As Red Bull BC One celebrates 20 years globally, the national finals are approaching, following a thrilling series of regional ciphers in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Gqeberha.
Red Bull BC One, the world’s largest one-on-one breaking competition, continues to push the limits of hip-hop culture by advancing breaking while also fusing different hip-hop styles in South Africa and around the world.
This year’s regional ciphers went beyond breaking as they celebrated the essence of hip-hop, including rap ciphers at every stop. The event is now a complete festival of hip-hop culture, featuring breaking, MCing, and DJing. The breaking competition highlighted the breakers’ incredible skills, while the rap battles showcased some explosive lyrical battles, and the DJs turned up the most iconic breaking beats for the contenders battling it out.
The first stop was Newtown Junxion in Johannesburg, where b-boy Oscar and b-girl Courtnae Paul secured their spots in the national finals. B-boy Oscar Baloyi emphasized the importance of Red Bull BC One in shaping South Africa’s breakdancing culture, saying: “Red Bull BC One is one of the primary contributors to creating the groundwork for breakdancing culture, and they do it well and consistently. We wouldn’t have these foundations if it weren’t for Red Bull.”
B-girl Courtnae Paul thanked Red Bull BC One for providing a platform, saying: “I could probably count the number of quality platforms for breakers in South Africa on one hand, and the Red Bull BC One is at the top of the list. I’m always grateful to be on that stage, competing while promoting dance and hip-hop culture.”
The next stop was Rooftop on Bree in Cape Town, where b-boy Yaeesh was crowned the winner and said: “I’m thrilled to have participated in the Red Bull BC One regional cipher; I saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate my abilities and see how far I could take things. I’m enthusiastic about the national final and believe it will be a thrilling challenge for everyone to take part.”
The regional ciphers ended in GQ at Gallery on Produce, and b-boy Jandre won over the judges on the night. “Winning the regional leg was a dream come true! I traveled from George to compete against elite b-boys from the Eastern and Southern Cape, which was exciting. At the age of 30, I cherish this win while wondering when I will compete again. For me, it’s about enjoying the dance, not winning. Balancing a day job as a long-distance truck driver makes training difficult, but I’m motivated to make the national finals. Who knows? Maybe I’ll take advantage of the opportunity to participate in Brazil.”
The regional champions, along with some wild cards that will be announced later, will now move on to the national final, taking place in Johannesburg on March 23rd, to represent South Africa at the World Finals in Rio on December 7th. This is a unique opportunity for South African talent to shine on a global stage, with Red Bull BC One aiming to discover the next star of Mzansi’s breaking scene.
Upcoming dates to look forward to:
March 23rd: National Finals in Johannesburg at Shine Studio
December 7th: World Finals in Rio