INTERVIEW WITH B-BOY MENNO: It was like I was in a dream

By now, if you are a part of the breaking scene or a fan of breaking, you will have seen and heard that B-Boy MENNO won the 2017 Red Bull BC One World Final, in front of his family, crew, friends and home country supporters, in Amsterdam on Saturday, November 4th.

Amidst the media frenzy that surrounded the new, 2017 Red Bull World Champion, we had a chance to sit down with Menno and find out just how the second time World Champion was feeling:

So tell us, how do you feel?
I feel great, I'm really happy! BC One is always a very hard competition, the line up is just full of champions itself so it's definitely not easy, even to just get past the first round.

Is this the best moment in your life?
One of the best for sure. I became a father 9 months ago, which was the best moment of my life. This one is definitely top 3. I am super happy.

And How was battling in your home country?
Definitely, the crowd of people was giving me a lot of energy and it was just that little bit of extra energy that I needed to pull off what I did today, so thank you to everybody for the support.

There was a lot of media and it was live on TV, do you think that you've inspired the whole country?
I hope so, I hope more kids will start dancing now. I hope they get inspired because this is a thing that can make a lot of people very happy. I see a lot of people that can actually use some breaking in their life to have a better life. So I hope so.

You said that you were going to try some new stuff today, did you?
To be honest I did some, but most of my new stuff I didn't do and I hate it. I was trying and I did a couple of little things here and there but I think I still had like 3 or 4 rounds that I didn't do and that was the newer things but it just wasn't in my body enough to pull off.

How did it feel to battle your own Red Bull BC One All-star crew member, Wing, in the final battle?
It was a bit weird because a couple of weeks back we were battling together in Korea. And I always feel very comfortable battling together with this guy (B-Boy Wing) because he is one of the best battle strategist guys in the world. I know what he is capable of, and so it wasn't that easy.

After training so hard and spending that time away from your family, how does it feel to bring the belt back home to your daughter?
It feels so good, I don't even know what to say because I don't have words to describe it right now. The only thing I can say is that I'm so fucking happy. I can't wait to just party and chill and celebrate with my friends.

That moment when they raised that third winners card and you knew it was you, what was the feeling then?
It was kind of unreal. It was like I was in a dream. With the lineup, guys like Alkolil and Issei... with these guys right now they are so high level. Just to warm up in the green room, and you see them warming up doing these tricks and I can't even imagine my body doing what their bodies are doing. It always gives me a slightly uncomfortable feeling. I play it cool but I'm watching their warm-up thinking, 'holy shit! I'm in trouble.' But then on stage, it's just a different thing.

So how do you combat that uncomfortable feeling when battling on stage?
I just don't really pay attention to my opponent that much. And I guess hard stuff is tough to do for three rounds.

Did you watch the other battles to see who was being knocked out and who you'd battle next?
I did watch Shane's battle but to be honest that was the only battle I really watched, because after coming back to the green room I was more in my focus. The moment I heard that Alkolil lost verse Shigekix, I was like 'oh shit' because, I'm not going to lie, I was scared of Alkolil because I see him warming up and his creativity and level of moves is just crazy. Then I heard he (Alkolil) lost and I thought, 'woh, this is kind of good for me,' because I know I can beat Shigekix because I already beat him twice.

Were there any battles you weren't sure if you had won or not?
In a battle, I don't even watch my opponent dance because if the other dancer impresses me too much, with his moves, sometimes it can mess with your mind, so if another B-Boy is pulling off crazy stuff I just look away like I'm not impressed. That helps me to keep my focus. You never really know and sometimes you cannot tell that, 'I got this.' Going against Shigekix, he's still young and got a very strong stamina, and I didn't know what' going to happen. I've already battled him twice, I beat him twice, and now I've beaten him three times but in Holland they say 'probably the 3rd time you are going to lose,' but I still beat him. That was one battle also I didn't know what was going to happen.

Now that the championship is over how will your training change?
I'm just going to focus on the creative part and just build further on my new stuff to have it more in my body and let it evolve deeper. That's it.

And now that you've won, what's next? Do you want to take your breaking to the next level? Maybe concentrate on your tracksuit business? Or just seeing what comes?
I'm just going to see what comes. I'll wait till Christmas and next year and just be with the family and chill and relax. But I'm always training, you know, because training, for me, is my time. With the family at home it's nice but then the moment I practice that's when the whole world disappears and it's just my time. To be honest that's the moment I enjoy dancing the most when I'm in my studio, because there's no pressure and it's just a hundred percent freedom. And I have good friends to practice with, and some of my best friends, and so we always vibe together, and it's a party everyday when we party.

We want to congratulate Menno on winning his second Red Bull BC One World Championship, and also thank him for taking the time to answer our questions, and speaking so openly about his feelings and emotions. We hope the win brings Menno and his family more great opportunities.

Do you want to watch again the full event? Go no further:

by Emmanuel Adelekun