Being the winners of the RedBull Battle 2012, HYPE caught up with the previous winners to see how life as changed since the coveted win. One of the major front runners in the dance community, the Reptilez Dance Crew are fighting to stay on top of their game.
Reptilez: We can sometimes feel like celebrities with RedBull because they give us five star quality treatments, they can really make a person feel like a superstar. When we won RedBull Beat Battle 2012, we won a trip to Brazil, got to tour the entire South Africa and perform in all major cities, photo shoots, the works, but we always make sure that when we go back home we still remain grounded.
How have your lives changed now that you are so well recognised?
We have met new and amazing people in the past year and Reptilez ultimately making sure that we make contacts, we are not only just making it about the dancing but creating an entire brand. This year we have major plans as this is the year we can officially say we are launching the lucrative ideas we have worked hard to build, such as Reptilez Entertainment, Reptilez Music, having our own website as well as a clothing brand in partnership with DC.
How often do you guys rehearse?
Every chance we get. After we won RedBull Beat Battle 2012 we have become busier than ever. It’s quite difficult at the moment because we have to squeeze in time to practice throughout a busy day along with other priorities and commitments we have. From campus tours to radio and television interviews, throughout the day, we come back tired but we still have to keep our discipline consistent.
A lot of fans and corporate have not only seen you as a dance group but as a brand, and what most people seem to forget is that in this industry all you have is the people you started this journey with, what keeps the solidity and humility in the crew?
We are all from more or less from the same background which gave us the motive of wanting to change our lives as well as the lives our families. None of us come from a rich background, and therefore, our primary source of motivation comes from wanting to change our lives and our loved ones. We will one day be able to build a big beautiful house for our parents and say “Mama, here’s your new house” or “Here’s your new car” and just hand over the keys. In the hood, there was no Hip Hop dance movement; we had the motive of changing that. We eventually devised a plan and attended every show in Soweto, and through that we gained knowledge, we observed Soweto saw itself, but look at us now.
How are you feeling as we get closer and closer to this year’s Red Bull Beat Battle taking place at Walter Sisulu Square in Soweto on 1 June?
We are currently feeling happy and taking every day as it comes. We aren’t ready as yet and have to make our performance of star quality, so at the same time we also do feel pressured.
Who do you think is your biggest competition?
We are our own biggest competition, although at the same time we cannot underestimate any crew. Dance is like soccer, you don’t know what to expect, we all have tactics and strategies and we won’t be the same as last year. We have proved to too many people what we are capable of, and now, we can only prove something to ourselves, by being better than last year.
Do you feel an immense amount of pressure to maintain your standards and also make yourselves proud?
We most definitely are and we have to be consistently creative.
Being in the entertainment industry, there’s so much pressure for an individual let alone a dance crew, do you find it easier or does it make it harder being in the entertainment industry?
We have learned that four people aren’t enough. That is also one of the many reasons why we need to create an entire army, to make the things we want to create possible. So we are currently still collecting some individuals to join the army with specially needed skills that we require for this business.
What advice do you have on people who want to be like the Reptilez and start their own crew?
If you want to become a dancer, don’t dance to impress top crews, dance to impress yourself. You need passion, if you don’t have passion, try something else. We went through a lot of tough things that made us contemplate quitting on several accounts, but we learned that the greater the test, the greater the testimony.
Credit: Chris Saunders / Red Bull