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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.

time to break and a time to chill

HNY world. Today 5th January 1980, Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang is the first hip hop single to reach the Billboard Top 40. This nugget of seminal information is one over 1000 historic Hip Hop facts in Mark 563 and Dokument press’s Hip Hop Journal. A wonderful Christmas present from SIN Cru Director, Ben Swift. Now is the perfect time to gift yourself a New Year’s sumthin sumthin, or to encourage your tribe to get fresh. And we have the perfect gift that keeps on giving, Participate Digital‘s ‘a time to break and a time to chill’ January programme starting on ZOOM TODAY:

Tuesdays 5:00pm – 6:00pm Cease and Settle; relax, stretch out and open yourselves up to 2021

Wednesdays 5:00pm – 6:00pm Breakin’; classic styles and classic fun learning the art of Bboyin’

If 2020 has taught us anything, its the importance of balance, indisputably summed up by Big Bank Hank RIP, verse 9 of the 12″, ‘there’s a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to live, and a time to die. A time to break, and a time to chill, to act civilised, or to act real ill.’ Invest in your time this year, and own your choices.

for the Creative in your life

searching for a very special limited edition gift for the Creative in your life? Head over to FullyDipped on Etsy to get your hands on the brand spanking new notebook. With a mix of lined and blank pages, this 50 page A5 landscape notebook is perfect as a set book for dancers; a black book for graffiti artists; somewhere to collect your doodles, your bars, your thoughts, and sketches. The full colour laminated cover features Hip Hop characters and designs by Nonsinthetik, the inner cover and lined pages show a yellow graphic with various illustrations and text. Supported by Arts Council England‘s Culture Recovery Fund, this practical piece of art is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving.

the olympics

It first started with discussions about breakin’s place in the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics. Older heads in the scene said it was a complicated process, the World Dance Sports Federation would have to have a clear plan and a lot of paperwork to be able to accept it as a category that they represented. Breakin’ was included in the Youth Olympics, and further proposed by the 2024 Paris Olympic Games organising committee as an additional sport, alongside skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced yesterday, Tuesday 8th December 2020, that Breakin’ is confirmed as a sport in the 2024 programme.

Check out https://www.breakingforgold.com/ for info on upcoming events and competitors. 

The main and most discussed anxiety for any Head who’s been in this scene for a while, is that the culture will be misrepresented, poorly explained, or showcased to the masses with no cultural context. This is our job moving forward. We all have to let people know as this path unfolds onto what is quite literally, the world’s largest stage, the best way to represent us as a culture. This dance is called breakin’ or Bboyin’ not breakdance; it is part of a wider cultural movement including graffiti, DJing, beatboxing and MCing, and it can’t be divorced from the personality of the individual without losing its essence and what makes it special.

Another well fleshed out worry is that the music and judging systems will have to become standardised in order to formalise such a large and all encompassing competition. Heads will know that over the years, Bboy anthems have already been lost from big competitions due to international music rights, and the need to share content across online platforms such as Youtube, without getting censored or sued. Judging is also a hot topic – how does style and individual personality translate in a worldwide judging system, but how does it ever in any competition? Judging events has always set people off, from unconscious bias, to plain ignorance, differing opinions, to personal justification to the world and their B-mum post event from mid-battle scribbles; you will never please everyone. 

Concerns over corruption within the Olympics and partnering with big corporations aren’t new either. The scene has been vocal over culture vultures and people capitalising on the assets of breakin’ for many years. Energy drink sponsored super crews have been the talk of the town for a moment, but we have to check our hypocrisy. We buy petrol and diesel at the expense of the environment, fill our houses with plastic waste and eat factory farmed meat, all supporting capitalist systems that keep an imbalanced global status quo. Maybe we need to check our standards if they’re not aligned. As Poe One says, ‘we live on stolen land.’

The benefits for the scene could be big, a larger platform, better supported upper tier of competing professionals, more research into training, diet, injury prevention and so on. More money. But the down side is the reclassification in many people’s eyes, of dance to sport. The concern that arts organisations such as ourselves will be supported less by third sector public funding is a real one, and one that we will have to learn to navigate in the inevitable future of dance meets sport. 

Two other points to note, one good and one bad: The Olympic selection is making sure that there is an equal amount of male and female competitors, promoting gender equality across the event, in what is traditionally a chauvinistic, male dominated culture. The second point is that the Olympics are by nature Nationalistic, something that runs in antithesis to Hip Hop’s purpose of bringing people together and breaking down barriers. Nationalism can be a dangerous subject, especially in countries where it’s often hijacked by the far right and used as a vehicle for xenophobia and hate.

The message being broadcast by most futurists in the scene seems to be to ‘get with the programme, or get left behind.’ For everyone who is feeling left behind, I think it’s important to remember that change will always feel strange, and that this culture is robust enough to look after many camps and viewpoints. SIN Cru will always be a champion of the style, music, character, and culture that created the dance. Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. 

festive frivolities THIS friday

Whether you are weathering the storm or shedding a little tear for those of us still chillin’ in tier 3 lockdown, the inevitability of Christmas is upon us. Put up your tree, hang the tinsel, get out the mince pies, and book on to our festive Participate Digital pop up classes this Friday.

4.30pm – 5.30pm (GMT) Breakin’ for 7yrs +, with fancy dress and games

5.45pm – 6.45pm (GMT) candle light Cease and Settle for 14yrs + for a super relaxing wind down before the holidays.

Beat those seasonal blues and come join us. £6 for one class or £10 for both. Buying for someone else? Why not give one of these classes as an early Christmas present? Click here for easy purchase online.