What to look out for at the 2019 WDSF Breaking World Championship

B-boys and B-girls from around the world are battling it out in Nanjing, China, with the finals streamed live on Olympic Channel on Sunday 23rd June.

By Rory Jiwani

The best teenage breakers set it off at last year's Youth Olympic Games at Buenos Aires.

Now it's time to watch the world elite take the sport to the next level at the 2019 WDSF Breaking World Championship in Nanjing, China. A full programme of popping, locking, and battles for B-boys and B-girls will culminate with the knock-outs on Sunday 23 June where the world titles will be awarded.

At least 100 B-boys and B-girls will start out with dreams of being judged the best breakers on the planet.

But after numerous 1 v 1 breaking battles, only two dancers will be able to call themselves world champions.

You can watch the action live on the Olympic Channel.

Breaking into the big time

Breaking was a massive hit when it made its first appearance at the Youth Olympic Games last October.

Combining the creativity and flow of dance with Olympic strength and athleticism, breaking is making a case for the greatest sporting stage there is.

Its popularity was such in Buenos Aires that the Paris 2024 organising committee have proposed it make its full Olympic debut in the French capital.

And the competition is fierce.

There are 12 judges in total, four of whom are technical delegates, who score the athletes on six criteria: Creative, Personality, Technique, Variety, Performativity and Musicality.

Each judge moves sliders on a tablet to determine the scores in each element.

One of the judges is Ken Swift, the founder of the legendary group the Rock Steady Crew.

If you're of a certain age, you'll definitely remember this tune from your youth (1983, to be exact).

2019 WDSF World Adult Breaking Championship – Everything you need to know

The sport that is showcasing dance and urban culture in the Olympic Games is gearing up for the World Champs in China.

Here's everything you need to know.

When is the 2019 World Breaking Championships?

June 23.

The competition runs from the 20th of June to the 23rd of June in conjunction with the CDSF Street Dance World Cup, which is a national event, specific for Chinese athletes.

That takes place from June 20 to 22.

Where will the WDSF Breaking World Championships take place?

Nanjing, China.

Why is it important?

This event will be one of the qualifiers for the first ever GAISF World Urban Games to be held in Budapest, Hungary in September 2019.

What to expect

The world’s top b-boys and b-girls will battle it out in front of the sport’s most respected figures who will judge the event, including the founder of the legendary group, ‘Rock Steady Crew’, Ken Swift.

How does the scoring work?

The dancers' battles will be scored by eight judges and four technical delegates on six criteria: Creativity, personality, technique, variety, performativity and musicality.

The WDSF Breaking judges:

Ken Swift (USA)

Yan The Shrimp (RUS)

Danny (CHN)

Glacial (CHN)

Hurricane (FRA)

Freeze (SWE)

Katsu One (JPN)

Movie1 (ESP)

The WDSF Breaking technical delegates:

  1. Amjad (SUI)
  2. Bojin (TPE)
  3. Ken Swift (USA)
  4. Renegade (GBR)

Who to watch:

Eight Youth Olympians from Buenos Aires 2018, where the sport made its debut, will participate at the 2019 WDSF World Adult Breaking Championship.

  • B-boy Bumblebee (RUS) / YOG Gold Medalist 1vs1 / YOG Bronze Medalist Mixed team event
  • B-boy Broly (ARG) / YOG Silver Medalist Mixed team event
  • B-boy Shigekix (JAP) / YOG Bronze Medalist 1vs1
  • B-boy Bad-Matty (ITA)
  • B-girl Emma (CAN) / YOG Silver Medalist 1vs1
  • B-girl Lexy (ITA) / YOG Silver Medalist Mixed team event
  • B-girl Csepke (HUN)
  • B-girl Senorita Carlota (FRA)

Other high-profile B-boys and B-girls to keep an eye on:


