Step x Step Awards for 2012

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2012 what a great year it has been! We hope you had a wonderful year and only wish more happiness and success for you and yours! A new tradition here at SxS is to give awards for the year to dancers, crews, and organizations. We really thought about who made a huge impact in the street dance world this year but we also recognize anyone and everyone that put forth any effort or positivity into the scene! Thank you to all of you for dancing for the right reasons and continuing to inspire others.

We also thank you for making 2012 a HUGE YEAR FOR US! We could not have done or accomplished all we did this year without the support of family, friends, dancers, crew, organizations, companies, and most of all our AMAZING STAFF who have been with us for the year or who are new to our team! 2013 is going to be a great year for us and the opportunities we hope to give many dancers!

Female Dancer of the Year: Ladia Yates

The “Queen of Jookin” has had a busy and inspiring 2012! From working with the likes of Ciara, Missy Elliot, and Janelle Monae – the jooker and turfer has been all over the States spreading her love for dance. On top of sharing her passion through TV and on stage, Miss Yates has been teaching workshops all around the country and inspiring young ladies and dancers of all types. You may have even seen her at a battle or two. 2012 was a great year for Ladia, just wait til you see what is in store for 2013! We appreciated Ladia taking some time to interview with us as well – You go girl!

Bboy of the Year: DOMkey

Lions of Zion Crew member has been representing the Philly style all over the world and the US. From his win at Red Bull BC One USA Qualifier to Lions of Zion Semi’s at Freestyle Session 15, DOMkey has been moving up in the scene with his unique style of bboying. Even his opening round at Red Bull BC One against, would be BC One winner, Mounir (France) showed the fight, originality, and determination for the moment he got to dance on the global bboy stage! Even though Lions of Zion have been around for a number of years it seems they are gaining more and more popularity not just in the bboy scene but in other dance scenes. Much of that can be attributed to their originality and love for true bboying. Hope to catch up with DOMkey soon!

Popper of the Year: Boogie Frantick

Deciding the Dancer of the year was not tough at all, but if there had to be another Dancer of the year –it would be Boogie Frantick. Frantick made his way back into the scene without ever really acting like he was gone. Because truly his heart and soul were still in the funk and groove. You’ve seen him in LXD, Step Up 3D, and the latest Samsung tablet commercial with Cloud and MaddChadd, but you may not know this guy has been inspiring cats left and right, including myself. It’s been an honor to get to know Frantick little by little, but the kindness he has shown to our staff at events. From his battles to his performances around the LA area, Frantick has taken his dancing to a whole nother level. Frantick’s 2013, I guarantee, the world will begin to see what we have seen here on the homefront.

Krumper of the Year: Tight Eyez 

Tight Eyez known as one of the creators of Krumping has been on a tear this year. From the release of the movie Rize, Tight Eyez kept to the streets and worked hard to sustain the Krump movement into what it is today. Since Street Kingdom’s appearance on ABDC Season 6, Tight Eyez has been traveling the world spreading the message of Krump and growing scenes in various countries. He continues to be an inspiring force in the Hip Hop and street dance community around the world. We were fortunate enough to meet and see Tight Eyez in person at Hip Hop International at the Urban Moves Workshop he taught. We will have more coming on the krump side in this next year!

Choreographer of the Year: Keone and Mari Madrid

This was DEFINITELY they’re year! By far they’re biggest accomplishment was getting married this summer! They are the new generation NappyTabs and have been ruling 2012. From Keone running Choreo Cookies to the couple traveling the world teaching workshops, Keone and Mari are bound to have a huge 2013. Choreo Cookies, mL, and the couple did some amazing things at Urban Dance Camp this year and by far the hottest choreo video of the year was “Dangerous.”

Locker of the Year: Hurrikane

Having seen Hurrikane at FSS 15, not only is the dude one strong locker but he can put down many different styles. Locking being his main style, this dude fuses Popping, House, and Hip Hop style elements in his dancing. This year he won Step Ya Game Up Locking, Homeland Jam Locking, and Hip Hop International World Battles Locking Champion 2012. Even with his All Styles and Popping Crew: Breakfast Club – Hurrikane is not to be messed with in 2013. Truly inspiring to see many dancers getting into the different styles of street dance and we can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring! But there’s nothing like the funkiness of Locking!

