Saturday, August 4, 2012

DirtFaceX's HHI 2012 Review

From the moment I stepped into the convention center at the Red Rock, I was in awe.  So many talented, well known dancers and crews hanging out all in one place.  In fact, the very first thing I saw was Andrew Baterina practicing with his megacrew, The H, in the lobby.  I arrived just in time to catch all of the USA Finals.  Although, I really wish I had been around for the preliminaries- I wonder how many eastcoast/southern/mid-west crews performed, b/c the entire night was made up of mostly crews from the west.  For the junior division, I enjoyed watching all crews and my favorite was definitely Hawaii’s Rascals.  They certainly deserved and earned their gold medal.  My favorite from the Varsity division were the Bandits (Gold).  I also enjoyed the Elektrolyttlez - their routine mimicked similar moments to what we’ve seen the Elektrolytes do.  Before they read the results, we were treated to a surprise performance from 8Flavahz.  They started out with the Madonna routine, but quickly changed it up to an all new routines.  Kids or not, they are a really entertaining crew to watch.  I became a mega fan of the Megacrew Division.  I was thoroughly entertained by every crew.  My favorites were The H (from Houston) and the three winners.  As for the Adult Division, the Academy of Villains def took performance of the entire night.  The Elektrolytes were fantastic (now, I’ve seen every ABDC champion perform live), but I thought Illmatik Phlow from Miami should have got the Bronze over Mix’d Elements (they came in forth).

The next day, the only event was the first was World Varsity Preliminaries.  Being that it was the first world event, many of the international crews arrived that day.  I usually don’t get “starstruck”, but I turned into a straight up 28 year old teenie-bopper when I saw Parris and the Royal Family.  I was able to meet some other international crews and even some ABDC alum.  Another cool thing was I got myself some shirts for USA’s Bandits and Rascals.  Click here to read my post about the event.  Looking back, they should have added the World Juniors Preliminaries on this day...

The next day started at 9am with World Juniors. Despite the room being the most emptiest I’ve seen it (mostly made up of parents), my favorites were Cookies ‘N Cream (Canada), JB Star (Japan), Onizaka Ikka (Japan), Freshh 2.0 (Canada), Flip (Canada), Miniotics, Tao (Japan), The Rascals, and of course, Bubblegum (New Zealand).  For the Megacrew Semi-Finals, each crew that went on to the Finals impressed me the most with GRV being my favorite (The Royal Family was soo good, I consider them in another league).  Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties during the Megacrew event, the World Adult Preliminaries started REALLY late.... and we had 65 crews to go thru.  My favorites were the top 31 crews that went to the semis, but I was especially blown away by Mexico’s Neutral Zone, India’s SNV Crew, Spain’s House of Pose, Canada’s Illest Vibe, and The Crew from the Philippines.  Unfortunately, it was sooooo late that the energy died down drastically for the last 15 or so crews.  Even the Academy of Villains performance felt different.  The last crew performed at 3:00am and the results weren’t announced till 3:30!  Everyone was really shocked when Mexico’s Neutral Zone was announced #1.  They performed so early in the night, so not a lot of crews even knew who they were!  I didn’t get back to my hotel till sunrise.

The Academy of Hype (Megacrew)
The Acamedy of Swag (Megacrew)
After a whopping 30 minutes of sleep, I headed back to Red Rock for the Junior Semi-Finals.  Luckily, many of the crews did GREAT and it wasn’t too hard staying up.  Congrats to J.B. Star in moving up in the ranks.  The same went for the Varsity Semi-Finals.  I did notice, however, that Mexico’s Neutral Zone took out the the faceplant stunt from their routine which is understandable.  And as for Sorority - I can watch their routine for days...

For the Megacrew Finals, I was especially impressed with the Academy of Hype’s routine, and thought they AT LEAST got Bronze, but my favorite (not counting Royal Family) was def GRV.  Congrats to their Silver medal win.
UP StreetDance Club (Bronze)
GRV (Silver)
The Royal Family (Gold)
Finally, for the Adult Semi-Finals, it seemed like everything was running smoothly, until the second crew came on.  Colombia’s ABC ended their routine with a dancer doing a front flip suicide, and unfortunately, didn’t get up.  The entire room became silent and they weren’t allowing anyone to enter.  It took awhile for stretcher the come out and delayed the show for about an hour.  Of the 31 crews, only 8 were going to move on.  The room was packed to catch the last 15 crews.  I’m not exactly sure, but I believe The Crew (Philippines) changed their routine a bit, and added an amazing moonwalk stunt.  And at the end of the night, EVERYONE came to see what Mexico’s Neutral Zone routine was all about.  They killed it again, and the response was even greater than the night before.  But when the results were given, the entire room nearly broke out into a riot in celebration for The Crews first place win.  It was absolutely bonkers!  I hung around a bit to celebrate, but I was EXTREMELY exhausted and needed to get to bed.

Filipinos Celebrating their #1 Position
I honestly can’t wait for tomorrow’s Finals.  It’s going to be bananas.  I’ll be rooting for India and I’ll be making my signs for them tonight! Haha.  Overall, I freaking LOVE HHI, and am going to try to make this an annual trip.  Goodluck to all the crews competing tomorrow!

Click here for more photos from HHI