1st European Longboard Dance Championship
What a wonderful weekend full of new impressions, Europe's best dancers, amazing people and so much passion and love behind it. When Fränky, the owner of the longboard shop Funky Summer Berlin, came up with the Eurodance and that he still needed helpers, of course I was all in. I was very much looking forward to this event and I was curious about the international skaters and the atmosphere.
Everyone already met up on friday night for the Eurodance Beachparty just to get to know each other a little bit. We took the usual route like tuesdays and headed to a beachlike area. This was a BBQ and Chill Out thing, so after taking a few pictures and hanging out with the ten-year old super sweet Johanna and her family I shortly left.
Saturdays, the first day of the competition, I arrived around 1pm at the Velodrom Berlin and everything just has started. There were three categories:
Men, women and kids until the age of 15. That day the competitors had two rounds to earn points and then to qualify themselves for the finale the next day. I would say that there were about 50 men (+/-), exactly 14 women and two boys. Skaters and longboard friends came from France, the Netherlands and other countries. I was just super excited to meet some internationals and to see what Europe has to offer in the longboard scene. Everyone showed off his talents and tricks. Towards the evening, we removed the bar and helped cleaning, the participants had the chance to take a shower and then come back for the 'aftershowparty'. It wasn't a party, it was more of a: everyone can do whatever she/he wants, be it skating or paddling with your board like surfboards (what my friend and I did >>so much fun, though!!!) or just sitting together and enjoying some acoustic music from Loaded ambassador Lotfi Lamaali.
On sunday, after this lovely night of singing and playing, I had to get up early for my morning shift. Haha, arriving there, there were exactly two people waiting. One of the judges and a french participant. I was like: Okay, where is Fränky? Shouldn't he be here to prepare everything so the participants can start at 10? Well, whatever, he arrived an hour later and we started by noon :) That day the competitors had another round to earn points. In the afternoon the judges counted these and the finale was set. 16 men, 8 women and the two kids made it into it.
Peter Markgraf, the skate pirate.
Femke Bosma from Utrecht.
Melanie Golz from Cologne.
Loaded Ambassador, Laurent Perigault from France.
The finale started with the kids, and Simon the eleven-year old was actually the only one attending, but just before the contest started another boy came up: Konrad. From now on, it wasn't counting points anymore, it was just the battle between the competitors. It was about flow, technique and combos.
The girls competed until the judges decided for the finalists: Femke and Melanie. Among the men Lotfi and Jeff made it into the end. Due to rain and bad weather forecasts, we had to interrupt the contest and changed the spot of the finale. We went downstairs to the roofed spots and I have to say, it was actually more fun, more exciting and more thrilling.
The girls started and oh my gosh, you had to see Melanie, she was really stunning and super stoked in her element. I hope I'll find a video of her! Femke was also really really good, considering that she's only 15 and she made it into the European's best two! I cannot imagine how good she'll become when she's my age. Melanie danced backwards, jumped around and landed most of her tricks, which brought her the title European's best female Longboard dancer!!!
Lotfi and Jeff had another super interesting race. The french Loaded ambassador showed his signature tricks like the 'propeller' and jumped over a stick making a full twist. That was just amazing! Unfortunately I have to admit that I did not show as much attention to the other contestant Jeff, but watching him now and then was so much fun. I think he showed way more variety, which is why he nailed it and won the competition.
Jeff, Melanie, Konrad and all the others, you were superdupermega stunning! Congratulations about the titles and for showing your talents!
Furthermore I want to thank every single one who came to watch, to dance, to skate, to just hang around, to help, to organize, to drive and to make this crazy, lovely, warm, exciting, fun event happen.
I was totally stoked by the tricks and passion the dancers put into their work, but I think that this wasn't about work or hard training, it was more about having fun, dancing and just being there to meet this longboard community. And YES, these people can really dance their names! Now, I'm super motivated to skate more often and to just enjoy this community, which has opened up. It's like: WOW, there's a whole new world to explore and everything just happened by sharing a hobby, a passion, a love for skating and dancing.
Stay tuned for more impressions of the last weekend's event and a lovely interview with one of the most amazing people I've ever met. So get out there and go skating!