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!


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


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!


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).


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


If You Were Here:

Get Up & Dance:


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 and would be delighted to feature your brand on our channel. For sponsorship opportunities, contact

$15 to compete, free to spectate

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