We’re ecstatic to announce we’ll be hosting December 2 Remember, a Dance Dance Revolution tournament at Esports Arena Oakland on Saturday, December 29! With this event, we want to commemorate the 20th anniversary of DDR with a prestigious double main event tournament to showcase its best players.
If you were dancing with props, you were getting props. That was the theme of Freestyle Takeover’s most recent competition held this past weekend at MAGWest, the West Coast expansion of MAGFest (Music and Gaming Festival).
We held a two-round improv freestyle tournament to determine who had the most creativity and charisma when faced with a random song. The first twist: It was on a DDR 4th Mix Plus machine, a mix that hasn’t seen the light of day in Northern California in over a decade. The second twist: Each competitor was randomly assigned a physical prop to use in conjunction with their first round performance. The result? The crowd, the judges, and the Twitch audience were treated to plenty of clever acts on stage!
In the final round, the physical props were shooed away but the energy was turned up to 11. Despite the competitors being bound to a random song, they still let loose and left it all on the dance pads. This is not some phrase that we throw around lightly; the top 3 finishers finished within a point of each other on the judges’ scorecards!
Freestyle Takeover: Fanime was a homecoming, a return to form and the best Fanime experience we have had in years. It was super gratifying to not only see people show up and compete, but to see them come prepared, dance their hearts out to unconventional songs and breathe new life into a game released in 2002. Judging by the top 3 routines (each song from DDR 2nd Mix Club Version, no less!) and the overall quality of performance in both rounds, I think we can safely say the bar has been raised for DDR freestyle in 2018. 🙂
We’ve made our judges’ scorecards public and have set up a Youtube playlist of all the performances from Friday night – go check it out and be sure to subscribe to our channel while you’re at it!
HONORABLE MENTION for the night goes to 001. Though he didn’t qualify for round 2, he blew us all away with an exhibition of the routine he’d prepared:
We’d like to thank everyone who came through to compete and spectate that night – your love of the game is infectious and brought us much joy that night. Major thanks as well to @dammit_jill for taking the time to record video and Emu the Artist for providing prizes from her Concon store. This was one hell of a fun event and we can’t wait to throw another one like it.
Big announcements today! We knew we didn’t want January’s tournament to be the end of DDR freestyle in 2018, so we’ve launched Takeover as a Brand ™ with the intent to celebrate and foster freestyle in the DDR community and bring you more content & events throughout the year.
First item of business is the launch of our podcast! Tune in to hear Paolo, Mel B and James reflect on the performances from the first DDRFS tournament in NorCal in damn near a decade!
We’re also super excited to share an ongoing project with you: The DDR Freestyle Archive! James is spearheading this with the goal of creating an accessible, centralized repository of tournament performances dating all the way back to the year 2000. For anyone curious about past events or looking for inspiration for their own routines, this thing is a must-see.
We’re open to any and all feedback and want to foster engagement and participation in freestyle as best we can. Let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see and be sure to give us a follow on Twitter and Facebook in the meantime! Happy weekend y’all!
We’re hoping that all y’all have sufficiently recovered from the inaugural Freestyle Takeover this past Saturday at Round1 San Jose. We here at Freestyle Takeover HQ have been overwhelmed by the response the event received. Frankly, we’re still coming down from the euphoria whirlwind!
To those who: showed up in-person to watch and support; logged onto our Twitch stream from around the WORLD (literally, we had people from Virginia to Japan to the Philippines watching), hashtagged #DDRFreestyle, competed in the event, and helped us run the event (shout out to the Round 1 San Jose staff!)… THANK YOU.
This was as much a Takeover as it was a reunion and reintroduction of what the DDR Freestyle community meant to us, your humble event organizers. Seeing the confluence of DDR OGs, technical players who are currently holding it down, and those in the rhythm-based gaming community all under one roof made our hearts full. It’s given us plenty of optimism about the heights that DDR Freestyle can reach in 2018 and beyond!
We did this for all of yall. And we cannot wait for to do this again. On to tournament business!
FULL RESULTS FROM FREESTYLE TAKEOVER
Here is the judging criteria as taken from the Freestyle Takeover rules if you’re curious about how we ranked the competitors:
After the final performance of the competition, each judge will submit their top-10 candidates using the following voting vector (14, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1), where 1st place receives 14 points, 2nd place receives 9 points and so on.
