2 on 2 battle qualifiers

Urban SINfonie battle qualifications are now underway.  We are accepting submissions over Instagram.  There are three simple steps to submit:

  1. Click through to the Urban SINfonie event page and download one of our DJ’s prelim tracks for free
  2. Make a video to the track with your chosen 2 on 2 partner
  3. Upload your video to your Instagram using the hashtags #UrbanSINfonie2020 and #SINCru25, tag your partner and @SIN_Cru so we can find it

Top 8 will be chosen on July 1st to go through to battle rounds on 18th – 19th July.

Online comps aren’t for everyone.  The lack of physical interaction, no energy from a crowd… but this is a product of the times.  We are creating opportunities for dancers to connect, collaborate, and share with each other, and more reasons to keep their skills sharp.  It’s easy to feel down, disconnected, or isolated at the moment and lockdown has proven to be a lonely and un-motivating place for many.  Call your crew mate who you haven’t seen since April, WhatsApp the Bboy in your international circle who you’ve always threatened to enter an event with, make something fun and stylish together, and put it online for the world to see.  Dare you.

Urban SINfonie 2020 judges:  Ken Swift, Geo, and TrubLroC.  DJ’s:  Marshy and Mr Margaret Scratcher.  Host:  Bgirl SunSun.

On top of the battles, from the 16th – 19th July we have a festival programme of classes, showcases, pre-parties, parties and after-parties, performances, Q&A’s, hip hop karaoke and much more, all broadcast over our channels.  Keep updated by tuning in as we dive deep to Urban SINfonie 2020 online.

urban SINfonie judge no. 1

Great pleasure to be able to release the news you have all been waiting for…  YESSSSSSSS making a return to the Urban SINfonie judges panel, is none other than Ken Swift.  Check out our dedicated Urban SINfonie page to read our spotlight on Ken, and to find out how to enter.

Ken Swift will be judging Urban SINfonie online 2 on 2 battle on the 18th and 19th of July.  Qualifiers are open now.  Submit your video via Instagram with the hashtags #urbanSINfonie2020 and #SINCru25 , get busy y’all

Urban SINfonie prelims are now OPEN

On the 18th and 19th July, SIN Cru will be hosting a digital festival chock-a-block with dance performances, workshops, archive footage, DJ showcases, live music sets, and SIN Cru’s first ever online 2 on 2 BBoy Battle.

This year’s Urban SINfonie battle is happening via Instagram video submissions posted throughout the rest of June and July, culminating in battles presented live over the 18th and 19th July across our channels.  This is battling tailored for social distancing conditions, whilst providing opportunities for Bboys and girls worldwide to collaborate and get creative together.

Do you have crew members that live far away, or friends that you always say you’re going to enter a battle with but you’re never in the same place?  This is the time to hit them up.  No air miles, no MegaBus, no National Express.

Yessss prelims for the battle are now open, so get up, get into it, get involved:

  1. DOWNLOAD.  Go to the Urban SINfonie page and download one of our free prelim mixes from DJ Marshy or Mr Margaret Scratcher.
  2. FILM.  With your partner arrange your video and edit however you like, be as creative or as raw as necessary.  This could be just two throwdowns stuck together or you could devise something more complicated –  up to you.  Your video must feature the two of you and last no longer than the approx 2 mins duration of the prelim track.
  3. UPLOAD.  Submit on your Instagram with the hashtags #SINCru25 and #UrbanSINfonie2020 .  Make sure you tag your partner who you’re entering with, and us @SIN_Cru

At SIN Cru we have a long proud history of throwing dance events.  We’ve had visitors from all over the world come to Cambridge to compete, judge, teach and support.  2020 is no different.  Judging from a safe distance of about 5,400 miles, we are very pleased to welcome back ‘the epitome of a Bboy’ Ken Swift, 7 Gems Crew USA;  Hailing from Pontcharra, France, our second judge is Sinstars fam Geo from NexTape, creator and organiser of Who Got the Flower international jam; the third judge, Urban SINfonie veteran, is our very own C-Town raised, Sinstar TrubLroC.  Our DJs for the battles are Bridge legends DJ Marshy and Mr Margaret Scratcher with live stream pre and after parties.

