Some big names in hip-hop dance will tear up the dance floor at the home-grown festival *Scape Radikal Forze Jam 2016 from today till Sunday.
Pioneer street dancers Crazy Legs and Mr Wiggles from the United States and Storm from Germany will judge the dance battles that range from breaking to popping.
Contemporary dance crews Kinjaz from the US and Triqstar from Japan will also perform.
Held at *Scape and Wave House Sentosa, the festival has grown from a modest turnout of 200 in 2008 to more than 5,000 last year. It is now considered one of the major street dance festivals in the region.
Felix Huang, leader of Singapore b-boy crew Radikal Forze, recalls how the event was launched by the group as a small informal gathering for Singapore and international dancers.
"We never planned for it to be a big event. It grew through word of mouth and, now, participants from all around the world fly here for this," he says.
BOOK IT / *SCAPE RADIKAL FORZE JAM 2016
WHERE: 2 Orchard Link, *Scape Playspace and The Ground Theatre today and tomorrow; and 36 Siloso Beach Walk, Wave House Sentosa, on Sunday
WHEN: Till Sunday, various timings
ADMISSION: $30 for single-day ticket for today or tomorrow; $20 for single-day ticket for Sunday; $50 for three-day pass
INFO: Go to radikalforzejam.com
The three-day festival includes dance contests, performances, a graffiti contest and an exhibition. There will also be after-parties each night at Canvas and Zouk before a massive bash at Wave House Sentosa on the final night.
About 70 per cent of the 5,000 to 7,000 attendees are from overseas, including countries such as Thailand, Germany and Sudan.
As there are no cash prizes for winners, except for medals and trophies, the event is not just about competing, but more of a huge jam session for street dancers from all over the world, he adds.
Dancers can also compete for an all-expenses-paid trip to Destructive Steps, a prestigious annual street dance contest in Sydney, Australia. However, this contest is open only to Singaporeans and Malaysians.
*Scape, a popular practice spot for young dancers in Singapore, has been a venue provider for the festival and is a full-on partner this year.
*Scape executive director Christopher Pragasam says the festival is an "excellent platform for youth with interest in urban dance to learn and be part of a larger community of dancers in Singapore".
One of the judges, hip-hop dancer Rush, 33, from New Zealand, says the festival is "an experience" beyond the average urban dance event. "Meeting hip-hop dancers from all over the world, building new friendships, battling dudes you have never seen before and parties that bring everyone together... it reminds me of the earlier jams I've attended," he adds.
National serviceman Gerald Chan, 22, has attended every edition of the event and is back this year to compete with his dance crew Checkered Minds for a spot in Destructive Steps.
Thrilled to have an urban dance festival in his own backyard, he says: "It's a huge platform for dancers to compete, learn and meet other dancers from all over the world. Plus, it saves me from paying for trips overseas to see these established dancers."