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On the Spot: Why Does Jinjo Win Everything?
They’ve probably won more world competitions than your crew can count on everyone’s hands combined. In the last decade, Jinjo undoubtedly has the longest resume for crew championships. When they show up, they hardly fail. They somehow managed to ‘game’ battles & from the outside, I speculate it’s because they truly understand the following: it’s not the ‘what’ but the ‘how’. Much like a business setting, their competitive mindset is that they need to effectively sell some intrigue (that is their dance) to the judges & audience. In practice, this means the physical movements packaged into their round themselves are only secondary. Every movement on the floor is a weighted, cognizant decision: will this be positively received by the audience? This is priority one. Artistry, musicality, originality, dynamics are a means for progression to achieve this goal. While I’m teaching grandma to suck eggs here, of course I’m not picking on Jinjo specifically or challenging whether they value artistry, or authenticity, or what their individual reasons for battling might be. Nonetheless, I draw this general conclusion from the fact that while they obviously have a higher skill set on average than most, there are plenty other dancers who are objectively more distinctive & exceptional at any one of these categories aforementioned (that also lack remotely the same competitive success). Further, what I’m describing is not just the general understanding among breakers for what originality is. Originality alone does not guarantee your audience will care. Rather, again, it’s how you flip your weapons, like originality, so that they benefit YOU – and make your opponent look bad. And now we arrive, of course, to the classic, esoteric discussion: how should the community prioritize artistry & competition without compromising authenticity moving forward? That’s for another day.