With the advent of hip-hop a new style of dancing arrived at the scene, combining near to acrobatic moves performed to the engaging beats of the music. While the term breakdancing was used for this new way of moving to the beats in mainstream media, the dancers themselves use the term B-Boy and B-Girl, and engaging in the dance is known as B-Boying.
Red Bull has been organising an international competition in B-Boying for 10 years and the finals of the Middle East and African division of this year’s event were held in Jordan earlier this week. B-boys from all across the continent had been battling it out in several local and national rounds, resulting in 16 finalists showing their prowess and agility in the ancient Odeon Theatre in Amman.
One of the finalists was Egyptian B-Boy CHB, Charley, from the crew From Bronx to Cairo. According to his bio CHB said his style is unique because of his distinct footwork and freezes and that head balances are his signature move. He became interested in B-Boying when watching the music video that accompanied Up Rocking Beats by BomFunk MC.
Another inspiration was the movie You Got Served, as well as the Omani B-Boy scene where he lived for part of his life. His chosen name Charley is in reference to the character of the thief in Oliver Twist, Charley Bates. After portraying the character in school people started calling him CHB, an abbreviation of his character’s name.
CHB studies film at the American University in Cairo and he plans to use his art to document and draw attention to the B-Boy scene. He hopes to take his B-Boying to an international level in the next 10 years, travelling the world and teaching his unique style of B-Boying.
Besides dancing, CBH MCs and draws and dabbles in graffiti. His father, a professor in Applied Arts has not problem with his son being a B-Boy and encourages him to pursue what he loves. While the B-Boy scene in Egypt is substantial, those who are part of the scene struggle to generate more attention for the talented Egyptian B-Boys.
CBH believes that what makes a good B-Boy is, firstly, learning the basics and secondly, practicing B-Boy foundation, musicality and originality. Also, according to Charley a good B-Boy has to show people where he comes from through his moves and finally, he needs to deliver a message through his dance and of course the most important thing, have fun.
Taking part in the Red Bull BC One competition was a long-cherished dream for CHB. “The way it respects B-Boys and supports them all around the world, even in the Middle East and Africa is just amazing,” he said. “Like in 2007, they invited a B-Boy from Senegal to battle with the best in the world.”
The finals of the Middle East Africa Red Bull BC One competition were won by Moroccan Lil Zoo, who will go on to compete in the World Finals in Seoul, South Korea in November of this year.