UNiTED 4 HiPHOP is a dance battle event taking place in Gothenburg, Sweden. The concept was founded and driven by the 19 year young hiphop dancer Mahan Zirdehi.
Let’s jump right in to it, with that we present you an exclusive interview about the swedish hiphop dance scene and all the aspiring thoughts from a young, inbedded and creative from the dance scene itself.
“If I can make this a reality, I can achieve much more”
What inspired you with the concept and what made you actually execute it all?
I've been a dancer for so many years now and I feel like we should do more for the culture to keep the spark alive. In general my mentality switched and I realized people nowadays are great talkers, everyone share different opinions on how things can be better, what you should do and what you shouldn’t and that is totally fine, but there is an essential piece to the puzzle missing and that is to actually take action. To be honest I have always been a talker so I had to take a stand and prove myself wrong, and that is without doubt the biggest reason to why I made this happen.
“Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.”
Tell us about the planning of the project!
I was really lucky because I had a mentor that gave me a little guideline with the planning, but writing down the concept and my ideas was by far the easiest part because that’s when you get to be really creative.
The challenging part was getting the practical work done and since I did everything by myself I had to handle everything, literally. Staying updated with partners and artists, handling calls, showing up at the meetings and always trying my best to have an accurate answer to all question marks popping up. Rescheduling wasn’t even an option due to my limited timeline. I don't think I've ever been this stressed and having fun at the same time.
Since I was so deeply embedded in the process of getting things done everything became so “robotic” and the thought of this event actually going down felt so far away. But when the competition day finally arrived and my team was set and you guys from XLNC GOTHENBURG showed up things were getting hot. But when I saw dancers warming up for the battles, everything just fell into place, this event was really about to happen! All hard work paid off and if I can make this a reality, I can achieve much more.
How do you feel like this event had an impact on the dance scene?
Hiphop music and dancing have been a big part of my life for a long long time now and I am truly passionate. My love for the culture is really the spark behind this project, and the finished product turned out very successful and that is also thanks to my passionate determination. If you don’t have passion for what you do, the result of the work you’re creating won’t touch people, and it’s just a matter of time until you will be exposed. Especially if you attempt to enter a scene where love for what you do is the nutrition.
Gothenburg is a city where a lot of ideas are born but not always where the ideas are executed. This dance event took place in Gothenburg and attracted many locals, people from other cities and even dancers on a global scale! That really blew my mind and it gave me a realisation that Gothenburg has the potential to reach extremely high levels in the creative scenes if we all are willing to share our platforms and highlight what’s going on in the shadows! It's just amazing to see so many people from so many different places unite like this, it's a door opener on so many levels. We meet new friends with the same lifestyle and it'll probably attract more people to future events here in Gothenburg.
The freestyle dance scene in Sweden isn’t that big, so fronting what we do for the culture and what we as a unity can accomplish is most definitely a step in the right direction. Not only will it motivate the originals, it also invites new people with new energy to the scene.
Any last words you wanna say before we wrap this interview up?
I’d like to thank everyone that showed up to my event. I want to thank my crew, I want to thank all the judges, the people who participated in the dance battles, all the spectators and last but not least the great sponsors. Without you this wouldn’t be possible, no matter what your role were at this event, you mattered. We all are essential components to get the wheels turning!
As an ender I just want to spread a message. Prioritize your dreams and visions and be patient. Be brave and dare to believe in yourself! People are way too comfortable and too many only exist in this world. I believe life has so much more to offer if we break certain patterns and start creating our own lanes. The road is bumpy but it’s a part of the game. What we normally see is only the results, we rarely get to see the progress behind closed doors. You need to trust the process.
Keep it up!