Hip Hop (Stand Up) of the Year: Les Twins

Wherever they go no matter what style you are, you can just feel the energy turn up! They bring a whole new excitement to the cyphers and the battles wherever they go! By far one of the hypest and most revolutionary battles of ALL TIME had to be Larry vs J Boogie at Hip Hop International All Styles Final. Before the final battle one of the first battles was a callout battle between J Boogie and Laurent, so there was already a lot of battle tension in the air! J Boogie took that round against Laurent but Larry brought the win back at the Final Battle! The Twins have been all around the world dancing with the likes of Kanye, Jay-Z, Beyonce — spending some time in Japan and winning another All Styles battle Freestyle Session 15. The Twins will end the year performing with Beyonce in Vegas for her NYE Party, then they will start 2013 performing at the Super Bowl with her as well.

Crew of the Year: Academy of Villains

Nothing really needs to be said! AOV IS ON A WHOLE NEW LEVEL! Pharside’s creation, part of the Skool District, has been tearing stages up around the world! Winning competitions overseas and on the home front, AOV has been taking crowds to places we never been! The creativity, originality, musicality, and straight up hype from AOV is making crews all around the world step their game up! From Hip Hop International USA Champions to America’s Got Talent to Body Rock, Vibe, and World of Dance LA – AOV and Pharside have owned this year! We look forward to what 2013 has in store for them! There’s too many performances to put up haha which one which one?

House Dancer of the Year: Laura aka Nala

The beautiful Miss Laura aka Nala rep’n Criminalz Crew, Paris France, has been killing the game with her House dancing this year. My first chance meeting her when Regi, Deyvron, and Laura came to the States and we set them up with some workshops in Arizona. Luckily there was a house battle that Sunday in Phoenix which she and Deyvron ended up winning! Her style is poetry in motion and she moves like she is walking on the clouds! She adds her own personal style along with some Hip Hop grooves and Latin rhythms! Not only has her House been fresh but her Hip Hop battles have taken her to a whole nother level. Miss ya Laura and hope to see you soon!

Organization of the Year: Freestyle Session and Cros1

Big ups to Cros1, Grassroots, and everyone involved with Freestyle Session on celebrating 15 years! This event year after year continues to get better and the competition gets crazier and crazier. FSS 15 at Club Nokia this year brought out the best of the best on both the bboy side and the Top Status styles! The Semi’s for the bboy battles between Top 9/All The Most vs Dynasty Descendants and Lions of Zion vs Skill Brat Renegades were some of the hypest battles! The finals between Top 9/All The Most vs Skill Brat Renegades by far had to be my favorite bboy battle of the year! The funniest moment for me was after Skill Brat Renegades won Casper got so hype that he started a cypher haha! He energy and his face with that beard – oh man haha! The Twins All Styles Battle was ridiculous and the Popping Finals with Mighty Zulu Kings was insane! By far the best moment was the miracle return of Steelo to the bboy scene! Performing with the Groovaloo’s it was an emotional moment for all bboys and bgirls!

Community Leader of the Year : Lil Cesar (HHSOA)

The grand opening of Hip Hop School of Arts can be termed by one word: “Community.” For the first in the U.S. there is a non-profit school that teaches all the elements of Hip Hop culture while helping youth and adults become positive influences in the community. As it says on the website, “HHSA is built upon a foundation of peace, love and unity, where all feel welcome knowing that they are free to develop their talents and ability to create a future limited only by their dreams.” What Legend, Bboy Lil Cesar has founded in Pomona, California is not just about serving the community through Hip Hop it abouts providing the right tools for youth to be a positive force in the world. We heard only amazing things from the grand opening and we are excited to support HHSOA. Congrats to everyone involved with HHSOA! Lil Cesar thank you for your inspiration and service.

