All and open styles battles are easy to come by these days especially in the States, but separating yourself from the typical “styles” battle requires more creativity. The confusion of judges on decisions, finding the perfect all/open styles DJ, and helping dancers understand the difference are only some of the issues which have been raised the past few years at events.
Legends in the Making (LITM) creator Paul “Koncept” Guintu, from Sacramento, California and co-founder of The Goodfellas crew, has set out to change the idea of these battles by using more of an open styles, freestyle format with a unique way for judges to choose the right winner at these events. “Everything the battle scene needs to bring the youth up, and keep the OG’s battling and teaching us. 32 dancers will run a season of match ups, top 16 will battle it out in a super bowl type championship event. 1 Legend will come on top,” says Koncept.
Draft Day, similar to what happens in premier sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and so on, will occur February 21st at Collings West Sacramento Teen Center in Sacramento, California where over 100 dancers will vie for one of the top 32 spot. “Every battler will be split into Multiple Cyphers. 1 of each LITM Judge will pick who they think is the best in each cypher. Drafting the top 32 into the league.
Top 16 of the season will duke it out in a championship jam for a GRAND PRIZE…Once registered into the battle league. Stats will be recorded for life. Wins. Losses. TKO’s,“ says Koncept.
Judging will be done similar to how O.U.R. System is done in the Breaking world. Five judges will rate based on five criteria: Phil Garvin (Beta 010 / Kinjaz) will judge on Technique; Mikey Disko(Knuckle Neck Tribe / Soul Sector) will judge on Musicality; Animal (Concrete Samuraiz / SOulShifters) will judge on Moments; Dennis Infante (GroovMekanex / The MuthaFunkers) will judge on Originality; and CoFlo (SOulshifters) will judge on Performance.
Interview with L.I.T.M. Founder, Paul “Koncept” Guintu (The Goodfellas Sacramento)
Tell us about your history with street dance: inspirations, styles, etc..
I’ve been dancing my whole life, but started taking it seriously when I was 14. I joined a crew called Press P.L.A.Y, ran by Joe Larot (JBWKZ) and Brandon Greathouse (Academy of Kings). I’ve always freestyle’d but there I learned more choreography. From there I took a break and found Krump, Krump helped me find a lot of how my dance is now.
Coming back to the crew scene I was recruited back by Brandon Greathouse, this time under Academy of Thugs. Where I learned popping and musicality techniques. I then created my own crew of freestylers called The GoodFellas with my brother Guttah Holmes. We have been training in various styles ever since ex. Popping, Krump , Hip Hop, Turf, Grooving etc.
I get inspired by anything with movement, from the way someone walks to what I see on TV. I usually turn it into a character I play while I dance. Id say my biggest inspirations would have to be my crew The GoodFellas, Bruce Lee, Sons of Anarchy, Jabbawockkez, and my hometown of Sacramento.
How did the idea for the All Styles League come about?
The league idea came up when I was watching YouTube battles and it was during a time with a lot of sports going on. My friends were talking about their fantasy league, I am not really into sports so it made me think about a league of dope dancers I would like to see battle in perfect match ups. I then had a long conversation with a group of friends at a Thai spot about it, and it hit off, everyone was saying that would be dope.
I ran with it, and being a battler myself I started asking myself “What are the things I hate at jams?” “What would make it better?” “How can an event give a battler complete freedom?” So then I started brainstorming on different judging techniques and formats. Even did football season research to help with format.
I would also say this league is more of an Open styles competition than an all styles. I want dancers coming in doing what THEY do best, not try to mold to what the judges want to see.
As far as All Styles battles, in your opinion, why has there been so much confusion with what all styles means and judges decisions?
To me, “all styles” is just a term jams use to explain “freestyle” It got a little out of hand and people started using the word “ALL” too literal. Thinking they needed to showcase that they can do EVERY style. I don’t believe someone can call themselves an “Allstyler” until they have mastered EVERYTHING. That is why I prefer OPEN STYLES. Judges will always have their own opinion, that argument will never be won.
But I can tell you the judging format for my league is different. The judges don’t pick the winner the judges only judge one category each: technique, performance, moments and originality. A collective decision among the judges. Leaves out personal opinions on who won and more decisions on who’s better in what category. More categories, decides the winner.
Where do you see the league going and how has the initial reaction been?
My initial reaction is overwhelming. A crazy amount of battlers feel the same way as I do and want something like this to go down. I want to thank EVERYBODY for the support! Let’s get this crackin!
I see my league going national! Booking a huge venue and creating a spectator sport for REAL battling. Growing the league to a huge amount of dancers, possibly even starting teams. I see many possibilities for my league, just have to focus on this first season. The league is going to be full of random challenges to test dancers to their limit. Ultimately growing the community and growing the battle scene in America.
Tell us more about the league
Legends in the making is going to be bananas! My goal is to make a battle league as legitimate as possible. No room for bias decisions, no room for for being unfair. You win, you win. Give dancers a chance to go to championship. Give dancers the ability to express how they want, go home and keep labbing. I want to also push the intensity of a battle, because during a battle you fight to win. You need attack, character, crowd play.
Help build any dancers to have essentials to win and to grow. The challenges will consist of TKO’s (winning all categories on your first round will automatically win your battle) Different Music, different obstacles you have to do during a battle.
Everything the battle scene needs to bring the youth up, and keep the OG’s battling and teaching us. 32 dancers will run a season of match ups, top 16 will battle it out in a super bowl type championship event. 1 Legend will come on top.