Written by C-Bass / Photo credit: Summer Dance Forever website – Little Shao

Events usually take time to catch steam especially when it comes to building hype, involving styles and recognizable names, and making the event an overall experience. In just about 4 years, Summer Dance Forever (SDF) has been able to captivate the world every mid-August with dance styles ranging from street to stage and studio to urban.

SDF, set in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is an inner city urban dance festival which includes a whole week of events with battles, workshops, seminars, theatre performances, documentary films, and parties. The organizers of SDF have been involved in dance/hip-hop events such as The Notorious IBE, Juste Debout, and many others for 15+ years so creating, hyping an event such as Dance Forever shouldn’t be too difficult. Their structure for battles “Only the best survive in Forever battles. Whoever wants to win this year’s battles will have to battle and defeat the international judges,” via Summer Dance Forever website

SDF starts their festival on Tuesday with a theatre show, Company Wang Ramirez – EVERYNESS, ending the festival 8 days later on a Wednesday with workshops and the Summer Dance Forever afterparty. There’s even a Roller Skate Jam! What?! And even though it is summer, preselections for two of the styles start on a Wednesday followed up by Theatre Forever, and an afterparty. Note, hundreds of people are attending. (It’s hard enough to get 3oo-400 people to a dope jam in the USA).

Looking at the international evolution of events and festivals from the 2000s’ to the present day, the USA continues to fall behind as Europe, Eastern Europe, and Asia build on the foundation of the Hip Hop culture founded on our very turf. Given festivals like The Block Party, Puerto Rock Steady, Freestyle Session, Silverback Open, Street Style Lab, Massive Monkees Anni/Style Elements are the ones really to have held it down for culture side of events in the USA. Choreo events are a lock for USA because anything industry/YouTube views based will bring numbers.

Previously, we’ve said it before how events need to have the right people with the right experience in the right positions if it wants to be successful and it takes pursuing the right course of action even when events do not succeed at times. Festivals are different from a 1 or 2-day event so you have to separate small-scale from large-scale, but still both are active in community outreach not only with dancers but local businesses, non-profits, kids/youth, religious institutions, schools, projects, and more. It will build over time among your community and those in the dance community around the world.

Furthermore events like SDF, IBE, Juste Debout, Ghetto Style, BC One, and others have found the right formula to inspire those of us here in the USA for years to train and work our way to their events. We definitely appreciate the global nature of this culture and community especially honoring the pioneers who paved the path and those who continue to evolve it, but it’s definitely time for the USA to work in our communities to inspire the kids to want both freestyle and choreo, also for us to work with international events, HERE!

Now enjoy highlights from Summer Dance Forever 2017 – Let’s Build!