1 Venezuela Lil G

2 Netherlands Menno

3 USA El Nino

4 Finland Hatsolo

5 Eygpt Klash

6 Belgium TiRock

7 Mexico Dr Hill

8 Nepal Tricky Tricks

9 Canada Philwizard

10 Morocco Cri6


1 USA Logistx

2 USA Sunny

3 Belgium Mad Max

4 Finland Ramona

5 Bulgaria Queen Mary

6 Germany Jilou

7 Great-Britain Roxy

8 Portugal Vanessa

9 France Sarah Bee

10 France San Andrea

Schedule for 2019 WDSF Breaking World Championships

NOTE: All times local to Nanjung (GMT/UTC+8 hours)

Day 1, Thursday 20th June

13:00—15:00 Qualification round of locking

15:20 —17:20 Qualification round of popping

17:40—19:40 Qualification round of breaking for Chinese athletes

Day 2, Friday 21st June

12:00—14:00 Crew show warm-up, getting familiar with the stage

14:10 — 15:50 Final phase of locking

16:00 — 17:40 Final phase of popping

17:40— 18:40 Break for judges, dinner time

18:40 19:40 Final of Crew show

Day 3, Saturday 22nd June

13:00–18:00 Final phase of breaking for Chinese athletes (Top six of the men’s breaking competition and the top three of the women’s breaking will participate in the final phase).

Day 4, Sunday 23rd June - Final phases of breaking for all other athletes

13:30-15:00 Bgirl Round Robin

15:00-18:00 Bboy Round Robin

19:00-19:30 The open ceremony

19:30-21:15 Knock-Out 

21:15-21:30 The award ceremony


Adult round: Men and women’s breaking, men and women’s locking. Men and women’s popping.

Junior round: Men and women’s hip-hop.

Exhibition: Crew show


The MC leads the tone of the event at breaking competitions. The MC hosts, they must not only introduce the athletes but also entertain the venue and pump up the crowd.

The MC is the thread tying the breaking competition together, they know the full schedule, the length of each battle and how many rounds each battle will be. Whilst being the master of all logistical operations, the MC’s role is also to keep peace and ensure a healthy rivalry exists between crews and the athletes.

Amjad of Switzerland, Magik Mike of China and Super DD of China will MC the 2019 WDSF World Adult Breaking Championship.

Qualification Round

One hundred b-boy’s and b-girls in total to complete in the qualifying rounds. The rounds will consist of one versus one battles, ranked by score in which the top thirty-two of the b-boy’s and top sixteen of the b-girl’s progress to the next round.

Knockout round

One versus one battles with every athlete getting the opportunity for a total of three battles. The top four of b-boy’s and top four of b-girl’s will progress to the next round.

Final round

One versus one battles with each athlete having the opportunity for a total of four battles to be crowned champion.

More on the CDF Street Dance World Cup

The CDSF Street Dance World Cup will consist of locking, popping and breaking disciplines as well as a crew show.

The qualification rounds will consist of locking and popping disciplines. No more than one hundred and fifty athletes (mixed gender) are accepted to compete. Athletes are selected by three main avenues; an internet selection process, invitation by the hosts or recommended by the Chinese government or other related organizations.

More on the crew show exhibition:

The exhibition will play host to the eight of the best dance crews, battling it out to go directly to the final round. In a similar manner, crews are also selected through an internet process, invitation by the host or recommended by the Chinese government or related organizations.

Each crew battles it out in one round of three minutes, maximum four minutes, ranked by the judges.

Breaking at the Olympics?

Breaking will not be at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

But it is set to make its debut at Paris 2024.

The organising committee for Paris 2024 have proposed the sport of breaking to debut in the French capital.

The final announcement will be made in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 25th at the 134th IOC Session.

Stay tuned to the Olympic Channel for all the latest news.

2019 Breaking World Championships live stream

Where to watch the 2019 Breaking World Championships?

You can watch all the action live on the Olympic Channel.

Check our homepage on the day of the event and click on the live stream at the top of the page.



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