Maria Budolak, Vova Khan, Margherita Vasselli, Kumari Suraj at the Russia Hip Hop Dance Championships

Let’s be honest. This really sucks!

We all know how frustrating it is to put hours of work into a creating, teaching and drilling a routine, taking it to competition, doing an incredible performance, getting the result, and not  being able to figure out what the judges were watching.

One of the things I like the most about Hip Hop International (HHI) is the clarity of the rules. There is always some subjectivity in judging dance, but at HHI the rules minimise the subjectivity. This is another area where HHI leads the entire world of street dance.

Tested by Time

HHI rules have been in place since 2001; more than 15 years. The rules give dancers and choreographers an objective set of criteria for creating and evaluating hip hop and street dance routines. Look at your other events and you can see that the HHI rules are, now, amongst the most ‘bitten’ standards in the street dance industry.


Devon Marlink, Fred ‘Realness’ Folkes, Alex ‘Mechanikool’ Peters, Maria Budolak, Bgirl Roxy, DJ Zulu, Damian Anyasi, Omar Paloma at the UK Hip Hop Dance Championships

The rules take several minutes to read through, but these are minutes that well spent.

In the rules, you’ll find a clear set of guidelines on how to construct a routine, but in a way that does not kill your creativity.

Tested by Tough Love

Unlike any other street dance event, to ensure fairness and consistency, judges are required to undergo several hours of training before every competition, regardless of how experienced the judge is.

Hip Hop International recognizes the pride, commitment and sacrifices of every dancer who graces our international events and World Championship.

HHI strives to ensure that crews are assessed, with the highest level of accuracy, by well trained judges. To accomplish this Hip Hop International has developed Official Elite Judges who are experienced, committed, properly trained and evaluated.

A Judge’s journey to obtain ELITE JUDGE STATUS requires several years of judging experience, participating in the “official” HHI Rules and Regulations Course, judging official HHI events nationally and internationally and successfully completing the HHI Elite Judge Training Program. The Head Judge for Hip Hop International UK is Elite HHI Judge, Del Mak.

We’d rather fight than settle

Ok so we don’t get into physical fights but, I have been in judges meetings almost every year since 2005. In these meetings, we have worked for hours to clarify shades of meaning in the rules. Why? We care about you. We care about the results. We care about fairness.

Being a Celebrity, or winning a few awards does not automatically make a good judge.


Vova Khan, Jaja Vankova, Buddha Stretch, Angel Ceja, Matthew Harding, Lip J, and Omar Paloma judging at the Russian Hip Hop Dance Championships

Another thing I like about HHI is that while many of our judges are well known and well regarded as dancers, teachers, choreographers, etc., we don’t look for celebrity judges just to fill seats. In fact, many celebrities are not good judges. That’s why we carefully select all of our judges. At the end of your hard work, it’s no consolation to have a biased judge just because he or she is a celebrity.

In addition to first class training, we go a step further. Our scoring system has been designed to virtually eliminate bias by dropping the highest and lowest scores… a policy we’ve had from the beginning that is now imitated by several other UK events.

For anyone who is interested, at the British Championships, we do a free 90-minute workshop on how to win more dance competitions. If you are interested in Judging email, info (at) hiphopinternational.co.uk

I look forward to seeing you soon.

For more information about HHI Rules visit www.hiphopinternational.co.uk/rules/