Local crews mop the floors -- with style
If one of the Eight Legged Freaks is going up against one of the Circus Runaways and there's an overwhelming scent of body odor in the air, you must be at a b-boy battle -- an underground breakdancing competition. On Saturday, July 17, the "Floor Kings" jam is gonna go down at Wall-2-Wall Indoor Soccer (15310 NW 33rd Pl., Miami). Running the show are two Broward promoters who go by the names Popcorn and Fantum. They're part of the Unique Styles Crew (other members of the ten-person group include Spee-D, Mex1, and Strider), which goes back a few years and has competed at legendary battles such as "Spinfactor -- the B-boy Olympics" in Boston and the "B-boy Masters Pro-Am" in Miami.
Unique Styles "have been cleaning up at a lot of competitions," says Jonathan Fields, a.k.a. DJ Trails, of the Miami-based company Hip Hop Elements, which organizes events, provides dance lessons, and produces DVDs. At Floor Kings, there will be three-on-three b-boy battles for a $500 cash prize. B-girls will also try to outpop and outlock other b-girls for 500 dead presidents. The main event consists of a five-on-five battle between Dade and Broward crews. And for those who prefer to rock the mic rather than the floor, whoever dominates the freestyle two-on-two MC battles wins $200.
Breaking has evolved considerably since you did the Electric Boogaloo in the '80s. "It's more technical, more difficult," Fields says. "There are a lot more aerial moves." But the music remains the same. "There's a lot of '70s music. The guys don't dance to rap. It all depends on finding that good break." He's even found some sick beats on Kenny Rogers records. Floor Kings lasts from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Expect high-energy footwork, sweet fashions, and a sense of unity. The scene is populated by athletic, upbeat, intelligent, creative kids; it's characterized by a lot of big talk and "mad love." Admission costs $10, $5 extra if you bring a video camera. As might be expected with an event organized by a dude named Fantum, more information is elusive. Try e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.hiphopelements.com. --Deirdra Funcheon
Luau Lends a Hand
Florida is about as far away as you can get from Hawaii without leaving the United States, but that hasn't stopped a local nonprofit from sponsoring a luau for neighborhood families. We haven't figured out how the Children's Cultural Center plans to raise money from a free event at Deerfield Villages Park (4111 NW Sixth St., Deerfield Beach). Maybe the $6 raffle tickets? Or the food sales, which are suggested as $5 donations? Don't expect to see a pig roasting on a spit, but set your appetite for a Hawaiian fruit salad filled with pineapple, cherries. a coconut vegetable noodle salad, and good old continental American hot dogs. To top it all off, there will be gallons of Hawaiian Punch, that nonisland favorite of all American children. Whatever you eat, it's for a good cause -- the sliding scale fees for art and performance classes at the center are mostly set at zero dollars. Watch the kiddies hit the stage for traditional hula dances, hip-hop shows, songs, and poetry recitals. Everyone gets to participate in a hula lesson between shows. You may even be inspired to enroll your own offspring for classes. Call 954-415-4935. -- Karen Dale Wolman
Can You Dig It?
Get right with Graves
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You are contributing 6 percent of your annual income to charity, right? In case you've lapsed in the more-blessed-to-give-than-to-receive department lately, here's a chance to satisfy your junk-sale jones while contributing to something more profound than your Jell-O shot habit. The Graves Museum of Archaeology and Natural History (481 S. Federal Hwy., Dania Beach) is holding a White Mammoth Sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. today to benefit the museum. Graves got its start back in 1959, when the Broward County Archaeological Society was founded to investigate, sponsor, and protect Broward's archaeological sites. The dug-up shards, fragments, and ancient doohickeys were stored in the members' houses until Gypsy Graves decided they needed a museum to call home. And the rest, as they say, is archaeology. The few dollars you shell out for furniture, toys, and electronics go to maintain the museum and its exhibits on geology, Florida pre-history, paleontology, hominid evolution, and Native American, Egyptian, and African galleries. Call 954-925-7770. --Gail Shepherd
We've Discovered Jewtopia!
The culture that brought you the Matzoh Ball has taken singles-mingling to a new height with "Jewtopia," further proof that the chosen peeps have a sense of humor. Chiropractor Dr. Michael Horowitz will be the evening yente, Yiddish for matchmaker, not to be confused with the cross-dressing Yentl. This affair for marriage-minded young Jews has two-for-one drink specials, discounts if you bring a friend you recommend, and free cocktails for women before 10:30 p.m. OK, this crowd hasn't heard of gender discrimination, but if you haven't found a date on your own and want to look in a pool of people who have endured as many bar mitzvahs as you have, enter Jewtopia, the Land of the Friendly Jew, at Karma Lounge (4 W. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). The cost is $20 solo, $15 per person if you come with a dateable buddy. Call 954-523-7159, or visit www.drmichaelevents.com. -- Karen Dale Wolman