An Explanation of the Bashville Stampede All Styles Battles


I’ve been doing the All Styles battles at Bashville Stampede for the past 3 years now and each years there’s always a lot of questions of how it’s run, what type of music gets played, and most of all what is an all styles battle anyway? I’m gonna try and address a lot of those questions with this brief FAQ. This is all regarding how All Styles battles go at Bashville Stampede and how a lot of the ones are run that I typically DJ. Some events may vary from what I say.

What is an All Styles Battle?

A lot of people tend to be very skeptical of All Styles battles and say things like “How can you possibly compare two different styles of dance?” Well, in an All Styles battle, you’re not. You comparing two dancers. That’s a big difference. It doesn’t matter if you’re a house dancer or locker or popper or b-boy. The main thing you’re being judged on is how well you interpret the music being played. Are you on beat? Are you reacting to changes in the songs? Can you adapt to music outside of your style’s typical genre of music? You’re not being judged solely at how well you do your particular style of dance. Though that does go into consideration.

What type of music is in an All Styles Battle?

Anything. That’s the point. The main challenge is to see how well you can adapt to anything. That’s the true test of how good of a dancer you are. If you’re a popper entering the All Styles battle, you’re not going to impress anyone by killing “Siberian Nights.” You’ve heard that song and battled to it probably a hundred times. But what if you have to dance to a house song? or Baltimore Club? or Juke? If you can still kill it, then that truly is impressive and you deserve the win.

I play a wide range of music in the battles with more popular stuff early in the battles with it getting more obscure as the night goes on. For the most part though, it’s not deep underground stuff. I do throw some of that type in there but if you’re on top of your music, checking blogs or going out to clubs, then you won’t be too surprised by some stuff I play. However, I can guarantee that at some point you will get a song you don’t know or don’t like. That’s just the nature of the battle.

I try not to show any preference to a particular dancer or style in every battle. I usually have what songs I’m going to use for the next battle picked out before I hear who’s going to battle so it’s a lottery. One dancer might get something they’re good at and the other one won’t but that’s part of the challenge.

No, more specifically…what music do you play?

Genres I’ve played in the past or might play:

Electro Funk
Electro House
Baltimore Club
Indie/Dance Rock
New Jack Swing
Big Beat
Funk Carioca (aka Baile Funk)
New Orleans Bounce
DC Go-Go

If some of these are totally foreign to you, you have some googling to do. Or you can hear my mixes on my soundcloud.

What’s the structure of the battles at Bashville?

For prelims there’s a showcase simply because so many people sign up. What happens is I spin a set and the dancers get two 30-second runs to show what they can do. We go through the entire list once, then start over from the top. The set I play will be all over the place genre-wise so if you get a song you’re unfamiliar with, you still get a second chance. You do your best and the top 16 or top 8 (depending on time) gets picked.

Top 16, you get one song and you each get one run that you get judged on.

At the top 8, you get two songs of two different genres/tempos and you each get two runs. In the most recent Bashville, we had people sign up with their style next to their name and in this round we played two songs; one from each dancer’s chosen style.

In the semis and finals, you’ll get two songs of two different genre (may or may not fit the dancers’ styles) or it will be three songs depending on time.

How do you prepare for it?

My recommendation is to listen to more music outside of your particular style or just get out more. Put your iTunes playlist on random and force your self to dance to whatever comes on. If you go to my soundcloud, you’ll find several mixes that contain some of the tracks I’ve played at previous Bashvilles.. Just challenge yourself.

Where will the All Styles battle be at Bashville Stampede 10?

At Bashville 10 (as of now), the battles will be at the White Building at Rocketown where they were last year.

Anymore questions? Ask in the comments and I’ll add it on to this FAQ.


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