Eyes peeled for more info over the coming weeks.  Put it in your filofax or Google Calendar and get ready to rumble.

its not enough

#blackouttuesday but what now?  Its not enough to just say we need change, each and every one of us has a role to play and an action to take.  Yes, sign petitions, yes march and protest, donate to the funds, and support.  But ultimately, we must school ourselves and educate each other.  This change needs to come from a place of knowledge, understanding and recognising that we are all in this, one way or another.  Them awkward conversations need to happen until they are no longer awkward but are woven into our parenting, the intertextuality of our cultures, our national curriculum, the medical service, government policy.  Like waves in the ocean, we are at the same time, individual, and part of something tremendous.

participate digital

words and quandaries from Company Director and Learning and Participation Manager, James Therobot
We have had to radically rethink all the learning and participation goals because of C19 and lock down.  We’ve had to radically rethink a lot of things, but learning and participation has been a big one.  How do you deliver classes to young people without going into schools?  Are young learners going to be back in school any time soon?  When they do, what conditions will it be under?  We didn’t and still don’t have a solid plan from the Government, we have guidelines, but so vague that decisive action seems impossible.  We made a choice to move our planned teaching activity online.  Participate Digital is the name of our new web based classes; delivered via Zoom, YouTube, Vimeo, and our social media platforms, we will have a collection of resources, videos, reference points, print outs, and links available to stream, download, and connect to. Once the decision was made, the next big question was: how do we differentiate ourselves from the tens of thousands of organisations and individuals who seem to have the same plan?  It seems like every dancer and organisation is launching digital courses.  Instagram is a sea of How To videos and tutorials; YouTube ads pop up before every video with pieces to camera telling me, ‘learning street dance has never been this easy’, ‘wish you could dance like this?’  All connected into their sales funnel to get us, the consumer, to buy products.  How do we stand out in a saturated market?
Play to our strengths.  Offer what we’ve always offered. Full dance courses, planned with an eye for what works for the body, safe practice, is fun, and has cultural and historical relevance.
Poppin’: this isn’t a choreography class, the course teaches exercises, drills and eventually full styles that are heritage hip hop techniques.  In our eyes, these building blocks make good dancers.
Breakin’: SIN Cru are old age pensioners when it comes to teaching breakin’, we’ve been doing it for 25 years and we’re still bad, I mean good, I mean bad meaning good.  What’s the importance of the front sweep? You’re about to find out.
Sweat Fresh: This class has been a SIN Cru special for several years.  Taught by TrubLroC, it looks at the party and social steps that come from her own history of going out, raving, dancing with people and ‘avin a larf.
Hip Hop Tots: One of our most over subscribed classes in years past.  This class is for 0-6 year olds and their adults.  The course is full of games and ideas for how to play and dance with your tots.
Cease and Settle.  What it says on the tin.  We stop our activity and allow our bodies to relax and drop all the limiting, painful tension that constant Zooms, panic buying at Lidl, and passive aggressively clapping the NHS louder than your neighbours, brings.  Give yourself a chance to recharge from manic lock down life with this yin yoga inspired session.
The courses are built to function over seven weeks, which means they have progression routes that, when followed to completion, we believe are beneficial.  All Zoom classes are completely free with the support of  Arts Council England until the end of our Back to the Future project in mid August, and places are limited to ten spots a course.  Email projects@SINCru.co.uk or hit us up on the socials to reserve a spot.

BBC Four, May 18th

As part of our 25 year anniversary, we are celebrating the incredible individuals who are part of the SIN Cru family, and have helped shape, nurture, and build the organisation.  This week’s blog shouts out to Viv Perry aka Sinstars Bgirl Raquit.  Dance floors, to radio stations, TV studios, to location location, Viv is numero uno culture correspondent, and her new project, The Changin’ Times of Ike White, is unmissable.

Produced by Viv Perry alongside director Dan Vernon, The Changin’ Times of Ike White is a documentary  about musical prodigy Ike White.  The film was celebrated throughout the documentary festival circuit and is coming to BBC Four this Mon 18th at 10pm. 

Ike made a stunning album in prison in 1974 produced by Jerry Goldstein & Greg Errico (Jimi Hendrix, Sly & The Family Stone) whilst he was serving a life sentence for murder. When Stevie Wonder heard the album he visited Ike in prison and began a campaign to get him early release – check the sleeve notes of Songs In The Key Of Life and you will see a dedication to Ike.  But just as Ike’s album was released, he disappeared into obscurity…  His music has since been sampled by Snoop and Ice Cube.  This doc is all about the hunt to find him.

