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co class garlic bread – Lil’Tim

People didn’t believe it could be done – garlic bread. Bread with garlic. A ‘taste sensation, the future’ as Peter Kay famously said of the side dish. In 2014 the thunderbolt of fun that is Lil’Tim won the UK Bboy Championships world finals, and just like your first bite of garlic bread, the bboy scene got a glimpse of the future, with moves and an energy that were unbelievable, unsurpassable. Lil’Tim has spent a lot of time nurturing new generations with his infectious positivity, and through the SIN Cru company classes, he has been able to refocus some of that good sheeet back into his own personal development:

I’m part of the SIN Cru family and have been taking part in the company classes. We have been working on foundation – foundation is not only about moves, it’s about the way we think and interpret our feelings into movement. We have been trying to take ourselves back to the roots of bboy culture to be more authentic in the way we present ourselves when entering the circle.

I have been working on basics – hand; hips; feet; arms; back positions; working in and out of different techniques and moves; all to help me get rid of bad practice and unhelpful habits I have done over the years. It makes me realise the strengths and weaknesses I have in my body, and which areas I most need work on. I have struggled with breathing, as I realise I hold my breath a lot so I need to be more conscious of that. Also to free up the tightness in my body, I need to stretch and condition more.

I teach a lot of the time and now being a student again has helped me for when I teach. I’m having an amazing time and know what I need to achieve before I start battling again. 

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co class appetiser – Mechanikool

Mechanikool is a first rate popper. He has been doing his thing for years, travelling the globe learning from, sharing with, and influencing dancers of all generations. Several moons ago Mechanikool made the trek to the Bridge with the sole plan to clean up at Urban SINfonie and take home the money. He returned last year to work with Fly No Filter on new work FINEST and has been a pretty permanent fixture ever since. Here are his thoughts on company class so far;

As this is the first time I have invested in artist development I remained open minded about what I expected to learn/experience on this course. 

What I like about the company classes is it gives you a chance to explore things that you might have been procrastinating or not confident enough to attempt to practice. In my case it was building my familiarity with lower level movement in popping. Traditionally, I attack a lower/ground level move as a momentary thing but I wanted to understand my anatomy in these positions. This involved partly building strength in my legs and improving fluidity in motion. If I had a regret, it is that I understood the opportunity better to approach working on this in a different way but at the same time maybe I need this slower reaction to understand the need to explore more effective practice strategies.

Another thing that I have been highly grateful for is the opportunity for yoga,  the meditation, stretching and even the Tabata sessions. I already the see the benefits to my conditioning. This is an aspect of my dance journey that I’m not always so consistent with but it has encouraged me to get back on some of these exercises in my own time. I’d also add that seeing the younger artists and how flexible they are in certain aspects has encouraged me to aspire to improve my own body for the sake of longevity in this dance.

I have highly appreciated the opportunity to work with new people in a different location, which has been truly fun.

An excerpt of Mechanikool performing FINEST … audio ON 🙂



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co class nibbles – bgirl Princess

Lauren Stewart aka Lozza aka Princess turned up to a SIN Cru audition in 2018 and landed herself the lead role of Roni in the Glorious Tour and subsequent performance exhibition only when its feathers are grown. Since then she has become an integral part of the company with a keen desire for learning and self-development. After waking from a dream about birthing a cat, Princess shares her thoughts on company class…

Each week I enjoy discussions we have on Hip Hop culture and find through these I learn more about the art form and how each person in company class feels on a topic. One week we were asked to read through Letter to an OG, an Article on the Hip Hop Dance Almanac and as I read it I found a lot of things to ask questions on/relate to in my practice. However, if I had just read it through myself I wouldn’t have understood the tiny nuances that the group unpicked throughout the article. We were able to pull apart sections, ask questions to one another and see different sides to an argument.

Company class is physically and mentally demanding. It inspires me to want to improve and continue learning and has been very important in my Breakin’ journey which I hope I can continue in the future.

Here is bgirl Princess opening up a showcase for Big Norfolk Holiday Fun in December, alongside crew mates RascElle and James Therobot

co class lite bite – fly cai

Fly Cai joined SIN Cru’s development scheme for professional artists with the second round of company class launched during lockdown. He has been crew for many years, working his way through community classes to becoming a valued member of the JNR Sinstars youth crew, and graduating to eOTo for emerging artists. Fly Cai is now considering his practice as a professional artist and what that might look like for him. Here he explains how company class helps him physically and with his wellbeing.

