Find out about the history and indentity of 5 iconic all-female dance crews

Crew history cuts deep. Starting with the birth of Rock Steady Crew back in the Bronx in ’73, to the ’80s and ’90s boss crews like Renegade Rockers, Rock So Fresh and so on. Each left a legacy on the dance floor and the breakers from those crews waste no time waxing lyrical about the honour, respect and opportunities that came from being chosen.

Tighter than family, through thick and thin, they’ve battled as fiercely on the floor as they have beyond. Many on the streets, some behind bars, through late night practices, wins, losses, injuries – and for the all-girl crews against adversity.

Throughout the evolution of breaking each crew has undoubtably made their mark igniting the scene across the globe, but it’s the all-girl crews that have changed the game. Ushering in a new crew code that’s not only based on hyping each others’ skills and the fame that will come when those forces unite, but the power they have together to send a deeper message for the empowerment of women. Inspiring the new generation of young female dancers to follow in their footsteps.

As the meteoric rise of the B-Girls swells to fever pitch we caught up with iconic dancers that propelled the formation of internationally renowned crews like Qween of Qweenz , Heartbreakerz and Femme Fatale, to find out more.

Heartbreakerz, International Collective – B-Girl Roxy

B-Girl Roxy from Heartbreakerz competing in the BC One B-Girl World Final

© Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool

How did you come together?

Roxy: I don’t like the easy props that come with being a B-Girl, so I never would have thought that I would be in a B-Girl crew. To me it was never really an option until I met the Heartbreakerz. I was honoured to be asked to be part of the crew. I’d always had a good connection with the B-Girls anytime I met them individually, before I even knew they were all part of Heartbreakerz. When they questioned putting me down, real quick I was like: ‘Yep I’m down, 100 percent!’

How would you describe the identity of Heartbreakerz?

Real. Raw. Rebellious. We embody the rawness of the breaker, regardless of their gender and keeping it real. We all have our specific, individual styles. We don’t look like each other, so it’s very different, but we all connect together.

What do you think is the key or the biggest strength in keeping together?

Just our sense of support for each other. Even though I’m the only one from London I feel really supported. I was feeling really nervous before the world finals and all the girls just gave me all their love and I was like: ‘Ok I’m good, I can channel their love and be good to battle.’

Who have you been most inspired by?

I look up to my whole crew, and specifically Beta, who’s the leader of Heartbreakerz and the greatest B-Girl of all time in my opinion.

Zamunda, France – B-Girl Sarah Bee

Sarah Bee from the Zamounda Crew

© Little Shao/Red Bull Content Pool

How did you come together? How would you describe the identity of Zamunda?

Sarah Bee: It’s been eight years now since the beginning. We’re so different. Each dancer has her own speciality and we are all good in what we do. We all excel, so I would say when we all come together it’s like: ‘Wow! Girl Power!’ I can’t describe this energy; I’ve not found this anywhere else. When we’re together it’s more than a team, it’s family.

How have you seen the B-Girl scene evolve?

Now the B-Girls are doing more technical moves. Of course there are more B-Girls from gymnastics, so I think that’s easier for them to learn everything. But today the B-Girls are taking breaking to the next level. They’re really pushing themselves, and they try to do moves that 10 years ago were impossible for us, purely because we never tried before!

What do you think still needs to change?

The level out there is really crazy! However, at the same time I would say the downside is that before there were not so many B-Girls doing these crazy moves, but there was a lot more personality. Now I see crazy B-Girl’s doing big moves, but not with as much originality, and for me the most important thing is to be original.

Qween of Qweenz, Japan/International – B-Girls Ayumi and Narumi

B-Girl Narumi

© Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool

How did Qween of Qweenz come together?

Ayumi: My sister and B-Girl Shie Chan created Qween of Qweenz together.

Narumi: When we started it wasn’t easy to create a crew from different cities. Before, it was really hard in Japan to go to other countries. It was really expensive and we didn’t have very many competitions. So when we saw each other we always battled, but after when it became easier to go to other cities and there were more opportunities in Japan, we tried to make a showcase together, and the rest is history.

How have you seen the B-Girl scene evolve?

Narumi: I think before it was difficult for B-Girls to keep going if they had a baby or reached a certain age. It was very hard back then to keep practicing a lot. Now we have many B-Girls from younger generations, mixed with B-Girls that have been dancing a long time. They understand better how to keep going and keep getting stronger and keep training. Because of that the scene for B-Girls all over the world has got so much bigger and become so much stronger.

What’s the biggest factor in keeping you together?

Ayumi: Now via social networks we can contact each other much easier. So we can do an all-girl battle from another country, or a showcase and stay connected. With Qween of Qweenz each person lives in a different city, so it’s kind of unique. For me and Ayumi our crew is Body Carnival now and all the other members of Qween of Qweenz have their own crews too. We don’t have many chances to meet up, but we all still like dancing together when we can.

Do you think there should be more B-Girl crews?

Narumi: I think it’s nice, yeah, but I don’t think there ‘should’ be! The most important thing for B-Girls is to keep going, keep growing together, in an all-girl crew, mixed crew, no crew, whatever.

Femme Fatale, International Trio based in LA – Marie Poppins

Femme Fatale on stage at BC One 2018 in Zurich

© Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool

How did you come together?

Marie Poppins: We came together in 2016 to put together a piece to compete in Sweden. Then after that successful performance we connected and kept on dancing and creating.

How would you describe Femme Fatale’s identity?

A strong group of female movers, who are powerful, passionate and put their own unique flavour to the dance styles they do.

What’s your take on the B-Girl and female hip-hop crew scene?

It’s growing and there are so many incredibly talented female dancers that deserve equal respect and recognition in the dance community. There’s the need to create more platforms for exposure and not create a division within the community depending on your gender.

What do you think has made the biggest impact in the evolution of the scene for female dancers?

Females who’ve left a mark in the community, been fearless, and created a career exceeding the boundaries and not stayed in a box or the role of being female, but simply being an extraordinary dancer. Those females propelled more organisations, competitions and judging opportunities for us for sure, but yet there is still more work to be done.

What’s the biggest factor in keeping you together?

I think the fact that we love dance and we have a special connection. We recognise and feel that we have something special and unique to offer the world. Hopefully with that we can inspire other dancers and make a difference doing what we love to do.

Diamonds, Canada – B-Girl JK47

JK-47 wins the BC One Camp USA in 2018

© Drew Gurian / Red Bull Content Pool

How have you seen the B-Girl scene evolve? What do you think still needs to change?

You know B-Girls, we’ve been here for years, our presence isn’t anything new, but to get the respect and the acknowledgment, and finally be represented on an equal level has been a process. We’ve come a long way, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t still have further to go, as B-Girls keep pushing the scene even more.

How would you describe Diamond’s identity?

We’re basically representing the ladies in many different styles. We just wanted to be that crew especially for young B-Girls to look up to and aspire to be a part of. To be better and stand out like a diamond in the rough. Especially in Vancouver it’s really about your strongest female dancers coming together. We’re sisters and we want to show that sisterhood and that love. That’s why every member of my crew inspires me so much because they’re all bosses. They’re all leaders in their own thing, while being really nurturing and caring towards the new generations. So I really love and respect my crew for that.

What do you think plays the biggest part in keeping a crew together?

Lots of B-Girl crews come together because they think each other’s dancing is dope. But skills aren’t everything. You have to make sure you’re all on the same page and that you all trust each other. That you know each other and are going to be there to do more than just get famous and win battles, but that you’re also going to support each other toward a common and much bigger goal.

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