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DE Niels Robitzky aka Storm

N1XR Dancer, Choreographer, Dance pedagogue, World record holder, Writer, Researcher of dance
54 Years
from Eutin (Germany)
at present Berlin (Germany)
active since 1983

It was like a storm“, said the people and shook their head in disbelief at a party in New York in 1991 after he had pulled a vogue dancer, who hadn´t kept the necessary distance, to the ground through his striking Flare-Windmill-Swipe combination. This way Niels Robitzky, who was then called Swipemaster, got his new artist name “Storm”. But above all it was due to Kwikstep and Mr Wiggles who initially called him `Firestorm` or `The storm dude from Germany` when talking about him. Everything started in April 1983, Niels, a young boy of just 13 years, had heard a music piece on the radio with a subsequent interview about “incredible gymnastic dancing”. But the thing that really attracted his attention were the scratching parts in the music. Some weeks later he saw a backslide, then people on TV dancing like robots and spinning on the back – thus his passion for this sort of movement was awakened. At that point of time the teenager from Eutin didn’t know that he will soon consecrate himself wholeheartedly to this dance being so unusual for the former times and that it will change his complete life, his way of thinking and his entire world.

With a few class mates he founded his first group “Breakrevolution”, but already after five months it broke apart. In the subsequent years Niels made a lot of efforts to find out as much about B-Boying and Hip Hop in general as it was possible. Longingly and curiously they were waiting for films like “Beatstreet” or “Body Rock” to be finally released to cinemas and to give them some new ideas and information. Every report, every documentary film was important. Sometimes his mother would wake him up at night because there was a TV program about Hip Hop. If you suddenly found a newspaper report about this dance style, which at that time was a veritable rarity, you could be sure that with that piece of paper you could really please your class mate, Niels Robitzky. A so-called hitchhike ticket, which was a ticket of the German Railways and which allowed you to travel one month all over Germany from the date of issue, made it easier for him and a lot of others to go to different jams and Hip Hop events and to meet many other supporters of this culture. At the age of 20 years Niels knew that dancing was the only thing he wanted to do and the only thing he could do. To make a name for oneself in this business and to be able to live on it was at that time at least as difficult as it is today. In the end of the 1980ies he primarily earned his money by helping people with moving, by packing furniture, by working in the port of Hamburg or by waiting tables at fairs in order to be able to keep his head above water. Every cent was saved. Everything he possessed at that time was either given, bought on special offer or, if it was not possible in any other way, even stolen.

One of the numerous people who improbably influenced Niels and contributed a great part to his development, was Gabin from Aktuel Force. It was at a battle in Antwerp when the Parisian dancer made a One-Hand 1990 after a downrock combination and stopped on one hand and one elbow in the hollowback freeze. It was just incredible. Gabin was the king of that battle. That night a switch was thrown in Niels’ head. Thenceforth nobody could stop him. 3 hours of training per day was the minimum. Thinking of anything else than moves, steps, combinations and freezes was impossible. Together with his crew and other dancers they were dancing everywhere, regardless of the meaningful views of the passers-by or the fact that their clothes were partly full of dirt afterwards. During that time Niels joined Battle Squad whose other members were Swift, Maurizio, Emilio and later also his younger brother Speedy.

Until 1989 most dancers executed the headspin with a helmet. The decisive modernization was due to the influence of the Second to none crew from Bornemouth / England. They were spinning on a netlike material cut of a beach lounger which provided the basis for the headspin cap of today. Tony, one of the members of this English crew, inspired Niels to practice the headspin at all. Since these b-boy caps weren’t available anywhere they tried to sew them themselves. Endless nights Niels and Kai Eickermann strived towards better and newer designs. “I sewed thousands of them,” says Niels in his book From Swipe to Storm.

