Hands up in the air! 🙌

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 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 , and 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!


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!


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.

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.


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

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!


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


  • 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!

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.

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.

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!


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


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!


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:


Streets are talking!


Hi! Paolo here, one of the organizers of Freestyle Takeover! We’ve been working super hard behind the scenes and can’t believe the tournament is going down this Saturday at Round1 San Jose!

While you are putting the finishing touches on your freestyle routine or watching old freestyle videos to get your body ready, we wanted to mention some of the media attention we’ve been getting in the lead-up to Freestyle Takeover!

Recently we were featured guests on the illustrious Arrow Panel podcast with hosts Jeff (Fungah) and Dalton (Blue Chaos). We talked about the history of freestyle, our own backstories within the Northern California DDR community, and rejuvenating freestyle in 2018:

(Freestyle talk begins at 13:45)

Last night, our own dj melvis (fka Mel B.) was a guest on Orange Lounge Radio, the longest running weekly show/podcast about video games. Coincidentally, OLR started out as a weekly show revolving around news involving all things Bemani and its fanbase. Melvis held it down with hosts Skie and DarkSakura and talked shop about DDR freestyle, the resurgence of the DDR community, and the upcoming tournament!

(Mel’s segment begins at 24:27 and lasts for about a half-hour)

Lastly, we are a TOP PICK event on SF Fun Cheap (and yes that is a Pump It Up machine featured)

The response we’ve gotten for Freestyle Takeover completely blew away our expectations when we first came up with the idea last July at California Extreme.

If you are planning on competing, registering online is preferred. (Click the Register link on the navigation bar at the top of this page.) Those who pre-reg online will receive a complimentary swag bag (including the limited edition Freestyle Takeover towel featured in at the top of this post, swung at by our co-organizer John at the Random Caprice DDR Extreme tournament this past Saturday!). If you can’t pre-reg online, there will be onsite registration available on the day of the tournament.

We’ll see you this Saturday at 3pm at Round1 San Jose in Eastridge Shopping Center! And if you can’t make it, don’t fret. We’ll be streaming the whole thing on Twitch at twitch.tv/Gabby_Jay!

Stay tuned for more information this week!