘Into the Hoods’ hip hop production became the longest-running dance show in the West End, the dance world in London was being shaken up. It was goodbye to European ballet and contemporary dance, as hip hop began to take over.

Throughout the last decade, hip hop has overtaken more classical styles in popular culture. With London-based crews like Flawless and Diversity continuing to go from strength to strength, primetime TV can’t get enough of the London hip hop scene. Kenrick Sandy now stands alongside Matthew Bourne - the biggest name in contemporary ballet – as a top industry professional; each were named in the Queen’s Honours List in 2016 for their services to the dance world.

Hip hop dance is only getting bigger and better than ever, and we are loving being a part of it.

In Next Month's issue...

We'll be bringing you the happiest of holidays for our December issue of United We Dance! Think features on performing in pantos, dance in our favourite Christmas movies, Christmas-themed dance routines, our gift wishlist, and much more!

As always, we'd love to hear what you think about United We Dance magazine - drop us a message on social media @udostreetdance with any comments, questions, or ideas!

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