In May 1991 he flew together with 4 friends for the first time to New York. Among others he met there Kwikstep who at that time was the only leftover dancer in the whole city. He was out to boost the scene in New York again and therefore he took them to his friends in Brooklyn and Coney Island to show them what was going on in Europe in matters of B-Boying. There Niels met Mr Wiggles and Crazy Legs. In the subsequent years Niels travels to this awesome and multifaceted metropolis which can be described as the cradle of the Hip Hop culture several times again. Partially he spends there several months at a stretch and becomes a member of Ghettoriginal with whom he dances a good deal of street shows and learns more and more about the history and the background of Hip Hop, among other things why this art form couldn’t have its origin in no other place in the world than in New York.
Actually Storm and his Battle Squad partner Swift wanted to go to the Battle Of The Year 1992 just for watching but due to the fact that their crew name was already put on the poster without their approval and people started to spread rumors they would be afraid, they were pressured and decided to participate in a duo. With this decision they made history. In the finale there were the Rock Steady Family with 8 dancers facing Battle Squad consisting of 2 man only. Battle Squad won.

In 1993 he finally started to get jobs and travelled steadily between Paris, Berlin, New York and Amsterdam. Among other things he presented the TV show “Viva Freestyle” together with his colleague Torch. Despite poor payment they both put a lot of effort into it and made reports on the Hip Hop scene all over Europe.
The turning point came in 1995. Niels suffered a slipped disc and came down with tuberculosis. Partially he had to hold his head with his hand in order to be able to get up from the bed. For months he had been dancing with aches and pains, willing to bounce back. But some day nothing worked anymore. Medicine and extreme pains in feet, shoulders and hip joints became his permanent companion. He had to change something, he knew that himself. Was that the end of his career? The end of that what he was living for? Most people would give up at that point cause accepting the fact that you will probably never be able to do something that you love so much – breaking – is unimaginably difficult. Niels, however, found another way. He attended to Locking and Popping. The change was not easy but it didn’t mean he would stop breaking completely. No, it was only reduced. He realized that he had to take it slow in order to be able to dance after 10 or 20 years further, otherwise he would end up being wheelchair-bound.

Nowadays he lives together with his family in Berlin, his adopted home town, but at home he is probably in the whole world. His name can’t be deleted from the chronicles of the Hip Hop history anymore. Jams, dance halls, judging battles, theatre projects, shows, airports, distant countries and a lot of people around the globe who love him, who admire him and who give thanks to him – this is his life today and he loves it and will always strive for this culture and this dance and its acceptance in the society.


Highlights & Achievements

+ Living Hip Hop and Urband Dance legend
+ 1st Guiness World Record in "Most Windmills" 1987
+ Winner of Battle of the Year 1991 with Battle Squad
+ Winner of the legendary Battle of the Year in 1992
+ Winner of the Freestyle Session 3 with "Flying Tortillas"
+ internationally known choreographer and judge
+ produced more than 20 own theatre projects
+ promotion model for many brands and products
+ TV host at VIVA Freestyle
+ and a lot of more ...

