Right now, at this moment, B-girls are definitely rising higher and higher through the ranks of the dance scene, as they shine in competitions all over the world. The latest highlight of this development is B-girl Ayumi from Body Carnival crew being one of the invited competitors of the Red Bull BC One World Final and B-girl AT from Flow Mo on the judging panel. The women are here to claim their spot on the global stage of breaking and have become fearsome contenders to even the strongest of B-boys.
Leaving a mark from the start
The number of B-girls was always fewer than their respective male counterparts, but they were still there. American B-girls like Beta Roc, RockaFella, Asia One, A-B Girl and Jeskilz are well known, but not the only forerunners that deserve to be mentioned. Outside of the USA, we have Aruna from Holland, Hanifa (aka Bubbles) from the UK, Hurricane from France, Dora from Hungary, Shie-Chan from Japan, Movie-One from Spain, Nadia from Russia, Taya from Finland and others who were paving the way for the B-girls in their countries. They were role models for following generations of B-girls and inspired them to push their skills even further.
Historical moments of the last years
In 2014 B-girl AT from Finland became the first B-girl ever to win the IBE footwork battle. In July she also won the 7-to-smoke footwork battle at the V1 international hip-hop festival in Russia. AT is a member of the most famous crew to come out of Finland, Flo Mo, and a student of one of the freshest, foundational B-girls ever on the scene, B-girl Taya. In 2017 she judged the Red Bull BC One World Final.
In 2015 B-girl Queen Mary made history by becoming the first, and still only, B-girl to ever win a Red Bull BC One qualifier when she won the Bulgarian cypher.
In 2016, nine-year-old B-girl Terra, from the UK, beat out all the other young B-boys to win Chelles Battle Pro Baby.
In 2017 B-Girl Ayumi competed as the first woman ever on the stage of the Red Bull BC One World Final, where she made a spectacular appearance against Korean B-boy Kill.
Japan brings the power
And you can't have a conversation about B-girls raising the level without talking about Japanese B-girls! Shie-chan was the first B-girl to hit an air flare in a battle, driving the crowd crazy when she did it in the finals of the B-girl battle at Mighty 4 in 2003. And it was only a few years ago that the scene went crazy over two Japanese B-girls called Kanami and Myw after they posted a YouTube video of the two young teenagers doing multi air flares as easily as if they were a six-step. Narumi, who is the sister of Ayumi, is another pioneer on the B-girl scene and is still blowing up competitions, with her sister and crew, all over the world.
World-renowned B-girl crews have also come together over the years, with teams like the Queen of Queenz from Japan, Flowzaic from the UK, Raw B-girls from Poland, and the Heart Breakerz crew from America.
More names to watch out for
And every year the list of B-girls raising the level grows. Here are some names you should know: Yuri, Eri, Ami, Yasmin and Ayane from Japan, Jilou from Germany, Pauline and Bo from Holland, JK-47 from Canada, Kate from Ukraine, Sofia and Paulina from Poland, Vanessa from Portugal, Sophiela from Austria, Alessandrina from Italy, Sarah Bee and Kami from France, Roxxy from UK, Melisa from Belarus, Maxime and Soe from Belgium, Lady Fury, Law and Tania from Spain, Sunny, Macca, Bonita, Feenx and Mantis from America.
It is now, without a doubt, an undeniable fact that the B-girls have risen far beyond expectation and are among the highest level breakers in the world, as well as being teachers, judges, feared opponents and respected voices and peers, on the breaking scene.
(written by Emmanuel Adelekun. Photos: Little Shao & Nika Kramer)