Breakdance Korea: R16 Part II

Written by Chris

July 2014

See Part 1 of this article here to learn the basics of breakdancing, the movements, and how it spread to South Korea:

“Year Zero of Korean breaking” was 1997, and only a few years later, the government backed the trend, promoting it alongside Korean culture. One such event is R-16 Korea – a government-sponsored breaking competition with participants from all over the world. This event features regional elimination rounds with the final tournament including 16 b-boy crews from 15 countries competing for the world championship title. The R16 World Finals was held in Seoul’s Olympic Park from July 5 to 6. This year, the Crew Battle champions were Korean crew Gamblerz. Also, half of the Solo B-Boy Battle semifinalists were Koreans. It’s easy to see by the numbers how successful Korea has become in B-Boy dancing.

Aside from R-16 Korea, there are several other worldwide competitions where Korean b-boy crews and soloists have performed well. JinJo won the BOTY (Battle of the Year) in 2010 and R-16 Korea in 2010 and 2011. The Gamblerz won BOTY 2004 and R-16 2008. The Extreme Crew won BOTY 2007 in Germany and in 2002. In 2002, they were the first Asian team to win. Project Soul ranked 1st three times and 2nd once in the UK B-Boy Championships; they were the first team to win the competition for two consecutive years. Popping Pete, an esteemed American popper, puts it well “Koreans are ruthless -- they mastered B-Boying, especially power moves, to another level.” The future is bright for Korean B-Boying, so check it out when you get the chance!