Member

of Battle Squad
since 2010 of Animatronik


Upcoming Events with Storm

+ 16.03.2024 JP FUJIFILM INSTAX Undisputed Masters Tokyo World Final

and8 TV:
I love bringing Storm in to talk about breaking. Every time, I learn something new - even after 30 years in the dance. This time around, we chat about how our diets have changed as we get older, cutting caffeine, and how his new book "Think Breaking", is going to change the way you think about the dance - well that's just what I think.Peace,- Focus / bboydojo.com
Blog:
Anton Bruckner Private University is pleased to announce a new honorary professor: On April 2, 2023, Governor Mag. Thomas Stelzer and Rector Martin Rummel appointed internationally renowned choreographer Niels Robitzky as an honorary professor at Anton Bruckner Private University. As part of the ceremony, the graduates of the Urban Dance Styles course also received their certificates.ABPU awards honorary professorships to personalities from the arts or sciences who are particularly connected to ...
and8 TV:
This is a short clip of the Ghettoriginal performance "Jam on the Groove" at the Festival Cité danse in Suresnes in January 1993. Filmed by someone in the audience in SECAM, that´s why the images are b/w.The piece "Jam on the groove" became a trigger for worldwide Hip-Hop theatre development. Members of Ghettoriginal were pioneering dancers in the field. The festival "Citè danse" is still going strong and is known for its presentations of urban dance theatre performances since its first editi...
and8 TV:
We care about agreeing with others. Conformity is deeply rooted in our psychology. We have to make sure we are not getting kicked out of our tribe. Now, let me present you show you a video of the "Solomon Asch experiment", which reveals very clearly why judges should not see the individual assessments of their colleagues in dance Battles.
Blog:
Today's dance world is full with contests. The ecosystem of Street dances including Breaking looked completely different just a few years ago. Nevertheless we need to acknowledge that the competition world is still young and fragile.Some soft drink companies, the biggest sports brands and even the Olympic games have our attention now. The reason for the interest is clear. Battles of greatly skilled performers create great spectacles. We live in a current hype in which for example some of the bes...
Blog:
When humans compete against each other by challenging their physical and tactical skills in play and involve physical exertion, we call it a sport.Thus, when we look at the art form of Breaking and we produce a Battle environment to present it, it has all the characteristics a sport has.By no way am I saying that the art form of Breaking is a sport alone. It is so much more and that's one of the reasons why I like this dance so much. After all I would say that I live a Breaking Lifestyle, since ...
Blog:
In performative Sports like Snowboarding and Skateboarding and also in Gymnastics, they have something I call an "in-between trick time". These moments are rather trivial in meaning. Before the next "trick" it perfectly allows getting into deeper concentration for the athlete's next move. It helps the judges to focus on what's coming up. After a trick, the moment can be used for a deeper analysis of what the athlete has done.It is a fallacy to think we have the same case in Breaking. Here these ...
and8 TV:
  • Damcer in the video: Storm
and8 TV:
  • a video on the main features of the Trivium Value Interface
  • Explained by Niels "Storm" Robitky.
and8 TV:
  • Here I am.
  • Talking about why Breaking should have its righteous place in society.
Blog:
  • Round Robin = everybody vs everybody
  • Group Round Robin = everybody vs everybody within a Group
  • More participants => exponentially more Battles
  • More chances to score more Rounds and Votes
  • seed the Groups by an existing Ranking
  • Best solution for Breaking: max 4 participants per Group
  • Flexible due to the number of Groups
  • Group seed like a snake
  • Battles run through all groups in Battle-Blocks
and8 TV:
In this last video of the "on judging" series we want to introduce to you the trivium value system, the way it is used for Breaking in the Youth Olympic games 2018 and all of its qualifiers.
and8 TV:
In this video we explain the difference between judging by direct comparison and by using a set of standards,
