Waackxxxy comes out on top at Red Bull Dance Your Style 2023
Across 150 national events in 45 countries, over 4,000 hopefuls were dwindled down to a lineup of the 16 best freestyle dancers in the world who competed in the Festehalle in Frankfurt on Saturday night. No judges, no choreography, and no idea what the next tune would be, the dancers had to think on their feet and land every note to win over the crowd.
The atmosphere in the Festhalle was electric thanks to a full capacity crowd of dance fans who struggled to keep still as meteoric tunes bellowed through the arena. It didn’t matter whether it was funk, pop, hip-hop, disco or any other genre, the dancers let the rhythm take over and expressed themselves through their bodies. As with all rounds of the competition, the power was held by the audience with each dance off concluding with the lights going down and a tapestry of red and blue LED wristbands rising to the sky to determine the winner.
After four gruelling rounds of battle, Waackxxxy, a South Korean Waacking artist, was crowned the Red Bull Dance Your Style 2023 World Champion, narrowly defeating Dutch dancer Gio in the hotly contested final. Her stage presence, distinctive dance style and enthralling movements made her stand out in a final that featured eight invited wildcards and eight elite dancers who qualified from the pre-finals. Notably, Waackxxxy is the first female dancer to take the title since the inception of the competition in 2019.
“I can’t believe this. The semi-final battle was the most difficult because The Crown (from the USA) is a famous and well-respected dancer. I thought maybe I would lose because he is an amazing dancer, but when I saw I won, I thought to myself ‘is this real?’ I couldn’t believe it. Thank you everyone for the support,” said Waackxxxy after her historic victory.
Next year’s Red Bull Dance Your Style World Final will take place in Mumbai, India on November 9, where the best freestyle dancers in the world will once again come together in the ultimate exhibition of self-expression through movement.
Tickets are now on sale here.
PHOTOGRAPHY: LITTLE SHAO / RED BULL CONTENT POOL
WORDS: PATRICK BOYLE