IN CONVERSATION WITH THE DANCE GROUP “THE RUGGEDS”
Zalando launches local campaign ‘In the streets of…’ and celebrates street culture in the Netherlands in all its forms as part of its streetwear campaign ‘Go noticed’.
We talked to the campaign stars and terrific dancers “The Ruggeds” about their background, creative process, and aspirations.
From a passion to a lifestyle, The Ruggeds are known for moving as a unit and taking steps most Breaking crews wouldn’t take. Born and raised in the city of Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands, this breakdance crew made many appearances worldwide. The Ruggeds have won over 200 Breaking competitions, took their first World Title in 2014 at the UK Bboy Championships, made an appearance on the Justin Bieber’s music video ‘Where Are U Now’, created a new production ‘Between Us’ which they’ve performed throughout the whole year all over the Netherlands… just to name a few, and today Numéro has the privilege to speak with them.
You have been together since 2005, how did you find each other? Apart from the mutual talent and love for Breakdance.
We started in my dad’s Breaking class, it was all very playful and fun in the beginning. As we got older we wanted to do competitions and we ended up making a crew in 2005 so we could participate in battles.
This hobby became a lifestyle and escalated quickly, we became World Champions in 2014. Besides all the competitions we were also doing commercial work for artists like Justin Bieber, Rita Ora, and Afrojack. Events/TV shows like NBC’s World Of Dance, Hollands Got Talent, and Red Bull BC One. In 2015 we were kinda tired of the same gigs over and over so we decided to go into Theatre. It gave us more time to tell a story and stay close to the art we like to make. Today we have 3 theatre tours going around the world and we’re still active in the competitions as well as the events and TV shows.
When do you think was the turning point for The Ruggeds? The moment when you stopped being a Breakdance crew from Eindhoven and became the worldwide known champion Breakdance crew that you are today. Congratulations for that!
Thanks! There’s been many like every new accomplishment is a turning point for us.
Our winning streak in 2014 of several competitions, ending up winning the World Championship was a moment where we reflected and looked for something new like the theatre shows that we’re doing now. The COVID-19 years were also interesting, we couldn’t perform, we could only create and reach people online. So we made short films, a documentary, YouTube series, just things we usually wouldn’t do. But now we know it works we can also keep doing these projects.
There are 9 of you and of course, you have to work as a collective, be on the same page and mindset while moving together, what is the key to working together with a big group?
The key is to be open to more than one interpretation, listen to one another, trying to understand and communicate clearly. Putting ego aside and trusting the process.
How do you like working together with Zalando?
Working together with Zalando just feels chill. We get to wear the clothes we like and I think the company understands us and what we can deliver.
Finally, do you have any projects coming up? What are the next steps for The Ruggeds?
The next projects are dope ones! At the moment we’re touring a show in The Netherlands, the last show will be in Amsterdam on the 3rd of May. We’re also organizing a Music festival ‘Jams & Gems’ in Eindhoven, our hometown, with amazing artists and different communities that will be brought together to party, on the 16th of July. And we’re gonna do a little tour in Canada in June with our first theatre production ever made ‘Adrenaline’. So that’s something I’m really looking forward to.