LOCAL HEROES Breakin’ Convention’s Scottish crews in profile


Back to Breakin’ Convention for the third time, these guys are clearly doing something right. Comprising bboys from a range of Edinburgh crews, Heavy Smokers/Psycho Stylez will perform Folding, a piece using the lesser-known dance style of Origami. ‘We don’t want to give too much away,’ says Heavy Smoker Simon Persaud, ‘but just to say that the audience has to concentrate on the show to work out what’s happening. It’s not going to be about tricks and flips this year, it’s more about choreography and actual dancing.’

Tony Mills says: ‘Heavy Smokers have been doing a lot of battling and entering competitions, and are quite an up-and-coming respected crew on the UK scene. Their piece has an interesting concept, and the whole idea behind Breakin’ Convention this year was to go more towards crews who are trying our new ideas and making something different with the vocabulary they already have.’ 14 THE LIST 4–18 Nov 2010


Edinburgh-based Xena productions won the Set It Off Street Dance Championships at this year’s Fringe, giving them automatic entry to Breakin’ Convention. Founded by Christina Gusthart, the all-female troupe will be performing 9 to 5 during its slot, blending contemporary, vogue, lockin’ and hip hop. ‘I feel strongly about representing women in hip hop,’ says Gusthart, ‘and the Breakin’ Convention stage is the perfect place for this. It’s also a great opportunity for Scotland to come together and express our love for hip hop and to show that there is a community here that is forever growing and evolving.’

Tony Mills says: Christina trained at Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts, and is now based in Edinburgh. Her company’s piece is about office life for women the hum drum, the excitement and the ups and downs of that, and is infused with various kinds of styles.’

The youngest crew performing at Breakin’ Convention this year, ZEE DC has 20 dancers aged 9-19. Run by dance teacher Stacey Keenan, the Fife-based company is due to represent Scotland at the European Hip Hop Championships in Paris next year, and impressed hosts Jonzi D and Mills with its unusual approach.

‘At the auditions, the judges said they hadn’t seen anything like our style before,’ says Keenan. ‘The shapes we were making with our bodies and the things we were doing. We try to do a variety of styles and thought that if we take a bit of jazz, cheerleading and gymnastics and mix it together with hip hop we would come out a bit different.’

Tony Mills says: ‘ZEE DC’s choreography and dancing is really tight, and they have appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance. Their Breakin’ Convention piece Urban Funk Mix is very well executed and intricate hip hop streetdance.’