Get Up And Krump

Gary Dymally, aka Baklash, is king of Honolulu’s hottest new dance craze, krumping. He’s pictured here with members of Krumpany. Standing from left , Christian Gentry, Jonah Leong, Geromy Dymally, Gary Dymally, Kamuela Pettus and Dustin Kong. Front, Michael Ho‘okano and Quinton Sayers

Rasa Fournier
Friday - July 06, 2007
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Christian Gentry, aka Hollywood, back-flips as Daniel Joseph Villanueva, aka Maestro, cheers
Christian Gentry, aka Hollywood, back-flips as
Daniel Joseph Villanueva, aka Maestro, cheers

Breakdancers put down the radically new krump style of street dance, but all that members of Krumpany are saying is give krump a chance

You might laugh the first time you hear the name of the new dance craze, or better yet, when you actually see someone krumping, but it’s all the rage on the world dance scene. Krumping has been featured on Yahoo’s front page and it’s a top hit on youtube.You may also have seen it in movies like Be Cool and Stomp the Yard and in numerous music videos. The dance form was born on the streets of Los Angeles and it has spread as far as Australia and Germany, and there’s a significant contingency of krumpers right here on the island.

“When we were first starting, pretty much everybody teased us,” admits Gary Dymally, one of the first krumpers in Hawaii. “They teased us because people reject what they don’t understand. So many people were like ‘It looks like you’re having a seizure,’ or ‘You look like a monkey’or whatever. And then later on down the line they were like ‘Ho, it’s so crazy. It’s so cool.‘Every single one of those people who teased us is into krumping now.”

Krumping is energetic and aggressive, with fast leg and arm movements, and each dancer adds their own signature moves to come up with a unique style. They even have their own music that follows a hip-hop mood, but consists mostly of instrumental beats. As with breakdancing and other forms of street dancing, krump crews have a structured system of training and the members face off in dance competitions or"battles” presided over by judges.

“Our dance competitions are like a b-boy battle, but with more respect,” says Dymally. “When b-boys battle, they’re so cocky and they really like to taunt a lot; krump dancing is a bit more respectful. If somebody’s battling, you let them do their thing first and then you do yours.”

Brandon Tisdale, aka Kid Dizaster
Brandon Tisdale, aka Kid Dizaster

The Hawaii scene took root about five years ago when a trio of Roosevelt students - brothers Gary (19) and Geromy Dymally (17) and friend, Tai Tran - were on a hunt for new dance moves. They were already fans of popping and locking (other forms of street dance), so to broaden their repertoire, they went to a record store searching for dance videos.

“We were actually looking for a different video, but we saw this one video and we were like, maybe we should try get it and just see what it’s about,“explains Gary Dymally. “The (salesclerk) said they only had one ‘cause nobody wants them in Hawaii. We were like, ‘OK, so we got the only one, sounds good.‘We got home and watched it and we were like, ‘Wow, what is this? We’ve never seen this before.‘And boom, that’s when it started.”

The boys eventually formed their own crew called Krumpany. Soon they were entertaining at night clubs and at James Coles’ United DJs parties, Relays for Life and various other community gatherings. Meanwhile other crews sprang up around the island. In April Krumpany hosted their first dance competition which attracted a crowd of about 100, and they drew an even bigger attendance at their second session, “Krump or Die,” which pitted Krumpany against another crew, Life, on June 30.

“There’s maybe even more than 100 members on the island,” estimates Dymally. “It’s picking up pretty quick. People are coming to watch. They want to see what it’s all about.”

So, what exactly is it all about? Krumping is more than individual expression and it isn’t just freestyle moves. It’s an actual discipline and involves somewhat of a societal hierarchy. Krumpany is 26 members strong and growing, making it the largest crew on the island. Nine of those members head up Krumpany, and the rest belong to a division of Krumpany called the Rough House Fam, which is where the newer members train. In a mentor-protégé relationship, the more experienced krumpers or Big Homies take the newcomers or Little Homies under their wings.

“The first thing you do is you get your name or AKA,“says Dymally, explaining the ABCs of the system. “My name is Backlash. You think about what your name means and then you start building your dance style around it. There’s so many different styles of krumping - rugged, smooth, catty, goofy, beasty, cocky - and then with your name, you adapt accordingly and create your own style.

“Then Big Homies take on Little Homies. For example, I’m Backlash and I have Little Homies that learn under me, so there’s a Junior Backlash, Twin Backlash, Soldier Backlash, Lady and Girl Backlash. There’s all kinds of different names for your Little Homies, but the main thing is that they’re your ‘fam’ - they’re like your family. You tend to get really close to them because you’re always hanging around them and you’re always practicing your dancing with them.”

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