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commendable and engaging

Now I don’t profess to be an active member of the Bboy scene – although I do have a history of support for and involvement with SIN Cru – but I do know a commendable and engaging Hip Hop Festival when I see one.

I joined the Urban SINfonie pre-party with LadyBFine and TrebLRek and I was instantly connected.  The old school tunes got me grooving in the kitchen while being entertained by the DJ pair donning vibrant hats complement of Kangol, and sweatshirts from FullyDipped Gold.  The reams of archive footage was an entertaining watch compered by the knowlegeable and perfectly toned presenter Ben Eastwood,  and is testament to the strong history of SIN Cru.  It was a major treat to listen to Ken Swift from his LA studio, superbly interviewed by Ill Boogs – both legends in their own right.  Having this pair show up provided huge gravitas and is evidence of their respect for SIN Cru.  The panel interviews explored the ever evolving nature of this arts scene, and the online battles were exciting and simply accessed.  I was proud of SIN Cru for pushing the boundaries.  To be able to watch a live battle featuring crews from Vietnam and Switzerland all from the comfort of your own home – I was infact cooking Sunday dinner – was a new experience and for me it was the ability to invite my friends on Facebook to join me in a Watch Party that made it so dynamic.  Usually you are at an event and wish others were with you.  This time I could invite anyone to join me instantly.

I feel really proud of Lucy whom I have known for over 25 years.  I feel privileged to have witnessed the evolvement and growth of SIN Cru.  The culmination of 25 years celebrated in the Urban SINfonie online festival proves the huge journey travelled and is an inspiration to the arts world.

Mrs F. Brown

Assistant Headteacher, Bishop Ullathorne Catholic School

Sinstar Original ❤️

we don’t need roads

Supported by Arts Council England, as part of SIN Cru’s 25th anniversary celebrations, Fly No Filter endeavoured to create a new piece of dance theatre.  Since reppin for the ladies in 1999, after ten years as a JNR Sinstar, two years on the eOTo scheme, and battling Ill Boogs for a spot in the Sinstars Bboy crew nine years ago, Bgirl RascElle finally joined the Fly No Filter company line up.  Live and direct after returning from four years in Vietnam, welcome to her words.

Taking us right ‘Back to the Future’ we entered the land of the online.  Due to the villainous COVID-19, the latest Fly No Filter project had to be altered and adapted to meet regulations.  This proved new and challenging for us all.  We were directed to train and share through the ZOOM master and other media platforms.  As we focused on performance and battle, there were many new concepts we had to work with, for instance, losing direct human response, and judging that through the virtual world.  Entering battles online gave us the opportunity to compete not only nationally but internationally from the comfort of our own homes, to a much larger audience.  This was an amazing opportunity but also tough when it came to the dreadful buffering, lagging, and dodgy WIFI.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting back into my body and working on all my foundation and fundamentals with professional directors and new artists.  Throughout the project I received top inspiration, drills, technique and friendship.  Aside from watching the brilliantly edited performance pieces we’d developed, and making it through to the finals at an international battle, for me the biggest finale was being able to meet and train together as a company in person for the last session.  This is just the start of the adventure.  Roads, where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

 

positivity during hardship and uncertainty

the twenty five years of seeding, watering, weeding, raking, watering, deadheading, playing gentle choral music, whispering, watering and watering of SIN Cru to arrive at today has always been a team effort.  SIN Cru stands for Strength In Numbers, we are a product of Hip Hop culture, and as per, have our roots firmly earthed in the community, with family values and sensibilities.  Over the years SIN Cru has been proud and humbled by the sense of familial support, especially that of the JNR Sinstars and their peoples.  Our blog today comes from JNR Sinstar, Able-C’s mum, as she wrote, ‘to be put in the drawer for later…  hoping it may be helpful’

I wanted to write to say what a fantastic 25th anniversary celebration SIN Cru created.  The Urban SINfonie festival was incredibly well done, and I would have expected nothing less from SIN Cru.  There was a smorgasbord of livestream workshops, music, dance battles, and a large number of examples of friendship, respect for one another no matter who you are and where you come from, highlighting the positive strength of the Hip Hop community.

The whole family could get involved in one or more of the livestreams.  My son especially enjoyed creating his submission for the Hip Hop Karaoke and all of us loved watching the archive footage of the crew from the past.  The life experiences shared in the panel discussions were incredible.  The careful curating and choice of panel participants allowed us to see first hand the remarkable contribution, passion, and energy that all SIN Cru members have given over the years.  Archive footage revealed the many young people who have been nurtured and encouraged to find their inner strength and confidence, making a huge impact on positive life direction.  So many of the SIN Cru students have gone on to work in the dance or music industry, or vocations where they have transferred SIN Cru values of inner strength, leadership, resilience, physical and mental wellbeing, and kindness towards others.

The livestreams made it evident how positive and strong role modelling can be when combining children and young people, many from very challenging home backgrounds, with hip hop dance and music.  The sense of community and an acceptance for who you are, combined with the quality role models from SIN Cru and older dance peers, are a powerful recipe to support students in reaching their full potential.

At this time of uncertainty, and the severed ability for young people in our community to access their usual activities and social groups, Urban SINfonie was an important event, particularly for the young, allowing them to see people they admire and look up to, all smiling, joking, exercising, imparting ideas of wellbeing, maintaining a positive mindset and practising important good life habits through Hip Hop culture.

Through the livestream discussions between many of the founders of SIN Cru and those people who have spanned decades in the Hip Hop scene, the children and young people could see first hand, adults maintaining long term friendships from around the world, built on a deep respect and a shared passion for Hip Hop culture.

I wanted to express my hope that there will be scope for SIN Cru to continue to provide similar sessions on a regular basis, so that the younger members of our community have a chance for a positive focus which is crucial for mental and physical wellbeing, particularly at this time of widespread hardship and uncertainty.

thankyou thankyou and zimzimma

Urban SINfonie online festival is done.  Supreme thankyou to:

all our virtual audiences, Linda’s fanclub,

Ken Swift, Geo, Mr Margaret Scratcher, DJ Marshy, LadyBFine, Prone, Brad Baloo and Dom Search from The Nextmen, Sun Sun, Lil’Tim, Ed at Grounded UK, Sheku and Justice, Big South, No Half Stepping, Khagen and RascElle, Force 10, Positive Mindforce, Willexic and Twista, Clean North, Ill Boogs, Pervez, Viv, Dr Lise Smith, Killa Kela, Cutmaster Swift, Lauren Lozza Stewart, Stuntgal, Able_C, Ruby, Sideshow Maule, Darien and Scarlett, DancePlanner, Clare, Ernie E Double, Fly Cai, Chi Boogie, Mikey Cee, Ben Eastwood, Meta Phil, and Linda.  VideoSuite Ltd, Menno-Leisure, Truffle Shuffle, Thames and Hudson, FullyDipped, The Big Yellow Self Storage, Break it Down, Funko, Kangol, and Arts Council England

we are now off to return some videotapes,

Reilly, James, and Lucy ✌🏽✌🏾💕✌️

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?
Well?
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