about breaking, stubbornness and the desire for success
I met this girl for the first time at a breakdance competition (AN jam). Back then she was still a child, almost a teenager filled with enthusiasm and sparkly eyes, one of the smallest b-girls. Over the years, every time she danced, there was a smile on her face, and the most common reaction of the crowd watching her was something like ”This little girl is mind-blowing.” Today “this little girl” is already a young lady, world-famous dancer on a professional level with impressive athletic skills, with numerous wins and acknowledgements behind her. I present to you the 19-year-old Marie Slavova from Burgas also known as b-girl Queenmarry.
Bgirl Queen Mary:
This happened when I was 10 years old. I was leaving the dance hall, leaving my sport dancing class when I saw breakdancers who were entering. It made me very happy to see this energy, music, clothes, all colorful, they were all with style. So I started because of this energy, smiles, things that can be encountered anywhere but they are most easily found in the dance hall.
On the breakdance scene you are known by all as b-girl Queen Mary. What is the story of your nickname?
We were gathered the whole crew before my first international competition and I still didn`t have a nickname. I really wanted to compete with a nickname, because I think this is a new personality. When you go out on stage or on a battle you go out more as your soul than as yourself. My coach Hristo suggested Queen Mary. We all said “Oh, that’s pretty cool.” So it stayed this way and I started to really love my nickname.
What will you share with us about your crew from Burgas Black Style Dune and your coach Hristo Andonov?
I spend more time at our training spot than at home where I only go to sleep. For example, this summer I was really from dawn to dusk at the hall, training and I am very close to them and it was very difficult for me to leave. Especialy The Next Crew are very close to me – they are my family and also my coach.
In April 2015 you won first place at the Red Bull BC One Bulgarian Cypher. This way you not only qualified for the East European finals, but became the Red Bull BC One’s first-ever female Cypher champion. How does it feel to create world history? What were your emotions?
First day I was extremly happy, because to win Red Bull was a dream that was born I think during my very first year of breakdance training. I even remember we had a conversation with my coach, we were together the whole crew and we were talking about what events we would like to win. Everyone said a different competition, I said that I want to win Red Bull. And I really did win the cypher in my country and it was a dream come true for me. And the first day I was very happy because this is something I was waiting for six years and I was doing everything possible to achieve it. Finally I really won and I could not believe this was happening. The first day everything was like a dream. It was something that felt impossible to me. Really the feeling was incomparable.
After the first day I started to feel the responsibility and everything fell on my shoulders. Like that I should represent the b-boying in my country, my country, my club, the b-girling. A lot of noise was made about being the first b-girl ever that won a Red Bull cypher and this was really a lot to take in for me. It was very difficult and I was the whole summer at the dance hall, training hard. I hadn`t stopped and unfortunately at the competition everything was already too much for me. The energy and separately the hall where the competition took place is like an amphitheater – all the energy falls down on the stage. It’s difficult – I need more experience. But in time I guess I’ll get used to it.
Do you think that this was the reason that kept you from getting ahead in Eastern European Finals of Red Bull BC One?
I believe it was a lack of experience. I am getting this far on Red Bull for the first time and I compete for the first time on such stage face to face with men. Because so far I’ve actually had a lot of competitions, but one thing is to dance against b-girls, another against b-boys. And everyone would say it. I really need more experience to be able to get even further. Generally, these were the emotions I went through during Red Bull.
In this line of thinking, have you ever felt some kind of prejudice from b-boys you play against, when you confront them for the first time?
In the beginning I felt that there is a kind of reevaluation, because I’m a girl and they don`t expect much, but when they see actually how you dance and if they have somehow reevaluated you, they just cannot do the things they`ve had in mind, because, first, they are shocked and second they weren`t expecting such thing and everything turns upside down for them because we are dancers.
We see a thing and it affects us. It is difficult to think when you are on stage and very few people can do it. When you reevaluate the person against you, you get confused and you cannot do your own things. This has happened to me a lot, especially with b-boys, but not anymore because now they know about me.
Who is your favorite jam, which you ever attended and why?
