The FLOORRIORZ did the "unbelievable" at Battle of the Year 2017.「とんでもないことを歴史に刻んだ」THE FLOO
The Japanese based dance news media site DEWS posted an interview that rocked the competitive B-boying community. Third time world champions THE FLOORRIORZ had pulled off the unthinkable. Considering the caliber of said achievement, we decided to make it available to the rest of the world. Read it here or check out the English post on the DEWS site.
"If a crew mate kills it, your crew goes wild.
If a crew mate messes up, your crew covers for them."
The FLOORRIORZ have won the BATTLE OF THE YEAR 2017 WORLD FINAL (BOTY) held in Germany on October 21, 2017. Cheers soar about as they bring home their third consecutive win!
Despite all of the glory and celebration, there were inner battles going on inside each of the members as they prepared to take their third BOTY. What was the special sentiment that the members shared?
We interviewed TAISUKE (front center in top photo) on behalf of THE FLOORRIORZ to fill us in.
---- Congratulations on your win! First of all, how do you feel?
I’m really happy. Maybe the happiest I’ve ever been! But more than that, we’ve carved something unbelievable into history. We’re all surprised.
---- You’ve won three times in a row, the first time in BOTY history. The whole dance scene is talking about it.
Well actually, I’m not talking about the three wins. Everyone is getting worked up, saying “It’s never happened before, three consecutive wins!” and that’s amazing as it is, but the “something unbelievable” that I’m talking about is something else
---- What could that be?
Those who’ve already seen the battle might have noticed, but we won without doing any routines. Winning without a single routine, in a time like this, not to mention it being the team battle to decide the champions of the world. We’re all in awe of this unbelievable achievement.
---- Was that all part of your plan?
Yes, it was. We had made a decision. If we would enter BOTY this year, it would be without any routines.
---- Why did you think of doing that?
Let me touch on a bit of the history of breakin’, and a little bit of history about the THE FLOORRIORZ too. First off, members of this crew were all working hard in their own respect individually before forming the crew, some who made achievements in the Red Bull BC One Final or the DANCE ALIVE Final.
---- I was impressed when I first heard that the team was formed, with such extravagant members.
THE FLOORRIORZ is a gathering of such dancers, and we used that as one of our weapons. The first year we competed as a team in BOTY 2012 we made some routines as best we could and approached the preliminaries with individual skill on the forefront and won. Then we went to our first WORLD FINAL and were crushed by VAGABOND (France) and their routines and teamwork. We took that experience, and without changing that much regarding our stance of fighting on an individual level, we put a lot of effort into powering up our routines. Well, we actually put even more effort into polishing our individual skills (haha). We tried again a second and third time, and lost. We didn’t even make it through the Japanese preliminaries the third year.
---- What was going through your minds then?
After the battle was over, we were like “team battles aren’t fun, let’s not enter anymore.”
---- Then why did you try again at BOTY 2015?
We began to feel that we didn’t want to go out like losers. We thought “Leaving it as it is will just piss us off even more. Let’s give it all we got, even if it means changing our stance.” We knew that we were in a time where teams that had a routine for each round were stronger. In reality, those teams were winning everything.
---- So this is the fourth year since that?
We prepared ourselves, headed into battle and took the world title. We were of course happy, but to be honest, it was more like we had won according to a so-called “winning method” and we felt a bit at ease. It’s just that we didn’t like this way of winning, it wasn’t our stance. So when we were invited back the next year for BOTY 2016 as defending champions, we weren’t sure whether to do it or not.
---- I had no idea you had such conflicts. Was there something in particular that made you decide to enter in 2016?
We were joined by young new members who said they wanted to experience BOTY, and since we had just started THE FLOORRIORZ ACADEMY, we wanted to show our students our strong side. So we decided to take part, but we were unsure of how we’d go about fighting the battle.
---- Were you unsure because of the pressure of winning the previous year?
We didn’t want people thinking “last year was just a fluke” if we lost the second time. So we went at it with routines for each round in order to win, and we did win.
---- How did you feel about going in with routines for each round when you didn’t like that stance?
I was happy because we had young members battling with us, but there was still something inside of me that felt empty. When you include a routine in with each round, there’s not enough time in the battle for everyone to dance solo.
---- It may be a team battle, but getting the chance to dance solo is important too.
So it was like we were all fighting together, as one, but not really. The next year the organizers invited us back a second time to defend our title but almost everyone was like “I’m not entering.” When we were finally pressed to give our official reply, most of the members were still against participating.
---- So why did you end up entering when most of the members didn’t want to?
Our new member BGIRL RAM had come out and said that she wanted to enter BOTY. But we were still not really feeling it. So we sat down with RAM and laid it out to her — our discontent with the way you have to win big team battles with so many routines nowadays, how we made so many routines in order to get a title that no other Japanese team had before… It was during those talks that someone came up with the idea. “No matter what crazy routine the other crews come at us with, let’s reply with only solos. Just spirit and solos!”
---- What was everyone’s reaction to that idea?
We were like “Yeeaah. It would be cool if it changed the tides, even if just a bit!” But there was also the uneasiness of having to go all out in our solos, no holding back, or else we might not able to get across what we want to. So we all decided to repolish our skills as individuals, and slowly, one by one, more and more members said they wanted to enter too and about three months before the world final, every member was in the same boat. We entered the battle the day of, not knowing how much any of the others had polished their craft.
---- What a gamble!
In actuality, we were aware that there would be people on the outside who wouldn’t like what we were trying to do. I mean, there are so many teams who put their whole life on the line to make routines and polish their selves as individuals, right? But the whole reason we all practice so damn much since first starting breakin’ is for the sole purpose of polishing your own craft. No
one practices their own stuff for the sake of routines. It was this sentiment that allowed us to fight with all we had, the way we wanted to.
---- How did it feel to actually compete without any routines?
We passed the prelims and the battles started. Since we didn’t do any routines, we were able to truly cheer and support each other and give everything you had when it was your turn to dance. We knew that this method had a big disadvantage considering the times we’re in now, but once the battle started, all that nonsense just went out the door. And before we knew it, we had won. We strongly felt like we were truly battling, even without the routines. It was really an amazing feeling.
---- There will probably be more teams that will enter without routines now after hearing this.
If it is a routine that you really want to do, by all means, you should do it. It’s not like we are bashing on routines altogether. It’s just that, we decided to do it this way because we like the old school BBOY stance where “If a crew mate kills it, your crew goes wild. If a crew mate messes up, your crew covers for them.” Even for just a moment, we wanted people to remember — or even see for the first time — that kind of crew battle.
---- You really had a lot of thoughts going into this battle I see. Lastly, is there anything you’d like to say to the dancers reading this?
Let’s enliven this dance scene! And let’s do it all while having fun in our own ways. Thank you (msk) for giving me the opportunity to speak my mind.
I wonder what the competitive dancers of the world — not only bboys and bgirls — think about this topic.
Text by msk –onelove-