Among the hordes of people and carnival games at Friday night’s The Buzz event, dancing fans will want to keep an eye out for The Battle at the Buzz – a five-hour breakdancing competition taking place on the Memorial Union patio, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
The event – which was organized by the UC Davis Breakdancing Club in conjunction with Campus Unions and The Department of Campus Recreation and Housing – will pit local and Bay Area breakdancing groups against one another in a three vs. three competition. The winners will take home a $250 cash prize. A friendly two vs. two breakdancing event will also take place between breakdancers from Davis and UC Berkeley.
Senior biotechnology major Jenny Ceguerra, a member of the Davis Breakdancing Club and one of the event’s organizers, said that she is expecting about 15 groups to perform and attempt to win the cash prize. So far the lineup includes three groups from the Sacramento and Davis area: Empire Crew, Floweva and Freshest Smash Force.
Ceguerra said she’s impressed with the amount of people interested in breakdancing in Davis.
“I’ve talked to people from UC Irvine and [Sacramento] State, and they don’t have as big of a breakdancing club as we do here at UC Davis,” she said. “There’s a good scene here, lots of people that love breakdancing and hanging out.“
Senior biology major Nick Chi, a senior who will be performing in the competition, said he continues to see more people getting involved with breakdancing.
“I think [the scene] is definitely growing. Last year after Davis Dance Revolution, a lot of people showed interest,” he said. “And there’s a lot more breakdancing on television these days with shows like “America’s Best Dance Crew.” It’s convincing people to try it out.“
Ceguerra said that although the club has plenty of members, they haven’t been able to arrange their own on-campus performances because of the overwhelming amounts of insurance money and paperwork required.
“We thought a show might be impossible. But with The Buzz, all those issues are already taken care of. We’re eager to show off the Davis breakdancing scene to a large audience and get people excited about what we do.“
The battle will consist of individual members of each team squaring off against one another – one side will perform and then the other will have a chance to show their skills, said Chi. After all the routines are complete, the judges decide which group deserves to win.
Mike Morales, a local breakdancer and one of the event’s judges, said he will be looking for teams that can be creative and fun to watch.
“Some people judge on certain aspects of the dance, whereas I judge sort of like a boxing match – I evaluate round for round, both groups begin with 10 points, and then I deduct for mistakes,” he said. “It’s less about technical abilities and more about originality and aesthetically pleasing routines. Of course, at the end of the day you can’t crash.“
As for standing out in the noisy carnival atmosphere of The Buzz, Ceguerra has a simple reason for interested students to attend.
“Because it’s breakdancing, it’s entertaining and you get to see good competition. I love competition – who doesn’t?”
ZACK FREDERICK can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.