Which country produces the best break dancers in the world? Zimbabwean Hip Hop dancers have an opportunity to change the answer to that question at the 20th International BOTY contest to be held in Germany in October this year- but first they need to win local and continental heats that will bring maestros of this acrobatic dance form together.
BOTY stands for Battle of the Year and officially they call their event the annual international bboying crew contest. It’s a platform for unique break dancing, preservation of the Hip Hop culture and an opportunity for youths to express themselves artistically in a peaceful environment.
The international initiative which is two decades old is coming to Zimbabwe for the first time under license from Six-Step GmbH, Germany, founded by Thomas Hergenröther.
BOTY primarily focuses on B-Boy, an acrobatic element of Hip Hop dancing that allows dancers to express themselves through various well coordinated moves. The dance form has spread worldwide and has brought young people from unlikely backgrounds closer together.
Besides achieving icon status in the Hip Hop world, winning the prize has other benefits. Numerous previous BOTY winners have featured in award winning international music videos and movies such as You Got Served, How She Move, Stomp the Yard, Planet B-Boy, Step Up 1 and 2 to name just a few.
Top 9 from Russia currently holds the world title. The 2005 world champions Last For One from Korea performed in Zimbabwe earlier on this year at HIFA.
In 2009 Zimbabwe, under the Jibilika Dance endeavour, becomes the fifth nation on the African continent to secure a BOTY license. Jibilika has been at the heart of promoting dance in Zimbabwe, including their annual contest which brings together dancers from all over Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwean BOTY winners will battle for honours against winners from Senegal, Nigeria, Botswana and South Africa at the African championships to run from the 26th to the 30th of August 2009 in Cape Town. This year’s African battle will be run by Heal the Hood South Africa and will run under the Africa Hip Hop Indaba, a five day event that will encompass a series of youth development and exchange workshops.
Continental winners will join dance groups from Asia, Europe, Africa, North & South America at the 20th world championships in Volkswagen Halle, in Brauschweig Germany on 17th October 2009.
The event draws more than fifty thousand spectators to the venue and millions worldwide catch the action via satellite television. BOTY International is sponsored by some of the world’s biggest multi-national corporations such as Fiat, Sony Playstation, New Era and Red Bull.
Get your dance shoes on boys and girls. It’s about to get hot in here…
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