Originally from the Ukraine but now living in London, break-dancer (or b-girl) Anna “Stefani” Ponomarenko is taking part in the 2021 Red Bull BC One World Final on November 6 and is hoping to snatch a win.
Stefani won the Red Bull BC One UK Cypher in August to make it to the final, which is the first time there will be an equal number of b-girls to b-boys in the final.
The British b-girl spoke about why she became a break-dancer, discussed her thoughts ahead on the final next weekend and revealed what she thinks her future in the sport will look like.
Q) Why did you want to be a break-dancer?
A) I was dancing before breakdancing; I was doing a classic style of dance, but I loved hip-hop culture and I wanted to do something from that culture. I always knew that I could do something special, something other girls couldn’t do, and I just wanted to be special, I wanted to try something and do what other people couldn’t do.
Q) When did you know that you wanted to start taking break-dancing seriously?
A) I can’t say there was a moment, I was never thinking about this seriously because in my country you can’t think about breaking seriously because you have to think about your life, what you will do and how you will earn money, but breakdancing had never been a sport, it had always been just for fun. I just loved it, I wanted breaking to take up all the time in my life, but I didn’t know how to do that because I never wanted to do classes, to open a school, but I never knew how to get money just by doing breakdancing, it was quite difficult. And when it began to be more popular, I understood that it was a chance that you could be famous if you could be the best, so you can do what you really love and get money for that. So, you can travel, you can judge, you can win the competition and so on. I can’t say it was just one moment when I decided okay it will be from now, I will take it seriously, no it was just step by step. Now I feel that we have a big opportunity to do what we really love, and we can get money from this.
Q) Do you think women are becoming more welcome in the world of break-dancing, as it’s the first time there are an equal number of b-girls to b-boys in the Red Bull BC One World Final?
A) When I first found out about the competition it was my goal, it was Red Bull, it was the most famous competition and if you can be there, you’re a professional, like everyone will know you. I had the goal to be there, and I really worked hard. Now I feel that b-boys and b-girls are kind of on the same level. I don’t think it’s completely on the same level because the level between b-boys and b-girls is quite different, but I still think that no one is thinking about b-girls because it’s so separate.
Q) What are your thoughts ahead of the Red Bull BC One World Final?
A) If it happened for example five years ago when I’d never visited any World competitions, and no-one knew me, and I didn’t know anyone it would be so surprising and exciting. Now I have this feeling, but I’ve visited loads of famous competitions and I’ve battled with all these b-boys and b-girls already, so it won’t be for me something new. I feel really excited because I’ve achieved my dream, like part of my dream and I feel like I want to go there and try my best and I want to show myself.
Q) What do you think your future in break-dancing will look like?
A) I ask this question everyday to myself. I always wanted to be athletic, I never wanted to be a teacher so until I can’t do what I’m doing now I will be wondering what I can do next. But when I’m not able to dance I don’t think that I will try to help other people to grow in this sphere, so maybe I will be interested in some judging. But I know that I don’t want to teach, it’s not for me. I maybe will try to go to the commercial sphere, but we’ll see. Now I just want to focus on what I’m doing; I want to win – we’ll see.
Tagged in interview