The class settles me, challenges me and pushes me to my limit throughout the day and the course. The challenges are consistent from complicated breakin’ that includes footwork, freezes, power; and doing intensive fitness ie. sit-ups, push-ups and planks. The day finishes with cool-down, stretching and meditation, and leaves me feeling calm and focussed.

Throughout the course I have progressed physically in my training, and this has impacted me by getting my body in better shape and improving my stamina. I’ve learnt that when not being able to do something initially, with consistent practice it is possible to reach my goal. Overcoming these challenges is helping me both as a dancer and as an individual. 

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Support for North Cambridge residents to receive free Participate Digital classes

Thanks to Living Sport and made possible with funding from National Lottery and Sports England, we are able to offer a limited amount of free spaces on our Participate Digital online classes this Summer.

SIN Cru has always worked closely with North Cambridge communities, teaching in Arbury, Kings Hedges and Manor wards for 20 years, delivering our Bboyin’ and Poppin’ courses, as well as our youth company projects, holiday schemes and yearly projects.

We are so happy to be able to offer limited free spaces exclusively to North Cambridge residents to re-connect with local families in this strange time. For the last year we’ve lead online sessions to try and encourage participants of all ages and ability levels to start their creative journeys, keep active, and keep learning.

To book a space on one of our May courses click HERE

If you think you or someone you know might be eligible for one of our sponsored course spaces – get in touch via email to Projects@SINCru.co.uk

SIN Cru merch has landed…

Created by SIN Cru member, illustrator, designer and BBoy Nonsinthetik, we’ve got a range of stickers, notebook and even wallpaper for the true SIN Cru fan.

Nonsinthetik (or Ben, as he is also known) talks us through his creative process…

What kind of work do you normally produce?

I am primarily an illustrator with two main styles: a highly detailed realistic one used primarily for portraits, and a more cartoony style featuring my trademark scribble head characters.

I draw everything with a pen, scan it and then colour using Adobe Illustrator.

How did you first get involved with SIN Cru?

We were all Breakin’ and going to the same Hip Hop clubs in London in the late nineties. I met Kilo and the other members of the Sinstars crew at nights like Scratch, The Hop and Funkin’ Pussy.

At some point he asked Twista and myself who are in Style First Crew to represent Sinstars and would join the crew for bookings and performances.

Who is your greatest creative inspiration? 

I’m inspired by the original NY graffiti guys who took their art to the next level through character design, graphics, style and scale: Doze, Futura, Haze and Kaws. I’m also a big fan of Drew Struzan, the film poster artist.

Why did you design the wallpaper, notebooks and stickers?

They have been created to generate income for SIN Cru, which we then use to fund our activities. By buying our merch, you’re helping to support the work we do. We also thought they were a fun, unusual way to build our brand – not many people make their own wallpaper!

The sticker pack was made as part of SIN Cru’s 25th anniversary celebrations. The wallpaper was originally created as a backdrop for filming the Jam with the Fam series, you can now buy it in bespoke sizes. The pad uses the same design as the wallpaper and is aimed at SIN Cru class participants – and whoever needs a funky new notebook.

What influenced the style?

The sticker pack has three designs – the SIN Cru 25th logo, S T U S H logo and a scribble head character. The 25th logo was inspired by classic anniversary designs and a nod to the MGM film logo.

The S T U S H logo is a classic bold graffiti tag style. The character represents the dance form of Breakin and community through the multiple skin tones, and is in my trademark cartoon style.

The wallpaper design is a combination of characters and images created notating Participate Digital Breakin and Hip Hop Tots classes with relevant hand drawn typography. I was influenced by The Fresh Prince of Bel Air wallpaper, in the opening title sequence.

Were there any challenges in designing wallpaper?

Getting the colour right was the main thing, it went through a number of colour way changes to get the balance right.

What was your favourite bit of the design process?

During the colour process when you begin to drop all the shades and tones into place, you can see the final result comng together. As I start with black outlines to colour, the end result can look and feel totally different.

Who did you have in mind when you were designing them? 

SIN Cru participants initially, the wider Hip Hop community and anyone who appreciates design and illustration.


Wallpaper, notepads and sticker packs are all on sale now via our Etsy site
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call for contributors

do you have strong, considered thoughts on the inclusion of breakin’ in the Olympics? Would you like your opinions heard? Global Hip Hop Studies is a peer-reviewed, rigorous and community-responsive academic journal that publishes research on contemporary as well as historical issues and debates surrounding hip hop music and culture around the world. The editors are collating a special issue of the journal on “Breaking and the Olympics,” and would like to receive abstracts for papers exploring this topic. They are calling for several different article types including artist statements and interviews, book reviews, and archival pieces, to encourage a wide range of voices and research. Deadline for abstract 31st May, https://www.intellectbooks.com/asset/56064/1/Global_Hip_Hop_Studies_Call_for_Papers_Feb_21.pdf

Get into your flow with Cease and Settle

2020. It was quite the year wasn’t it?

While we wait for things to get back on track in 2021, get into a different headspace with Cease and Settle, our new Tuesday evening class.

