From far south to world finals

Lakeisha Dick, 16, aka B-Girl Keisha, from Ocean View and Muizenberg’s Toufeeq Baatjies, 27, aka B-Boy Toufeeq, were crowned champions in their respective divisions at the Red Bull BC One national breakdance finals, at GrandWest at the weekend.

After cyphers in Johannesburg, East London, Cape Town, and Oudtshoorn, the prestigious breaking competition, Red Bull BC One culminated in the crowing of South African champions B-girl Keisha and B-boy Toufeeq. The two breakers impressed not only the judges, but they had the crowd begging for more as they danced their way to the world finals taking place in Paris later this year.

Red Bull BC One is a prestigious global one-on-one breaking competition, that sees over a thousand breakers from around the world competing in their respective countries for the chance to compete at the world finals. This year’s world finals, taking place in Paris at the iconic Stade Roland-Garros, will celebrate two milestones. The first is 20 years of Red Bull BC One World Finals and the second is the official inclusion of breaking at the 2024 Olympic games – this inclusion validates Red Bull’s continued commitment to the sport.

The Sun Exhibits, GrandWest, provided the perfect setting for the country’s best breakers to come together to not only compete for the 2023 title but to also celebrate the art of breaking in South Africa. The top 20 breakers from around the country put their best foot forward as they went toe-to-toe for a chance to represent South Africa at the world final, but in the end, it was B-girl Keisha and B-boy Toufeeq, who lifted the trophies.

The day kicked off with a workshop session by born and raised Venezuelen, B-boy Lil G, where all the competing breakers had an opportunity to learn some new skills. The workshop was followed by the B-girls battles. The battles might have only been three battles, but the breakers left everything on the dance floor and had the audience on their feet. Both breakers brought great and controlled power moves, but it was B-girl Keisha who won over the judges to clinch this year’s title.

B-girl Keisha impressing the judges and crowd at the weekend’s Red Bull BC One finals. Picture:Mpumelelo Macu/Red Bull Content Pool

“I am very excited about my win. I came into today’s competition having trained a lot – I learnt some new power moves and managed to control my breathing, which helped with my win. I cannot wait for Paris and know that I will have to train even harder,” said B-girl Keisha.

The B-boys brought the heat on the dance floor with every battle leaving the crowd in awe and wanting more. The final battle was a repeat of last year’s final with B-boy The Curse going up against B-boy Toufeeq. The two breakers showed enough respect not just for each other, but for the form of breaking as well.

“I am really honoured and blessed to win this year’s Red Bull BC One – it took me four years to get this win, with last year being the closest when I lost in the final battles. I came in with an injured elbow but told myself that I will block out the pain and take each battle as it comes. I am excited about representing South Africa in Paris and I hope I can make it far and show the world what I can do,” said B-boy Toufeeq.

B-boy Toufeeq goes through his paces in the knockout rounds at the weekend’s Red Bull BC One finals. Picture: Mpumelelo Macu/Red Bull Content Pool

Multi-faceted dancer, Mel Rock was the host on the night and kept the energy on high the entire evening. The crowd was treated to a hot line-up of performances, including international star Lil G, and some of South Africa’s hottest talent; DeeKoala, Ready D, Seruthe, Bravo, and Chaise Williams. The breakers were kept on their feet showing off their best moves thanks to Da Cutt’s sizzling tunes. Those that couldn’t make it to GrandWest, joined the live stream on Red Bull South Africa’s TikTok page.

B-girl Keisha and B-boy Toufeeq will be heading to the World Finals taking place in Paris on Saturday October 21.

Muizenberg’s Toufeeq Baatjies, and Lakeisha Dick, from Ocean View were crowned champions in their repective divisions at the Red Bull BC One national breakdance finals, at GrandWest at the weekend. Picture:Mpumelelo Macu/Red Bull Content Pool