I cannot say favorite because I cannot choose. Almost every jam gives me some part of itself and helps me with something. I had most fun and I was most surprised of one jam in Sweden, where I was invited as a jury. And actually when I got there I found out that I will judge together with Yaman, who is one of my favorite dancers. I was quite surprised and the whole day, the whole jam, everything was unique. I had a lot of fun, I danced a lot in the backstage. The music, the organization, everything was unique. I guess that was one of the greatest days in my life. Otherwise, for jams I can say that really at each jam, which I attended so far, I find something nice that remains in me as a memory and that makes me go forward.
Your next big win was at the competition Battle of the year Balkans in Greece where you became first in the battles 1 vs. 1 b-girls. Among some of the other countries where you have competed or you participated as a special guest are Austria, France, Germany, Slovakia… What are your impressions about the organization and generally about the break scene in these countries?
The first thing I noticed was that in each of these countries everything is more developed than in our country. Not just for break, I am talking about dances in general, about events and organization. I had to go to Germany 2-3 times during last months. There everything is always explained, clear. You have a specific time for going out on stage. You know what to do – to entertain the audience. It is quite convenient for the dancer and it is a pleasure for me to go to such well-organized competitions.
In Greece they also have a pretty good organization and they have a large selection of events. The events and their places are really cool. I like it a lot to go on a competition for example in Thessaloniki, even just as an audience, let alone to go out on stage as a dancer. I love it everywhere, because in each of these countries, people strive to put up the dance on stage. It was this way before, then everything went underground, but now it is between the two, and I respect both. But the one cannot go without the other.
And actually this happens in my country because our stage is at very poor level. These are my personal observations.
In France, people think a lot about what they do. They spend much time, recording all movements they can perform. They think about it not only on training. They gather and talk about it. To be with such people inspires me a lot. Really people here live with the culture. They live with the things they create.
Tell us more about the finals of BOTY 2015 in Germany – there in late October you together with bgirl Maggoosh from Greece became second against Japan in the competition 2vs2 bgirls.
We were not prepared as a couple. I trained all summer for Red Bull. After Red Bull I immediately came to France because I started to study here. I had a hard beginning and it wasn`t possible to meet with Maggoosh and do something together, to get at least a feeling of each other. And that we went to the final without any preparation between us two, is something great. Even at the final, I think, that this was the thing we were missing in order to win. If we both had at least some synchronization, if we had at least a week together before that, I guess we might have beaten them, because we really needed very little. They train together and attend competitions together for four years, I think.
Except training, when you are in your country, you teach breakdance to children between 5-11 years. Do you like teaching and how do you motivate kids at this age to train hard?
So far, my biggest difficulty were the kids from 5 to 7 years with who it is extremely hard to work. But I suppose for one month I was able to find a common language with them. We had a lot of fun together and I got used to them. At the moment I miss the little ones, I miss teaching. But otherwise with the rest of the kids from 7 to 16 years – because I am an assistant coach of The Next Crew and of the whole club Black Style Dune together with Hristo Andonov- I cannot say that it’s hard. To me it is extremely fun and every time I see these pure, these smiling children who are eager to dance, and I see this every day at our training spot, I cannot say it is difficult, I cannot say it is work. This is pleasure. This is irreplaceable and I miss it a lot now in France.
Yes, you currently live in France where you study medicine. Is it easy to combine your engagements between breakdancing and studying?
It is quite hard, because I study everything in a foreign language. They study in a different way and it was very difficult for me to get on board. I think that I needed two months only to do that. Now I begin progressing. But combining the both breakdancing and the university is very difficult. I sleep four hours a day, so I can go to training.
What does a b-girl need in order to get to your skill level and achieve success similar to yours?
I think the only thing you need is a stubbornness and a desire. Is there a stubbornness within you, if there is also a strong desire, then you will keep going, keep training. And I cannot say that you will reach my level. You will reach your own level and it might be higher than mine.
What are your dreams and what do you strive to achieve in the future?
I am trying to stay myself, because at the moment this is extremely difficult for everyone. And I think that if I manage to do this, everything else that I desire will come true. So this is my only dream.
What is your message to our readers?
To be healthy and
from there on whatever they do, if they want to start something new, they just have to listen to their hearts, not to think too much and just do it.
Because this is the way things work out. If you want something just do it. There is nothing complicated in our lives.