International Street Dance Competition in the heart of Shoreditch: Popcity UK 2020

Popcity UK is in 2020 in its 5th year and took place at Shoreditch Townhall on Saturday, 25th January 2020. More than 450 dancers of all ages were competing against each other in 3 different dance styles: Popping, Hip Hop and Litefeet.

The winners in all categories went home with a cash prize, the winner in the Popping competition is competing in the Popcity Finals in East Asia in December 2020.

These are the winners in 2020:

POPPING: Marvel (UK)

HIP HOP:  Kashmir (UK)

Litefeet: Jay Bullet (UK)

U16: Damarre (UK)

What is Popping?

Popping is a type of street dance that was born in California in the 1970s and gained popularity with Soul Train and the performance by The Electric Boogaloos in 1979. The Popping technique consists of quick contractions and relaxations of muscles which causes a jerk in the body that is referred to as “pop” or “hit”. In combination with the rhythm of a song, this makes it seem as if the music is controlling the dancer’s body. It is often performed in battles and club settings where dancers try to outperform each other. This often results in a performance that is hard to replicate on stage as it lives off freestyle and improvisation.

A similar atmosphere had been created at Shoreditch Townhall on 25th January: Starting with the Top 32 dancers, 2 of them were competing against each other at a time which on more than one occasion created an ambiance of battle and interaction of the competitors on the dance floor – Certainly an entertaining performance for the audience and the judges! As soon as the time for each dancer had run out, the judges would each point to their favourite. The dancer who had most of the judges’ hearts won, moved to the next round.

The people that make it happen

The judges came from all over the world to London that day:

Popping: Mr Steen (Denmark), MT Pop (Vietnam), Rob Pountney aka Chimp Chilla (UK)

Hip Hop: Niako (France)

Litefeet: Richie Rich (USA)

U16s All Styles: Bgirl Roxy (UK), Richie Rich (USA), MT Pop (Vietnam)

The music was produced by live DJs: DJ Fayme (Germany), DJ D-Bo (UK) and DJ T-SIA (France)

Popcity UK becomes reality through the cooperation of Shoreditch Townhall, Fiya house and Team London Bridge with support of the British Arts Council.

Impressions of the day

The overall impression does not have any competitive character, all dancers were enjoying the music on the dancefloor during the breaks and the whole event felt like a massive party with girls doing each other’s hair, warming up in groups or having a picknick on the side. During the competitive rounds, all dancers treated each other with respect and were cheering for those on the dancefloor.

It only got competitive for those two dancers called to the floor as the one being last on the dancefloor would have to dance first. This resulted in all dancers sitting around the dancefloor so that they would only have to slide over the line that marked the end of the stage. As almost every dancer though was that well prepared, it resulted from time to time in a discussion around the fact who would do the dreaded first dance.

All in all, Shoreditch Townhall has seen outstanding street dance performances that day and amazing talents in the world of Hip Hop and Popping.