But the thing that's on everyone's minds is the Nishi Studio kids from Japan appearing at the event. Especially two of their youngest members 12 year old Sho and 11 year old Yumeki. They both entered the 1on1 locking battle & the 2on2 popping battles.
You could feel the excitement in the air at Homeland last night. The Los Angeles popping and locking community showed up for the event. And we were all impressed with the 10-12 member group of Nishi kids that showed up to do a showcase and battle. Kid Boogie and Jsmooth from Machine Gone Funk brought these kids over to Homeland and Los Angeles, as an invitation to our community.
Yumeki has been making a name for herself in a few battles in Asia, especially in clips from one in Taiwan that's been heavily rotated online in the U.S.
Perhaps the most exciting 2on2 popping teams were Jsmooth and Sho, and Kid Boogie and Yumeki. To see two members of Machine Gone Funk pair up with these Nishi kids was an example of pure cross-cultural and national exchange. One of the best moments in the semifinal popping battles was Jsmooth going off on his finger tuts and then passing it on to Sho. The U.S. and Japan were setting off fireworks together last night on the dance floor!
Can we see more of this in the future? West Coast poppers and lockers already have their eyes on Asia in terms of admiring many dancers there. Can we push the culture further by future collaboration and mentoring of a new generation? This should be a major initiative for us, to promote love for our culture and to charter new territory by exchanging more with dancers in the global street dance scene, regardless of age.