Red Bull continues to put on for sub-cultures around the world.
If there is one thing Red Bull has become synonymous with, apart from energy and wings that is, it's their continued dedicated to culture. Culture in the broadest sense-- whether that be championing obscure or indie hip-hop artists, letting T-Pain host a show in the form of the Remix Lab, helping with the documentation of new movements within music and beyond-- Red Bull is truly a brand like no other. This year, Red Bull is opting to put yet another sub-culture on the map, with their Dance Your Style competition. While breaking may not be as a prominent of a pillar in hip-hop as it was in the genre's hey-day, it's hard to deny that dance in general is just as important as the music our artists create-- the "dance" element of any song can help it grow legs and reach a massive, mainstream audience, if it's got just the right amount of oomf.
This past year alone, we saw Post Malone tap a viral dancer to his song "Wow." for the song's official music video-- the 43-year old gentleman was filmed during a dance choreography to the song at the 1 Dance studio in Florida, and thanks to the powers that be (aka the internet), his video performance was shared worldwide, eventually landing right in front of Posty.
Red Bull has been on the hunt to find a Dance Your Style winner, and it's been quite the process. The brand has been hosting competitions across the United States, with all the finalists picked by the fans in attendance. The audience have the power to vote for a winner, as sixteen dancers go head-to-head in a freestyle dance-off, with the DJ basically holding the keys to the castle-- his music choice may make or break the audience's decision, as we clearly witnessed at the Los Angeles edition of the event. When the DJ opted for hip-hop heavy bangers, like Bobby Shmurda, the crowd went decidedly more wild than when the DJ chose to play something funky and outside-the-pop-music-box. The dancers needed to think on their feet (literally), to make the best out of any musical situation and wow the judges (read: audience).
In Los Angeles, top-tier dances from around the world came to participate. These aren't your "average joe" dancers-- Samo Soto, who has worked previously with Chris Brown, spoke with us exclusively prior to the dance-off. "Shouts out to Chris, he's a really cool dude," Samo told us regarding his relationship with Chris Brown. "I fell into the commercial side of the business through some of my crew members. My crew members would dance for artists sometimes." He continued, "He treated us all well, I can't even say it was just me, he treated everybody as an equal and he never tried to walk over us, he understood, and this is what I respect the most, is that he understood that we were masters of our craft, and during the filming he was part of our world, so he had to look at us the same way we would look at him in the music world."
There were dancers like Marie Poppins, who counts over 90,000 followers on Instagram and has done choreography for Kelly Rowland, Madonna, and even appeared in a Justin Bieber music video-- however, she told us she was not confident she would win the event in L.A. (!) Even so, she managed to proceed to the second round of dance-offs, but ultimately it seemed her gut instinct was right-- she lost out.
The winner of the L.A. edition just so happened to be an underdog, Zuce Morales (there's a lesson in there, somewhere). Was it the music or was it her natural charisma? If there was one thing to be noted about Zuce through out the entire dance competition, she had a genuine smile on her face, a look of exceeding happiness. She endeared the audience with her quirky moves, whether it be using a water bottle or her hat as a prop.
Zuce will be the lucky winner who makes her way to Las Vegas in September to compete in the National Finals of Red Bull's Dance Your Style event, with the World Final event taking place in Paris, France come October.