Grind Time Official Featuring Havoc & Sam I Am
There’s a war going on in the underground dance scene that no street dancer is safe from. The arena: BattleFest League, a one-onone extreme dance competition that pits the world’s best freestyle street dancers against each other in a gladiator-style event to determine who is King of the Streetz. Founded in New York in 2007, BattleFest has raised its global profile through social media, YouTube and a series of DVD releases. Today, two dancers are at the forefront of the scene: Brooklyn native Havoc and Sam I Am, who hails from the Bronx. Forget the same ol’ two-step; at BattleFest, it’s step up or step off.
How long do you spend preparing for each routine?
Sam I Am: I don’t rehearse the routine, but I create a bunch of different flows that I can use to the same song. It’s like an organized freestyle. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I have an outline of how I would approach the beat, along with whatever I perceive from the environment.
What’s the longest you’ve spent on one aspect of your style?
Havoc: I never stop practicing. I’m always practicing in my head. When I get the physical opportunity, I spend three or four hours in the gym, or at home, home workouts. Overall practice, overall preparation- it’s all day, every day.
Does dance control your life, or do you have to find time for it?
Sam I Am: Because you love the craft, it’s not about finding time. It’s really about finding time for everything else. You’re thinking about it all day long, which gets me in a lot of trouble, because I lose sight of other priorities. I’m thinking about the craft so much. But when you love something, it’s hard to focus on anything else.