Sylvan Lake street dancer takes skills to the next level

Six months ago, Sebastian — also known as DJ Sabatoge — was inspired by a hip hop sensation named Bobby Mileage.

Ten-year-old Sebastian — also known as DJ Sabatoge — funded his own way to the Change the Game Project street dance camp in Calgary last week

Ten-year-old Sebastian — also known as DJ Sabatoge — funded his own way to the Change the Game Project street dance camp in Calgary last week

Six months ago, Sebastian — also known as DJ Sabatoge — was inspired by a hip hop sensation named Bobby Mileage. Bobby was touring the world promoting his upcoming street dance camp called Change the Game Project.

As luck had it, one of his stops was Pound It Hip Hop studio in Red Deer where Sebastian trains. After completing Bobby’s workshop and hearing about the camp, Sebastian set a goal to be there and pay his own way.

The Change the Game Project is a week-long street dance camp in Calgary hosting some of the world’s biggest names in hip hop, including four members of the Elite Force Crew that have toured with Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and Will Smith. Every day there are five classes to take, and each night a street dance battle is held to win up to $12,000 in prize money — an opportunity Sebastian didn’t want to miss out on. He made a goal to raise $1,000 to cover all costs.

Being only 10 years old, Sebastian decided to be a busker at the Sylvan Lake Farmers Market to raise his funds. He danced for one hour at seven markets leading up to his camp. On the final night his grand total came to $1,269.22! Goal achieved! His hard work and dedication, no matter what the weather, paid off.

Sebastian attended the Change the Game Project last week in Calgary, in an experience he will never forget. It included instruction from the legendary Popin Pete, Loose Joint, Bboy Lilou and many more, five classes a day and battles that went until midnight every night.

The majority of the dancers that attended were adults, including guest battlers from as far as Tokyo, Australia, the United States and Poland. Despite only having two years of experience in choreographed dancing, Sebastian got the courage to go against some of the veterans in the industry.

As a street dancer, you need to be creative and prepared for any kind of music and think quickly on the moves you use — it’s very different from a choreographed routine. Sebastian competed in three of the battles and made it to the second round in the Breakin Battle. He is excited to bring what he’s learned back to his studio as he begins to train in the accelerated group La Familia at Pound It Hip Hop Studio.

Sabatoge would like to extend a huge thank you to the Sylvan Lake Farmers Market for allowing him to busk, and to all local residents and visitors to Sylvan Lake that came by and supported the art of street dance. He hopes his story will motivate other youth in the community to pursue their dreams and work hard to achieve their goals.

Follow Sebastian’s street dance journey on Instagram (@djsabatoge) for all his upcoming adventures.