If you would like to relive all the magic of Freestyle Takeover (and frankly why wouldn’t you) here is the Youtube playlist of all competition AND exhibition routines from some DDR OGs! Also, shoutouts to co-organizers/judges James + John for their FIYAH Exhibition routines!
Captain Canada – Dadadadadadadadadada (Exhibition) (feat. Paolo and Ryan)
kay0ss – M.A.Y.U. (Exhibition)
The Twitch archive of the Stream (complete with stream chat!) lives here:
We are at the last day before Freestyle Takeover, and as far as meeting judges go, we saved the best for last!
A couple of administrative pieces of business before we go on:
Freestyle Takeover pre-registration on Eventbrite ends on TOMORROW, Saturday 1/27 at 12pm (NOON) PST. If you miss this window and still want to compete we will be having onsite registration at Round1 tomorrow starting at 3pm. Cash is preferred but we can also accept PayPal/Venmo.
Tune in to our Facebook Event page TONIGHT at 8pm PST (Friday 1/26) for a quick Facebook Live stream at Round1 from your dashing tournament organizers for a couple of SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENTS.
If you can’t make it out to San Jose tomorrow, we will be streaming all of Freestyle Takeover on Twitch at twitch.tv/gabby_jay starting at 2:30pm PST with the Freestyle Takeover pre-show!
Be sure to social media the heck out of Freestyle Takeover using #DDRFreestyle!And with that out of the way, your final two judges for Freestyle Takeover! Rounding out the the last two judging spots is dancer Michele King of The Get Down Dance Studios in San Jose, and Rob Roberts, host of the renowned Orange Lounge Radio podcast!
NAME: Michele King ALIAS: Ms. King AFFILIATION: Bay Area Waackers, DS Players, Mix’d Ingrdnts
Teaches dance to at-risk youth at several different South Bay Schools for Future Arts Now!
Teaches Tennis to youth at Kidztopros
Has 10+ years in dance and performance experience.
Avid Wrestling Fan!
BIO: Michele has been dancing for 12 years now and her main styles are Waacking, Locking, and Hip Hop.
In 2006, she met and trained under bay area dance legend and director of the DS Players, Ceech Hsu. She became a part of the DS Players dance crew in 2007. Michele was also a part of all-female dance collective based out of Oakland, CA, Mix’d Ingrdnts, founded by Jenay Anolin and Samara Atkins. Late 2008 is when Michele discovered Waacking/ Punking and instantly fell in love with it. Michele has gained knowledge from and trained with renowned waackers from all over the world, including Tiffany “Jimini” Bong, Kumari Suraj, Princess Lockerooo, Viktor Manoel, Tyrone Proctor, Angel, Dallace Zeigler, Akuma Diva, and Chrissy Chou. Her passion lies in dance, fitness, teaching, traveling, and working with the youth.
HIGHLIGHTS: Jam VII All-Styles Battle – Judges Showcase
Shake it Out 2017 You Are Magic Waacking Battle – Judges Showcase
NAME: Rob Roberts AKA: skie AFFILIATION: Orange Lounge Radio FUN FACTS: Co-founded Orange Lounge Radio, an award winning, weekly video game talk show/podcast which initially started as a music/rhythm-based gaming talk show. Active streamer on Twitch.Tv as a recognized affiliate. Regular host/emcee at the Sacramento Horror Film Festival, having hosted showings of cult cinema such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Repo: The Genetic Opera at various venues in Northern California since 1998. Briefly competed in DDR freestyle tournaments under the alias Dr. Dick.
Freestyle Takeover co-organizer John is the total DDR package of freestyle AND technical chops! And plus his fighting game skills, this makes John a triple threat, and thus the perfect judge to spotlight for Day 3 of Better Know a Freestyle Takeover Judge!
NAME: John Sydiongco AKA: kay0ss, J-Syd AFFILIATION: Step Squad, Team OMG, DS Players
Multiple DDR Perfect Attack/Score Attack Tournament Victories and Top 3 placements, including, Fremont I, March Madness 2k4, Monterey Bay Thunder, and Hanford III.
Placed 17th US/45th Worldwide during the 7th Konami Arcade Championship Qualifer Round.
Won Freestyle competition @ Summer Madness 2008 w/ James/Captain Canada.
Dance Instructor at The Get Down Dance Studio and regular competitor in dance competitions.
CVGL 1, Castro Valley Golfland 2002
Summer Madness 2k8, Milpitas Golfland 2008
Locking class performing at Christmas in the Park