Youth Breaking Championships | 2023
In 2021, when the news about Breaking being an Olympic sport started to circulate, Kennedy “EraNetik” Phounsiri knew there was a need for a platform that would both gain and maintain the interest of students and parents, especially as they grew older. “There wasn't a platform that was professionally structured strictly for the youth and their development. Seeing how different sports like basketball, soccer, and football operate with their developmental youth leagues, I knew that Breaking could be on that same scale, if we had something in place for them” (Phounsiri).
This is how the Youth Breaking Conference, and most recently, the Youth Breaking Championships came about. August 19th, 2023, was the first run of the breaking championships, and it was nothing short of amazing.
EraNetik did a test run of the Youth Breaking Conference (YBC) in December 2021, which included a full day training camp, and two battle categories (Teens, 13-17 & Kids, 12 under). Only 20 youth breakers participated. When he ran this same event in June 2022, with the same criteria, there were 70 participants.
Later, UDEF reached out about doing a YBC tour. With Jack In The Box believing in the vision, and offering a sponsorship, as well as collaborations with Freestyle Session and Finest City Dance, they were able to put on an extremely successful series of events. This year, there were 172 participants between the qualifying events alone, all fighting for the top 8 championship spots. Moving to a national scale, they decided on eight major cities where they hosted qualifier events. The winners were all flown out to San Diego for the National Championship. The eight winners, also known as the Elite 8, were:
- Kid Break - New York champion
- Flippers - Houston champion
- Atti - Denver champion
- Nemi Fly - Phoenix champion
- Gryffin - Seattle champion
- Bam Bam - Los Angeles champion
- Babalu - Las Vegas champion
- Character King - Salt Lake City champion
This year, the championship consisted of a three day training camp leading up to the final event with world class instructors such as Profo Won, Kid Rainen, and Wicket.
Including the breaking conferences allows the youth to develop their skills, be around other people of similar ages with the same interests, and learn about training methods, physical and mental health and the history of the culture. Not only is this motivating, but it also makes it fun for them.
This year, Kid Break became the first YBC national champion, in a great final battle against Babalu. These dancers show a promising future for the breaking culture, and with more events like this, we can continue to build them up, and provide them a platform to continue doing what they love.
Watch the finals and more @stanceelements on YouTube!