Jordanian break-dancer wins ferocious Dubai dance-off

The dancers were judged on technique, innovation, and dance flow by a panel

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A Jordanian break-dancer has stomped, shuffled and hip-hopped his way to victory in a dance-off in Dubai on Friday, and will represent the UAE in the next stage of the worldwide tournament.

Sponsored by Austrian energy drink giant Red Bull and held in a nightclub in the glitzy Madinat Jumeirah hotel and entertaiment complex, the competition was fierce as the judges filtered the dancers out one-by-one. Ultimately Nader Issam, who originally hails from Jordan, beat out his final competitor, Solrac, in a blazing final battle.

Nader’s affair with break-dancing started at the age of 12 when his father began teaching him popping, hip hop and breaking techniques. “My dad taught me everything. I saw him dance when I was 5 years old like Michael Jackson. I saw a video on TV where they were doing head-spins and breakdancing, and I asked him ‘can you do something like that?’ and he said ‘yes of course’ and he started to do the head-spins and I said ‘please teach me something like that!’, and he did.”

Nader is currently an instructor at a dance school nearby. He teaches workshops for hip hop, break-dancing and house, and every month runs competitions for his students.

“I have worked very hard this year to win the competition this year and my training really helped me. I am really excited for the next round,” said Nader.

Before heading to world final in Rome, Nader will have to clear a big hurdle by competing in the regional finals which will be held in Tunisia on September 19, and will host the Middle East and Africa’s top 16 break-dancers.

Other competitors representing the UAE were other locally-based break-dancers, including Goofy, Nader, Pinoy, Seif T, Carols, Bboy Mos, Skinny, and Amer Dahman.