• interview by Y-Roc • photos by Kien and Carlo

Roxrite: How to Survive and Thrive at Red Bull BC One

"A battle is adaptation." - Roxrite

B-boys and b-girls, listen up.

If it’s your dream to step onto the Red Bull BC One stage, Roxrite has some advice.

I caught up with The General after the Red Bull BC One LA Cypher to get his perspective on the battles and how the LA winners can improve their chances in their next qualifier.

His words of wisdom apply to anyone trying to battle at a higher level. Read it, apply it, make it your own.

Interview Highlights: As a judge, what are you looking for at an event like Red Bull?

Majority is execution. Repetition, repeating. Execution, you’ve got to execute what you’re trying to deliver with your style. That’s one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle.​​

But along with that comes presence, originality, musicality, the style, the form, how well you control ​​the battle as well. Are you able to have a conversation and dominate your opponent through movement?

It’s a battle, so you still have to execute your stuff and deliver yourself in the best way, the strongest way you can.

Having battled on similar stages before--the lights, a lot of people--what are you thinking as you watch people progress throughout the night?

You see either people get really comfortable and start to come out harder and get even stronger as the night progresses, or you see people collapse.

So sometimes--at least today--you see people start really strong and lead their way into the later rounds, but you can see them slowly start to falling apart while you can see others pick up.

And that’s the difference between who’s going to win and who’s going to lose. It’s usually the guy that is going to carry it through and finish out stronger. And you start, you build up, you’ve got to keep building up every round at a steady pace instead of blowing it up. Because once you blow it up, you have to only go up from there.

What’s your advice to maintain that energy level?

Pace yourself. Understand what it is that you have to do. Know what to do when, and if you’re going to strategize against people, always have moves in the back of your head that you know you can drop at any moment.

The idea is that you’re adapting. A battle is adaptation.

So what you see, you adapt to. If you know you have a big arsenal of moves, watch what the guy is actually doing. Don’t go so much on your own pace.

But if you go first, you’ve got to lead the battle. So, in that sense that means you’ve got to have everything ready mentally, and able to drop. But even then after you drop your first round, you can kind of see the way the other guy’s moving, so then you can base some ideas on his strengths and bring out his weaknesses.

Finals of the B-Boys tonight. Yuri vs. Nico. What did you see go down there?

I saw Nico start off really strong his first round. Yuri was repeating for me quite a bit, but then Nico started running moves as well.

For me, it came down to energy. At least, I wasn’t judging it, but as a perspective watching from the angle I was watching it at. For me, I felt like it came down to energy and overall execution at the end, and make sure you keep your energy, keep it climbing. Even though Yuri wasn’t necessarily climbing, he maintained a steady pace through that battle.

Finals of the B-Girls. Pebblz vs. Feenx. As a judge, what was going through your head?

You know, it was a tough one. You have two different styles. Feenx brought the breaking package which is like tops, footwork, steps, variety. Whereas Pebblz brought a similar taste, but she was more letting go and adapting in the moment and freestyling and playing with the music more, and she just had those little moments that stood out more with the music.

What pushed it over for Pebblz?

It was her freestyling ability. Her adaptation. The fact that she did babies the first round, right? And the second time she did babies, she did it both ways, and she played with it to where it looked like a different move. I mean, you know it’s the same approach of a move, but the way she played with it, changed it up, and expanded it. And she was just more in the groove, in the zone...she was letting go more.

Do you have any advice for the two winners as they go to Houston?

Yuri just has to keep doing what he’s doing. I think executing. I don’t think he’s necessarily doing anything that was wrong. Maybe adding a little more footwork to what he’s doing, just to open up his dance a little bit more, because if you’re constantly throwing yourself every round, every round, it starts to look a little repetitive. So to expand and highlight those special moves that he’s got, I think he needs to add a little bit more flow and footwork into what he’s doing.

For Pebblz, I would say that she would need to have that same feel that she had in the finals in her earlier battle. She needs to come strong right off the bat. I would say that she needs to get in that zone right away. And I would hope for her to expand a little bit more and make the things that she’s trying to do, the intricate little things that she’s trying to do, some little burns that she’s doing, she needs to make those things pop more, she needs to make them more visible.

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