Inspired by Yin yoga methods, Cease and Settle focuses on stretching and breathwork techniques and is set to soothing 90s RnB slow jams.

Suitable for complete beginners aged 14+, you can rest and recharge with us every Tuesday in March from 5-6pm. Cease and Settle is taught by Lucy, a highly experienced instructor.

£20 for a 4 week course. Running dates 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd March. Click here to book.

All of our teachers are DBS checked, fully insured and adhere to our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection policy.

Courses are hosted on ZOOM, and by purchasing a course, you are agreeing to our Participate Terms and Conditions

Break and pop into spring with our new Zoom classes for kids and young people

Spring has sprung at SIN Cru and to celebrate, two of our most popular online courses for families are back for March.

Suitable for ages 7+, Breakin’ teaches you the foundation of breakdancing every Wednesday, 5 – 6pm.

You don’t need any previous experience, as each week you’ll be taught the basics by Lil Tim until you’re a bona fide Bboy/Bgirl.

Lil’ Tim has been a professional dancer and choreographer for over 20 years, and can’t wait to meet the next generation.

£20 for a 4 week course. Running dates 3, 10, 17 and 24 March. Click here to book.


Poppin’ is suitable for ages 12+ and, as the name suggests, teaches you all the basics you need to pop your body like a boss.

Again, no experience is needed as teacher James guides you through this 4 week course. Poppin’ is on Thursdays, 5 – 6pm.

£20 for a 4 week course. Running dates 4, 11, 18 and 25 March. Click here to book.

All of our teachers are DBS checked, fully insured and adhere to our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection policy.

Courses are hosted on ZOOM, and by purchasing a course, you are agreeing to our Participate Terms and Conditions


Veganuary

Veganuary was started in 2014 by a not-for-profit of the same name. Dedicated to encouraging companies and individuals to make the switch to plant based under the logic that it’s kinder to animals, good for your health and has long lasting environmental benefits. It can be extremely daunting to change your habits, even for a small amount of time, you have to be okay with the new and different. The Veganuary challenge only asks you to commit to one month, if you can’t stomach it, you change back, but if like 600,000+ other vegans in the UK you’re considering long term change, welcome to the party.

Going vegan means re-education. You make changes every day and learn new habits, behaviours, recipes, and make new friends. You can find inspiration on vegan Instagram pages or Facebook groups. Change doesn’t have to be daunting and feels a lot easier with support and advice from the existing community. So, where can you go from here? If you’re inspired by the 2021 Veganuary but didn’t swear off the scary dairy, why not try your own, self imposed, meatless March?

It can take a lot of courage to build up to veganism, with the classic concerns of missing certain foods like cheese or honey, and the not baseless worry of getting a varied enough protein intake – especially if you’re an athlete. Veganism isn’t for everyone but if you are interested in exploring if it’s for you, how do you deal with other people’s expectations? Once the decision is made, often these concerns aren’t a big issue; Being vegan doesn’t need to create limits, it can create great opportunities to reassess what you’re putting into your body and the quality of your food. It can become a fun experience hunting out the great vegan restaurant on holiday or learning to cook new and interesting meals. By committing to these changes you align with a similar crowd and find friends who care about the same things. You’ll meet other vegans, swap tips, advice, and stories to help you in your new habits. It starts with diet, but as you delve deeper there is much more. Feathers and leathers may feel like an unkind choice, and you might move away from perfume or aftershave that support animal testing.

There is a classist debate connected with veganism, often framed as a middle class choice for people who can afford luxury items like tofu and avocados. But meat is expensive and the meat industry is heavily subsidised to make up for this. Ethical farming for crops that support vegan foods are also a point of contention. Ideally all agriculture would be sympathetic to the countries and people who make a living from these industries. The nature of Capitalism means corporations profit at the expense of the natural resources of poorer economies. What can be done? We are living in an era where information is at our fingertips and consumers can make ethical choices through where we choose to spend our money and what companies we support. Donate to charities that will make a change – send some money to PETA or WWF, the panda one not the wrestling one. Opting for veganism may seem like a small change, but with the other ethical life choices it can lead to, and over time with a growing community, it all adds up. We all grow through small acts of personal revolution.