Side shuffle reminder: Check SIN Cru directors in chat, part 2 with another member of the family, DJ Prone this Sunday, 7.00pm – 9.00pm, Golddust Radio

save the date

Legendary Cambridge Bboy battle, Urban SINfonie, returns this summer as part of SIN Cru’s 25th anniversary celebrations.  The event’s humble beginnings were in 2001, at the Kambar, a very dark and skinny venue some of our readers may remember as Route 66, and is now Pho restaurant.  Urban SINfonie was the brainchild of the original JNR Sinstars, shout out to Hoops, Loops, Gomez, Wongy, Dash, One Off, Snipe, Penfold, Assassin, and Catch.  With thanks to a grant from Cambridge City Council, Urban SINfonie was conceived as a Hip Hop night to bring together all the elements.  Brad Baloo from the Nextmen and TY did an amazing live set, alongside Visual Grafix projections, and a Bboy cypher that was proper five-alive.  The following year we moved the event to The Centre at St Pauls with a focus on the battle.  Urban SINfonie grew in reputation with enough stories to fill several series of Jackanory, and expanded to Cambridge Junction, for its 10yr anniversary.  This year we take our acclaimed grassroots community event online in response to the COVID 19 outbreak, and also as movers and shakers, exploring different platforms to share arts and culture.  Save the date: Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th July 2020.

The battle is at the heart of Hip Hop culture with practitioners in all the elements trying to out do each other in a test of skills to find out who is the best.  Urban SINfonie was born when UK Bboy battles and younger dancers in the scene were a rarity.  The event has a history of attracting overseas dancers to Cambridge from France, Holland, Switzerland, Korea… to compete with national Bboys and be judged by a pioneering line-up of special guest judges including London’s Pervez, New York’s Ken Swift, Italy’s Maurizio, and Sweden’s Freeze.

Bboys and Bgirls with UK lockdown being enforced as part of the COVID 19 pandemic it is the perfect time to get your dancing shoes on, push back the furniture, get some exercise and start training for Urban SINfonie 2020.

Do you have a favourite Urban SINfonie battle from back in the day, or any Urban SINfonie highlights you can remember?  Let us know.  If you have any photos or video footage from Urban SINfonie from over the years, please share your memories by uploading to social media using #SINCruarchive25.


living room sessions

Genius.  Its happening.  You can now follow your dream life of fitness, health, and cray cray fun, all without leaving your own living room.  From next week, as part of our Back to the Future transformation project, we will be delivering a programme of Hip Hop activity, with a little sumthin sumthin for everyone, in usual SIN Cru fashion.  Our virtual programme is starting on Monday with artist development sessions for JNR Sinstars, Sinstars, and Fly No Filter company members.  We will be rolling out the new youth and community provision and resources for schools in the weeks to come, so all you need to do is log on and roll off your sofa.  You can even stay lying on the floor for our backrock and bellymill sessions.  Quids in house party people.

If you can’t wait for us to appear in your front rooms, and you missed our interview with quadruple threat DJ Prone, click here for a recording of the show.  SIN Cru coming in your ears with Vinyl Destination and Golddust Radio


this blog entry is dedicated to all the teachers that told us we’d never amount to nothing.  To all the people that told us to get proper jobs and be realistic, with a pension.  And all the artists in the struggle.  You know what I’m saying.  It’s all good, baby baby.

It was all a dream – we used to read Hip Hop Connection, and listen to pirate radio, pressing pause and record, pause and record.  We never thought that Hip Hop could take us this far, but now we’re in our own limelight because we’re building tight.  SIN Cru is twenty five years deep and its time to get paid, to blow up like the World Trade.  No more eating sardines for dinner, because we’ve been awarded real p’s from Arts Council England to develop our artists, transform our practise, share love with our communities and grow stronger for longevity.  We blowing up like my ma knew we would – reach us on the same number, in the same hood, strengthening our locality and empowering our peoples.  It’s all good, and if you don’t know, now you know.

Back to the Future #SINCru25 project launched on Monday, with support from Arts Council England, Big Yellow Storage, VideoSuite Ltd, Adidas Originals, and Church of the Good Shepherd.  We’ll be luncheoning, and brunching, with radio interviews by the hot tub, challenging stereotypes of a culture misunderstood, and it’s still all good

Representing C-Town in a region where Hip Hop is marginalised our project will seed a new framework to raise quality and viability for the Bboy culture and workforce.

You know very well we give good and plenty.

RascElle and Khagen it’s all good/ Margaret Scratcher and Marshy it’s all good/ Ken Swift and Geo it’s all good/ Clare LDN it’s all good/ Hakeem Mr Impact it’s all good/ Ben Swift, James Therobot and TrubLroC it’s all good.  It’s all good.  That’s right 2020 and on and on, and on and on.  Don’t let them hold you down.

Catch us talking to Prone all about Back to the Future #SINCru25 on Vinyl Destination this Sunday 19th April, 7.00pm – 9.00pm