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Urbanize jams out to cool beats and vibes

Music blasting, the feel of bass throbbing in your chest, loud cheers from the encircling crowd, two people twisting in the air, it can only be breakdancing.

On May 12, CVHS Urbanize hosted it first ever Urbanize Jam, “The Urban Games,” in the gym.  The Urbanize Jam was a friendly competition between several crews from different schools organized by juniors Joey Toor and Thien Huynh.  Northgate High, Skyline High (Skyline Breakers), Ygnacio Valley High (Supreme Kings) and James Logan High (Kamakazee Tyrannts) were just some of the schools whose crews came to CVHS to participate.

“We found participants through Facebook since we had mutual friends.  This will help people gain more experience in jams,” said Toor.

In addition to unifying the breakdancing groups in the Bay Area, the Urbanize Jam also strived to help feed the needy.  Canned food donations going to the Alameda County Food Bank were accepted and appreciated.

“We decided to participate in donating food to the Alameda County Food Bank because of the purpose of this event, which was to bring everyone together,” said Huynh. “We figured that if this event was to bring people together, we might as well take another step by having this fun, yet beneficial event for all.”

About 40 break dancers participated in the Urbanize Jam plus a 15-minute exhibition battle between Many 2 One Crew and the Next Step Crew.  From the CVHS Urbanize club, Taji “KidTek” Mekki, Jackson “Lethal Interjack” Guo, Michael “Moksee” Nguyen, and Tim “A.X.L” Hooker competed.

“I started dancing freshman year when my friends did it and asked me to learn and I kept going even after they stopped,” said Nguyen, a senior.

“Dancing is a fun way to show talent and the Jam is a healthy competition,” said senior Mekki.

Participants could compete alone or in groups of three.  The first place prize for the three-on-three battle was $75 and the first place prize for the solo battle was $50.  The three judges were Caleb “The Damager” Soon from The Next Step, B-boy Power Serge from All the Way Live, and Jeff Marzan.

“I think there’s a lot of talent, a lot of kids who put their heart into dancing,” said Soon. “It takes a lot of work to prepare and train for a battle.”

At the end, however, Ygnacio Valley High’s Supreme Kings won the three-on-three and Kevin “K-Vu” Vu from Many 2 One Crew of Mt. Diablo High won the one-on-one.

“It feels great,” said Vu when asked how it felt to win. “I didn’t expect to win, but why not try out and test your luck?”

Urbanize hopes that the Jam will become an annual event and would like to host another one next year.

“B-boying is about having fun and showing your inner musicality and expression while also providing entertainment,” said senior Guo.