Event of the Year: Hip Hop International 2012

HYPEST. EVENT. OF. THE.YEAR!!!!! NO DOUBT! The fact that the Top 4 crews from the USA Varsity, Adult and Megacrew as well as World’s were .10 of a point from each other is nuts just in itself! That has never happened in HHI history! Between AOV, Elektrolytes, Mix’d Elements, and Illmatik Phlow – the energy was absolutely nuts! Then you move into the World’s Adult category and you have the same close result. Neutral Zone from Mexico showing the makeup and artistry as well as creativity. The Crew from Philippines taking the largest gain from the PreLims to the Semis and winning the Gold in the Finals. India’s first year had them in the top 10! On top of the actual crew competition, you also have a legendary All Styles battle between J Boogie and Larry from Les Twins. That battle has gone down in history as probably the hypest All Styles battle! Add to that some of the hottest locking, bboy, and popping battles. It was the best event and the feeling of family is there as always! RIP Americas Best Dance Crew!

Media of the Year: Ocke Films

“We are inspired by the world of dance and want to capture it for all to see. Our style is influenced by this world surrounding us and how we perceive it.” We have been blessed to get to know Cedric and Manu from Ocke Films and 2012 has been their year! 30 Videos in 9months! The quality of the videos, the inspiring messages, and the motivating dancers make up this media of the year! They put a lot of hard work into these videos and the world is recognizing the producers as well as the dancers! 2013 is going to be another amazing year for Ocke Films!

Dancer of the Year: Richard “Steelo” Vaquez

4God 4Love 4Dance – what can really be said of the miracle that is Richard “Steelo” Vazquez. Rehabilitating from 4 brain aneurysms and less than a year from the traumatic day, “Steelo” performed live on Dancing With The Stars in May with his crew, The Groovaloos. A few months later, Steelo would make his return to the underground scene performing at Freestyle Session with the Groovaloos. In a teary-eyed performance in front of family, friends, and inspired dancers, Steelo’s faith and miracle was shared through the one thing he loved: dance. Thank you for your inspiration Steelo and God Bless on your continue recovery!

Video of the Year: With A Piece of Chalk by JuBa Films 

With A Piece of Chalk speaks volumes as to why dance is a universal language! The idea of dance helping deal with those outside forces of negativity and bullying and applying the innocence of a child to pursue his dreams captivated millions. JuBa Films created not only a beautiful video but by far a masterpiece of art and inspiration! From the symphonic music to bboying from Justen Beer (Hustle Kidz) and amazing videography from JuBa, we believe this is just the beginning of more masterpieces from JuBa Films. Most importantly is the message that there is hope through all the pain, the bullying, and the negativity in the world! Congrats to JuBa Films on the Video of the Year!

Pioneer Award: Mr. Wiggles

Finally, our last award, the Pioneer Award, goes to Mr. Wiggles! Mr. Wiggles came to The Jukebox Dance Studio back in June this year and by far taught not just amazing workshops but more importantly the TRUE HISTORY OF HIP HOP! By far the most moving workshop and lesson on Hip Hop! Who better to share the knowledge then a pioneer who was their in New York when everything was beginning to take shape for Hip Hop. It was a big moment in not only our journey to spread the positivity of Hip Hop, but a personal accomplishment for myself, C-Bass. Everything just came together about honoring and acknowledging where the dance and the music stemmed from. It’s made me change my point of view and inspired me and our staff to seek out the real history and OG’s to share with all of you! Before these pioneers and OGs leave us, we need to know the real history so we can share the truth with the future! As Poe One says, “Each One, Teach One.” Thank you Mr. Wiggles for all the knowledge and inspiration you have shared and continue to share.

Honorable mentions:  DanceMogul Magazine, DancersGlobal, All Street Dance UK, Juste Debout, IBE, Urban Empire, FUNkeys Clothing, Set of Wings, Marvin Street Underground, The Bboy Federation, and Urban Media

All the dancers that have been killing it from a living room or bedroom in front of a mirror  to dancers on a large stage performing for thousands, no matter your crowd or feeling – continue dancing because of your passion and love for it. If you’re a new cat just learning the art, make sure to learn your history as well. If you are an OG or Pioneer in the game, make sure to spread your knowledge and history to these younger generations.


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