This weekend a lot of European Countries are in Russia for the 2021 Sochi Breaking Championships, but UK is NOT there. Obviously the question is, Why not? So, let’s be a 100% transparent on the UK’s position and situation when it comes to Breaking being in the Olympics.
First and foremost, a very quick rundown of how all this works for anyone who doesn’t know:
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the big Boss, they are in charge of all things Olympics.
The World Dance Sports Federation (WDSF) are the organisation that got Breaking into the Olympics. They are in charge of delivering Breaking to the IOC for the Olympics.
The Wdsf have Member Bodies in dozens of countries, generally known as Dance Sport Member Bodies/Organisations. These member bodies represent Wdsf in the countries they exist in, and have been tasked by the WDSF to be the ones in charge of getting each country ready for Breaking in the Olympics by connecting with the scene in their country- generally through the promoters, scene leaders, and organisations already known in those countries, and building an official, and also legally understood, relationship.
In UK there are Dance Sport member bodies in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, but it is Dance Sports England (DSE) that have been tasked by the Wdsf to be in charge of getting UK where it needs to be for Breaking in the Olympics.
Now, what everyone needs to know is that before the UK can move forward with anything to do with the Olympics we must first come to a contractual agreement with Dance Sport England (our WDSF Representative body).
If you don’t know, I have been working as a part of BreakingGB, which was put together to work with DSE. The past 6 months has been spent trying to come to an agreement, through a Memorandum of Understanding, with DSE, so that everything would be officially, and legally, in place to be able to move forward with UK Breakers preparing for any Olympic related events. Right now we are going back and forth on terms for an MOU with DSE. But DSE must sign the agreement before we can begin working towards the Olympics with them, as well as with the UK Sporting and Olympic bodies. But, unfortunately, this is the process. Anyone who knows me knows that I like to get things done! I’m not someone to stand around and just wait, but the truth of the matter is that even I’ve had to accept that this process is not 100% in our hands. DSE obviously want to make sure they are happy with any agreement made, and so they are taking their time to review the agreement, and we are in no position to rush or force them to sign anything. But, unfortunately, this has meant that UK were not in a position to send anyone to Russia, as without the agreement it simply isn’t wasn’t within our power to send anyone. Basically, without the agreement we couldn’t do a qualifier, or pick a team.
If you check, you will notice that all the European countries going to Sochi are doing it through their WDSF member bodies, or a sporting body from their country. That is why you see them in team outfits, and posting not under any crew name but as the country team.
A lot of the countries at Sochi were already working with their Dance Sports member body for a long time, some having started in 2018 when the Youth Olympic Games came about, or starting when Breaking was officially announced as being in the Olympics. Some countries also already had Breaking federations in place that began working with their Dance Sport body as soon as Breaking became an Olympic discipline.
UK never had any federations in places before all of this, and our Dance Sport Body is completely new to Breaking and the scene, and so all these relationships are a new thing to them. DSE were set to do a national championship in 2020 to get the ball rolling with the UK scene, but the pandemic completely shutdown all those plans and basically put everything on hold until the beginning of this year (2021). But with UK going in and out of lockdowns, things have obviously been very slow.
The bottom line is that the relationship with DSE must be officially agreed upon in an MOU. From that we can then proceed to fairly pick a UK team and get funding from sporting bodies, or other sources, to get involved in the Olympic run.
BUT please be aware that Russia is NOT part of the qualification for the Olympics. It is an event put on by the WDSF to build with the scene, and for individual countries to possibly build their teams and rank their breakers. BUT, the WDSF have stated that the qualification for the Olympics will not start until 2022. And no other countries individual, local rankings, or team picks, will have any affect over UK participating in the Olympic qualification events.
Right now the main goal is to get an MOU signed with DSE. When will this happen? Unfortunately that is a question for DSE, as we have no control over their processes when it comes to reviewing any type of legal document. But this is why I am writing this, instead of just putting it out through BreakingGB- because I wanted everyone to know that as a UK Breaker, my desire, goal and intention is to ALWAYS do what is best for the scene and it’s Breakers. I’ve always openly and honestly given all information I have on all things scene related, and so I wanted to ensure that people put a face that they knew, on this information, instead of an organisation’s name.
I can tell you that I’m being my usual direct and pushy self in the process of getting a speedy reply from DSE, and will continue to try and make sure that information and updates is always openly given.
I’ll be also looking to either do a Zoom conference call, or IG live, on which all UK Breakers, dancers, organisations, and interested parties, can come on an ask any questions they have, so people comment if this is something you would like, and also check the BreakingGB IG.
Also, I encourage the continued asking of questions! The Olympics is about the athletes, in this case, the Breakers. If you have questions please ask them, because that forces all parties involved to continue to keep the scene updated. And if we do not know the answers to your questions, I personally will be honest in that, and will work to get those answers.
Much love to everyone who did ask about it (Sunni), it was need! Hit me up or comment with any other questions.
Peace, Love, Hip hop and all that cool stuff ; )