Blog:
  • ITO-Meeting for the Buenos Aires 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games
  • at the Flying Steps Academy Berlin (Germany) on August, 21st 2018
  • Introduction of the different working fields and specific items
  • Participants: 15 WDSF Team Officials for Buenos Aires 2018
and8 TV:
Here´s the sixth video of our video series on judging.In this one we explain how a standard value system could influence Bboying in the future.
and8 TV:
This video is about standards in judging and how they are used.
and8 TV:
in this video we inform about how we came up with the idea of using cross faders, the search for a hierarchy of nested orders with the threefold Body-Mind-Soul and an explanation of the criterion performativity.
and8 TV:
This video informs about the world Bboy judges thought process since 2013. - the 3 fold of physical, artistic and interpretative qualities - how to look at Dynamics
and8 TV:
Here is the second video on judging Breaking Battles. This episode emphasizes on the world bboy series judging committee and their work in 2013.
and8 TV:
  • Episode #1 about judging Breaking Battles
  • Composed and produced by Niels Robitzky aka Storm
  • Explains approaches and backgrounds about Judging
  • Answers frequently asked questions about this topic
and8 TV:
Legendary bboy Storm (Battle Squad) from Germany speaks about Top 9 Crew, Russian Breaking scene, V1 Battle, Battle of the Gods with Crazy Legs (Rock Steady Crew) and much moreV1 BATTLE:MAIL: v1battletv@gmail.com TELEGRAM: https://t.me/v1battleFACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/15107...INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/v1battle/YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJJO...LIVE STREAM: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVVE...ГРУППА ВК: https://vk.com/v1_battleWEBSITE: http:/...
Blog:
  • Show Your Skillz Urban Dance Battle 2018
  • at Lentos Kunstmuseum in Linz (Austria) on January, 1st 2018
  • Winner 1vs1 Breaking: Marson (Czech Republic)
  • Winner 1vs1 Experimental: Guti (Austria)
  • Winner 2vs2 Hip Hop: Joe Joe & Jazzy (Austria)
  • Judges: Storm (DE), Jo-Flow (AT), Wolfer (AT), Johannes (AT)
  • Deejay: Renegade (UK) | Host: Swifty (UK)
Blog:
  • YOG Continental Qualifier Asia & Oceania 2017
  • at Taipei Expo Park in Taipei (Taiwan) on December, 2nd 2017
  • In total 87 participants from 19 countries (21 B-Girls and 66 B-Boys)
  • Judges: Storm (GER), Renegade (GBR), Narumi (JPN), B-Girl AT (FIN), Katsu (JPN)
  • Hosts: Jeng (TPE) and RealGon (TPE)
  • Deejays: Just a Kid (GER), Chincano (TPE), Pilizhao (TPE)
  • Winner B-Boys: Shigekix (JPN)
  • Winner B-Girls: Ram (JPN)
Blog:
  • YOG Continental Qualifier for Europe & Africa
  • at Grugahalle Essen (Germany) on October, 22nd 2017
  • Stage II Qualifikation for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games
  • Judges: Storm (DE), Renegade (UK), Crazy Legs (USA), Narumi (JP), Lamine (FR)
  • Hosts: Mario Bee (NL), Ludi Rockoon (DE)
  • Deejays: Fleg (USA), Nobunaga (NL)
Blog:
  • 1vs1 Undisputed during BOTY World Final
  • Limbecker Platz in Essen (Germany) on October, 20th 2017
  • Winner: Onel from Athen (Greece)
  • Judges: Renegade (UK), Menno (NL), Lilou (FR), Storm (DE), Crazy Legs (USA)
  • Host: Mario Bee (NL) | Deejay: Just a Kid (DE)
Blog:
  • with team members & judges for the Youth Olympic Games 2018
  • in Wayne, Pennsylvania (USA) on October, 5th 2017
  • Host: Niels Robitzky aka Storm
  • Judges: Renegade, Narumi, Jeskilz, Moy
  • Judging System: Dominik Fahr & Patrick Grigo from and8
  • Guests: Cros1, Poe One, Joe Stolte, Thomas Hergenröther, Yalda Ghods, Roland Hilfiker (WDSF)
Blog:
  • First time usage of the "Trivium Value System"
  • during Battle of the Year Central Europe 2017
  • at X-tra Zurich (Switzerland) on September, 23rd 2017
  • Judges: Storm (GER), B-Girl AT (FIN), Renegade (UK)
  • Live-Test for the upcoming YOG Continental Qualifiers
and8 TV:
  • Niels Robitzky aka Storm shows his legendary "Under Water" Show
  • during the event "Block Party" in Boulder, Colorado (USA)
  • a perfect example how to use performativity
and8 TV:
  • Dancer, Choreographer and Hip Hop Ambassador
  • Niels Robitzky aka Storm from Berlin (Germany)
  • on April, 7th 2017 at a live interview on London Real
  • about life, family, Hip Hop and the youth olympics