Home > Interviews > Raw interview: Scramblelock (part 1)

Raw interview: Scramblelock (part 1)

Meet the great locker from Canada, Scramblelock. From teaching classes to organising events like Funk Fo Yo Feet, he has done so much for the dance community and deserves our gratitude. Some of my favourite dance battles came from the events he organised, and he has helped me realise how important it is to dance to the music.
The interview is divided into three parts. A link at the end of each post directs you to the subsequent part.

You write that you started bboying in 1998 as a result of facing bullying in school. How did dance help you deal with conflict?

It’s funny, one of the kids I grew up with in elementary school went from being a close friend to a bully once we got to high school. The first school dance I went to, I witnessed a bboy circle and was blown away. I knew about breakdancing since I was really young, my uncle introduced me to it in the 80s through Michael Jackson, but I had never seen it live and with that kind of energy. Then I saw that one bully go in and was really surprised. The next day he got all sorts of compliments and respect from people and it really frustrated me. I said “if he can do that, I can do it better!” Long story short, after a few months of practicing on my own when we came back to school the next year people were shocked to see I was able to break. I remember at one point even that bully came up to me and gave me props. After that I never really got picked on as much as that first year so to answer your question dance was my escape and it served to diffuse what could have been a really negative situation throughout high school. Some of my best memories in high school were meeting a really good group of friends and all of us used to practice in a hallway during lunch. That was where I formed my first bboy crew: Rubber Soulz! Much respect to those guys!

What roles do you believe that ego, competition, and aggression play in bboying and other streetdances?

First off, ego to me is a negative thing. Having an ego blinds you from seeing where you really stand skillwise. Honestly, in the street dance world, you got to be able to check your ego before you can really start learning from anyone, including yourself. However, I believe having confidence is something very different and much more important. Having confidence in yourself is one of the gifts one can gain from studying bboying, locking, popping, whatever dance you pursue. If you are honestly aware of your own abilities, I think it helps you see much more of the big picture and where you fit into the scheme of things.

As for competition and aggression they play an important role in all street dances as well. Having competition can be very motivating. It can push you to reach new levels so long as you keep it positive. I’ve always liked battles and contests not necessarily for the winning, prizes, recognition, etc. but being able to test yourself. Winning is dope but walking away knowing what you need to work on and improve is way more rewarding.

I think it’s ok to be aggressive too but there’s a time and a place for it as well. Battles can get intense sometimes whether in a contest or in the circles so sometimes you need to step up that power in your dance. Sometimes when Im dancing there’s so much going on in my mind (stress, frustration, etc) that letting out that aggression through dance is almost therapeutic too. It really comes down to knowing how to handle the aggression and being able to channel it constructively.

What were the reactions of your family and friends? Did any of them provide an influence in your dance?

Well my parents were always tough on me for wanting to dance, they always stressed me to focus more on school. They were right, of course, and I’m glad I listened to them. Finishing off my Masters in Chemistry last year was a huge accomplishment and I couldnt have done it without them. But like I said they always gave me a hard time when it came to dancing. In a way, that was really motivating though. It made me work harder to show them I can do something with dance and when they see I’ve been able to travel, teach, etc I think it really opened them up to it a bit more. We made a deal back when I was in school: Finish school, then do whatever you want. So here I am finished with school and I’m really trying to do something positive with dance.
As for the rest of my family, they were always supportive of what I was doing so I’m very thankful for that and of course I have a lot of close friends who have shown nothing but love and support since the beginning. My girlfriend has always been supportive of what I do and that also means a great deal to me.

Click here for part 2 of the interview!

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