Bring the Hype! The thing we can learn from Krump!

Bring the Hype! The thing we can learn from Krump!

The Next Step

Bring the Hype!

We have all been there… You come to a jam, and have been working your butt off to get to this point. Your name is called which means it’s your turn. You come up and do the best run ever! Your technique and musicality combine in an effortless flow of skill and experience. It all feels so great! But you get no response from the crowd… It feels like dead ducks are staring at you and they didn’t see a thing at all! Same can be said about choreographies. Your team comes up, you see a couple of hundred faces staring at you and instead of feeling support you feel judgement, envy and negativity. Now whatever happened with peace, love, unity and having fun? Where is the hype?

i-dont-know

In my years of hosting I have been at a lot of events. From the most underground hiphop jam to the most commercial platforms where exhibition battles take place. I have seen a lot of styles pass by and every style has a certain etiquette on what can and what can not be done. I see that a lot of hiphop events suffer from a thing called “holding back”.

It’s actually a matter of energy. See it like this: In gym class, you had to physically perform to get your grades up. There were a lot of moments that you thought that you were going to burst out in tears and ball up like a little baby and cry until your mommy picks you up. But you had your homies to back you up. They screamed and shouted at you, that you were going to make it and going to pass whatever goal you had to reach. In some magical way, because you felt that the ones close to you believed in you, you found that last bundle of energy and pulled it off anyway. (I know you’re thinking back right now and realise that your biggest obstacle was doing 5 pushups) Your friends who were cheering for you, they really made the difference.

pushup

The same concept is valid for dance. When you see somebody do dope sh*t, make yourself heard! Scream, shout, cheer, motivate, energize, do something that adds to the energy that is created in that magical moment we call dance. This is probably the biggest lesson we can learn from Krump. Talking to a lot of krumpers and hosting several jams, I noticed that I had the hardest time ever doing this. I got introduced into the concept of hype by Q.U.E.S. (Holland Street Kingdom). He is one of the cats who explained it to me in detail:

“When you hype somebody, it means you call upon the inner strength of that person. We don’t chose to hype only when we see moves or motion we like, we chose to stimulate and encourage somebody’s energy, character and yes also the movement. But as you can see it’s not ONLY about the latter. This brings the amazing result you see in the krump cyphers and the crazy energy vibrating all over the place. A krumper will get massive response for as little as giving a ‘buck’ character. Standing in a certain way and looking at an opponent. We honour powerful personality, not just the dance.”

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Everybody who enters a dance cypher or who performs on stage deserves credit, appreciation and love for being themselves. Whether you like what you see or not, you can always commend somebody for having the guts to walk on that stage and be vulnerable by showing him or herself. Working for almost 2 months in Senegal in 2013, I was introduced to Archie Burnett. One of the “dancing dinosaurs” who is mostly known for his immense contribution to the vogue and waacking scene. Archie is one the most loving and honest people I know. I was having a hard time letting go of my boundaries during his dance class and he walked up to me saying I had all that it took to be a great dancer, but I was being afraid:

“It’s easy to be honest when nobody is watching, but it takes a lot of courage to step into that cypher and be really honest and dance the way that YOU feel. Knowing that others will look at you.”

archie

So next time you’re at a dance event, realize that you DO make a difference by being there. It DOES matter if you cheer or not because it directly influences the quality of what’s happening on the floor. Respect the dancer, whether you like what you see or not. Understand the effort and guts it took for the other to show you who they really are. Make noise, even if you are the only one. You will be surprised how many people will follow when you start cheering. And if they don’t…well you’re probably the coolest one there!

Same goes for respecting the venue for that matter. Be respectful of the place, keep it clean, don’t tear down the walls and we will be alright.

See you at the next one.

Written by Jivan Arazzi