**Other Interests:** Food
**Profession:** Professional dancer
**Motto:** Full on but stay loose!
2001, 2nd place, with Team Ohh, BOTY, Germany
2005, 1st place, Crew Battle with Yamato, Total Session, France
Japanese B-Boy KAZUHIRO Arakaki is one of the 5 judges at the RED BULL BC ONE in Soweto. KAZUHIRO was first introduced to B-Boying by his cousin DJ Ta-Shi who is quite famous in his own right now. At that time, Ta-Shi was into dancing and at family gatherings was always fooling around. Back then KAZUHIRO was only 10 or 11 years old and he was very impressed by his cousin, but didn’t get into dancing himself until later, when he was 15, having been influenced by MC Hammer. He started out dancing New Jack Swing, but at 18 he began dancing Hip Hop. Then, at the age of 20 influenced by Storm, KAZUHIRO seriously got into B-Boying.
KAZUHIRO performs in many shows, mostly solo, but sometimes with his crew members. He is an active member of Yamato and King Ark. The members of King Ark are dispersed all around Japan and it isn’t easy to get everyone together. For KAZUHIRO it’s a great crew to be in, with input from people of many different backgrounds and ways of thinking.
KAZUHIRO loves dancing more than anything else. He is happy that he can make a living, doing what he likes best, performing and teaching B-Boying. He knows he will dance as long as his body will cope and he will always stay in the scene, contributing to its growth as much as possible. One of his dreams is to open his own dance studio to keep the art form alive. Apart from dancing there is one other thing that KAZUHIRO is fascinated with—he loves to eat. His friends call him “Food Gourmet.” It’s kind of a joke but he really loves trying new food and scoping out new places to eat, especially nice local cuisine.
KAZUHIRO believes that Hip Hop as a culture is of high importance. It gives young people the chance to express themselves, learn and grow through hard work and dedication. Hip Hop is big in Japan and constantly growing. There is a huge B-Boy scene and since Japanese people are hard workers, they are very focused and work hard on their skills. KAZUHIRO believes that Japanese B-Boys have good technique, but that they lack originality. He thinks maybe too many people are just copying what they see from overseas. But that will not lead to improvement. KAZUHIRO says, “I hope people realize that it’s ok to adapt foreign concepts, but from there you need to take it further and develop on your own. It takes hard work and ambition and you also need courage to break away from the crowd at times.”
When KAZUHIRO judges a battle, he looks at the overall picture of each B-Boy. He looks at the totality of their moves including how they “feel” the music and how they fit their moves into what the DJ is spinning. He wants to feel that they are “honest” about their dancing, that they are real and unique. He also tries to be open to all different types of moves and combos and to leave his preconceived notions at the door.
Asked what advice he would give young and upcoming talents he says, “Try to feel the music deep in your soul, let the music move you! Maintain originality and have confidence in what you are doing. Judges and audience can see confidence. If you have it, you glow. If you lack it, you miss out on a critical ingredient.”
KAZUHIRO says that the RED BULL BC ONE is an event that people talk about a lot in Japan. It’s a high class event with an amazing set up that creates a great atmosphere and a special experience for both the audience and the dancers. “I can’t even imagine how great it’ll be at that powerhouse in Soweto, but I am sure it will blow people’s minds!”