Freestyle Takeover Recap!

Freestyle Takeover Organizers and Competitors
Photo Credit: Carl Valencia

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.

COMPETITOR SONG
001 of MsZ  (59 points) Aoi Shoudou
Bran Man (43 points) Moon
Joey (41 points) Afronova
Eckoes (35 points) Special One
Uncle Phil (34 points) Scorching Moon
Kanauru (29 points) Asaro no Kamihikouki
Telpie (22 points) South
Andrew Vaquilar (17 points) Special One
Rose Ryuzaki (10 points) Drop Out

For those data nerds, check out the judging matrix with full scoring.

VIDEOS

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:

Part 1 (skip to 10:00)
Part 2

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Meet the Judges: Day 4 and what to do on the day before Freestyle Takeover!

 

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!

michele_king

NAME: Michele King
ALIAS: Ms. King
AFFILIATION: Bay Area Waackers, DS Players, Mix’d Ingrdnts

FUN FACTS:

  • Teaches Waacking at The Get Down Dance Studios.
  • 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

Rob_OLR

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.

Meet the Judges: Day 3

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!

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NAME: John Sydiongco
AKA: kay0ss, J-Syd
AFFILIATION: Step Squad, Team OMG, DS Players

FUN FACTS:

  • 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.

FREESTYLE HIGHLIGHTS:

CVGL 1, Castro Valley Golfland 2002

Summer Madness 2k8, Milpitas Golfland 2008

EXTRA CREDIT~!:
Locking class performing at Christmas in the Park

FIVE FREESTYLES FROM JOHN’S PLAYLIST:

Hugo – Bad Routine

Liustyle – Healing Vision

Dinkot – Lupin the 3rd ‘78

Kid Zero – Stomp to my Beat

DJ 8-Ball – Cafe

Meet the Judges: Day 2

Day 2 of Better Know a Freestyle Takeover Judge continues on with freestyle champion, popper, Freestyle Takeover co-organizer, and Defender of the North/Tall Drink of Water, James Gowdey!

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NAME: James Gowdey
AKA: Captain Canada, Gabby Jay
AFFILIATION: Step Squad, DS Players

FUN FACTS: 4-time DDR Freestyle winner including victories at A-Jay’s Freestyle Revolution Project and MGL’s Summer Madness (alongside kay0ss). Video editor and mystery game tournament organizer. Finally started taking Marvelous Attack seriously in 2017 after getting a Fitbit. :>

FREESTYLE HIGHLIGHT: Long Train Runnin’ (Hypnotikz tribute) Freestyle Revolution Project, Milpitas Golfland 2004

EXTRA CREDIT~!: DS Players – Thriller in Colusa

FIVE FREESTYLES FROM JAMES’ PLAYLIST:

Sketch and Vyzor – Mr. T (Take Me Higher):

Hypnotikz – Long Train Runnin’:

Bruce Leroy – Insertion:

Maurice – Surrender:

DJ 8-Ball – Rock Bottom Dollar:

Meet the Judges: Day 1

Hey! Paolo here again! We are four days out from Freestyle Takeover, and as promised we’re bringing you even more content to get hype for! Between now and Friday we’ll be revealing our judges for Freestyle Takeover! You better know a judge, and today we’re starting with one of our one of our dashing masterminds of Freestyle Takeover, Mel B!

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NAME: Mel Baltazar
AKA: dj melvis, Mel B.
AFFILIATION: Return to Freestyle (RTF)
FUN FACTS: 10-time DDR Freestyle champion including victories at Santa Monica Pier, Arcade Infinity 2, Sony Metreon. Former Konami employee. QA and step chart creator for DDR Ultramix 2. Passed MAX 300 on Heavy twice (and probably never again).

SIGNATURE ROUTINE: Put Your Faith In Me

  • EVENT: Santa Monica Pier Tournament
  • VENUE: Playland Arcade, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA
  • DATE: June 3, 2000

FIVE FREESTYLES FROM MEL’S PLAYLIST:

If You Were Here:

Get Up & Dance:

Gotcha!:

It Only Takes a Minute:

Dam Dariram:

 

DDR Freestyle Takeover 1/27/18 at Round1 Eastridge

In 1998, Dance Dance Revolution was released. Its immersive and interactive gameplay sparked a phenomenon that was unlike any that had come before it. Crowds of people flocked around the arcade machine with its bright colorful lights and pulsing electronic musical beats. Players were not merely pushing buttons; they were moving, grooving, and giving people something to get excited about. The magnetic nature of Dance Dance Revolution pulled together a wide range of dedicated players and communities formed in arcades all across the world.

Throughout the early 2000s, Dance Dance Revolution’s competitive scene was on fire. On any given weekend, you could find an arcade in the United States hosting a tournament. The main event of these tournaments that drew the most interest was the Freestyle competition. Freestyle was the “Dance” in Dance Dance Revolution where competitors would perform choreographed dance routines in front of enormous crowds. Freestyle allowed the unique opportunity for players to inject their own creativity and showmanship, thus making it visual performance art.

As the years went by, the Dance Dance Revolution tournament scene gradually shifted towards technical (score-based) gameplay as it was a more empirical format. While loyal and dedicated players have kept the scene alive through incredible feats of technical gameplay, Freestyle faded away. Gone for too long, but not forgotten…

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Dance Dance Revolution. On January 27th, 2018, we celebrate its roots with a Freestyle revival that will take over center stage at Round1 Arcade in San Jose, California — the current hotbed for Bay Area Dance Dance Revolution competition. Relive the creativity and showmanship, and watch as new are memories will be made on the dance pad.

Prizes and prestige are on the line for the day’s top DDR freestylers, and an exhibition featuring the Bay Area’s all-star DDR freestylers.

VIsit our Eventbrite page for more details and for tournament sign-ups.

We’ll be streaming this event at twitch.tv/gabby_jay and would be delighted to feature your brand on our channel. For sponsorship opportunities, contact FreestyleTakeover@gmail.com.

$15 to compete, free to spectate

PRIZES:
1st place: 60% of pot
2nd place: 30% of pot
3rd place: 10% of pot
subject to change

WHAT: Dance Dance Revolution A Freestyle Tournament
WHERE: Round1 Eastridge, 2200 Eastridge Loop #2094, San Jose, CA 95122
WHEN: Saturday, January 27, 2018 3pm